WeLab and Astra Complete the Acquisition of Bank Jasa Jakarta


WeLab, a leading pan-Asian fintech platform, today announced the completion of the acquisition of an Indonesian commercial bank, PT Bank Jasa Jakarta (BJJ), together with PT Astra International Tbk (Astra), one of Indonesia’s largest public companies. The completion is marked by the issuance of acquisition approval by the Financial Services Authority (OJK). For this transaction, a WeLab-led consortium, Welab Sky Limited (WeLab Sky), participated in the acquisition together with Astra’s subsidiary PT Sedaya Multi Investama (Astra Financial). The WeLab-led consortium has drawn wide-spread support from existing and new investors, including Allianz X, Boyu Capital, Horizons Ventures, SCBX Group[1] and TFB (Taipei Fubon Bank) Capital.

In December 2021, WeLab entered into a Share Purchase and Subscription Agreement with the shareholders of BJJ, and completed a strategic investment for 24% of BJJ. With the acquisition completed today, WeLab and Astra each holds 49.56% of BJJ shares, becoming the majority shareholders and joint controllers of the bank. The transaction is Southeast Asia’s largest digital bank M&A transaction in 2022, illustrating the substantial commitment to invest in, and contribute to digitizing Indonesia’s banking industry. The shareholders aim to transform BJJ into an innovative digital bank in Indonesia.

Simon Loong, Founder and Group CEO of WeLab, 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. We’re excited that our long-term partner, Astra will be collaborating with us to deliver the best tech-driven banking services through BJJ in Indonesia. We look forward to bolstering the customer trust level with the collaboration with Astra.”

President Director of Astra 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.”

Propel growth and digital innovation with strong synergies between Astra and WeLab

WeLab and Astra are long time partners in Indonesia’s fintech ecosystem. This is WeLab’s second strategic partnership initiative with Astra since the formation of a fintech lending joint venture, PT Astra WeLab Digital Arta (AWDA), in 2018. The complementary strengths of the partners, including WeLab’s know-how and technology in building and being an operator in digital banking, together with Astra’s solid business ecosystem and experience as well as vast distribution network, are highly synergistic and key success factors to propel BJJ’s digital transformation and into an innovative digital bank to serve the digital financial needs of Indonesians with accessible and innovative banking solutions.

Address unmet financial needs and advocate financial inclusion 

The prospect of digital banking in Indonesia is currently on the rise and represents a huge opportunity to provide accessible and innovative digital banking solutions, especially to the retail and MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) segments. The utilization of financial services in Indonesia has the potential to grow, as 77% of Indonesia’s 270-million-population is either underbanked or unbanked. The country also has a sizable population of 180 million tech-savvy younger consumers, representing a great demand for digital banking services.


WeLab and Apple Authorized Resellers Launch “Subscribe+ for Apple Products”


WeLab, a leading fintech company in Asia, launches an innovative subscription program for purchasing Apple products with Apple authorized resellers – Subscribe+ for Apple Products. Customers can purchase Apple products through the subscription program using the newly launched WeLab Pay powered by WeLend platform[1]. For as low as just HK$204 a month, customers can own the latest iPhone 13 (128GB storage), or HK$152 for a MacBook Air (256GB storage). WeLab is the first and only financial services provider in Asia offering this program for purchasing Apple products. FORTRESS is the first retail partner to offer this unique program seamlessly through its extensive network of over 70 physical branches[2] as well as its online store in Hong Kong.

