Hong Kong-based fintech platform WeLab, along with Indonesian firm Astra International (Astra), has completed the acquisition of commercial lender Bank Jasa Jakarta (BJJ).

For this deal, a WeLab-led consortium, Welab Sky, took part in the acquisition along with Astra’s subsidiary PT Sedaya Multi Investama (Astra Financial). 

WeLab and Astra each control a 49.56% stake in the bank.

The new owners of the bank aim to transform BJJ into a digital bank in Indonesia, where a significant portion of the population is either underbanked or unbanked.

WeLab and Astra also hope to target Indonesia’s 180 million tech-savvy younger consumers with digital banking services.

The deal has secured approval from the Indonesian financial services regulator (OJK).

According to a report by South China Morning Post, WeLab and its partners paid some $509.6m (HK$4bn) for the bank.

Founded more than four decades ago, BJJ operates 11 commercial branches in Jakarta.

It caters to both individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises.

WeLab founder and group CEO Simon Loong said: “Expanding WeLab’s digital banking presence across Asia, first in Hong Kong and now in Indonesia, has been one of our key strategic moves.

“This partnership with Astra reinforces WeLab’s strategic focus on enhancing cross-country and business synergies with partners to increase scale and reach, in order to further strengthen the breadth and depth of the existing pan-Asian fintech platform.”

Astra president director Djony Bunarto Tjondro said: “Investment in BJJ is in line with Astra aspirations in financial services pillars to become leading retail financial providers in Indonesia and support the growth of financial services industry as well as the economy of Indonesia.”

Welab Sky is backed by both existing and new investors, including Allianz X, Boyu Capital, Horizons Ventures, SCBX Group, which consists of Siam Commercial Bank and Taipei Fubon Bank Capital.

In December 2021, WeLab raised $240m from investors to support the acquisition of BJJ.