Key features of the Subscribe+ for Apple Products program:

  • Guaranteed trade-in option upon end of term
  • Deduct trade-in value in advance, making monthly payments as low as $58/ month[3] for a 10.2-inch iPad (64 GB storage), with no hidden fees and other upfront costs
  • Starting with 0% interest rate[4]
  • Customers can continue to enjoy low monthly payments in future device upgrades

The launch of WeLab Pay is our innovative adaptation of the popular subscription model, powered by WeLab’s technology tailored for customer preferences. In Hong Kong, consumers always look for more transparent and better payment options that meet their spending needs. With the launch of Subscribe+ for Apple Products in Hong Kong, WeLab offers customers, particularly the new generation of — Gen Zers and Millennials — with a game-changing way of purchasing Apple products with more flexibility in spending. The most unique part of this program is the innovative mechanism – by first deducting the high trade-in value of Apple Products[5], before calculating the monthly payments, this delivers great value and making low monthly payments possible for customers. The trade-in value of the device can be carried forward for future Apple upgrades, effectively creating a perpetual discount to the device list price for so long as they remain customers of this program!” said Simon Loong, the Founder and Group CEO of WeLab.

“FORTRESS is committed to providing innovative O+O shopping experience to meet customers’ needs and stay up-to-date with their lifestyles and shopping behaviors. We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with WeLab, offering this first-to-market Subscribe+ for Apple Products program to our customers with a flexible and seamless integration of O+O shopping and payment experience. Customers can visit our FORTRESS stores and eShop to bring their favorite Apple products back home, school or office by signing up this plan to enjoy great convenience and payment flexibility. At the end of the plan period, customers can return their device to FORTRESS and renew with the latest models, or keep their device by paying the trade-in value,” said Clarice Au, Managing Director of FORTRESS.

Signing up for the Subscribe+ for Apple Products online is quick and easy, through the WeLab Pay platform and will only take around 5 minutes at a point of sale. Customers can design their plans according to their needs and approved spending credit. For iPhone and Apple Watch, WeLab offers a subscription period of 24 months. For iPad and Mac, the subscription period is 36 months. At the end of the subscription period, customers can either renew the program and upgrade to a newer model by simply trading-in the device; keep their devices by paying off the trade-in value and the last monthly payment amount; or simply return their devices to the participating authorized Apple resellers with the trade-in value.


WeLab completes initial close of Series C-1 funding, led by Allianz X for US$75 million and announces strategic partnership


WeLab, a leading fintech company in Asia, today announced it has completed the initial close of Series C-1 funding, led by Allianz X for US$75 million. Allianz X is the digital investment unit of the Germany-based Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest insurers and asset managers. Since inception in 2013, WeLab has raised more than US$600 million of strategic financing from the world’s most renowned investors. WeLab and Allianz have also established a strategic partnership to drive fintech collaboration across Asia’s financial services landscape. The new funding, together with Allianz partnership, will bolster the acceleration of WeLab’s pan-Asian growth strategy and expansion of digital financial services.

WeLab operates multiple online financial services with leading positions in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Indonesia including digital banking and consumer finance businesses, with close to 50 million individual users and over 600 enterprise customers. As Asia sails into the digital banking revolution and many countries in the region are in the process of studying or implementing digital banking frameworks. WeLab is ahead of the curve, spearheading the new age of banking operating WeLab Bank in Hong Kong — one of the first fully-licensed digital banks in Asia since obtaining its license in early 2019. With its unique market knowledge and extensive network, WeLab is perfectly positioned in this strategic partnership with Allianz to take advantage of the vast opportunities in Asia where its total addressable market size for financial services is close to US$3 trillion in annual revenue.

WeLab has achieved significant milestones in the increasingly digital COVID era

In the COVID era, the market is rapidly evolving, with accelerated digital adoption as one of the outcomes. The pandemic has transformed people’s money habits across their financial journey. The boom in digital services adoption plays into WeLab’s strength in fintech services. WeLab has emerged stronger from the pandemic with multiple businesses achieving significant milestones in the past year. For example:

  • Fueled by increased digital adoption in online financial services, WeLab’s user base grew by 20% YoY, adding around 10 million users to the current 50 million user base, the largest user growth in recent years;
  • Launching a digital-only bank during the third wave of pandemic in Hong Kong proved to be extremely timely, with WeLab Bank garnering strong traction during its first 6 months of operations;
  • WeLend, Hong Kong’s largest pure online lending platform, outperformed the market by 70% during the year to achieve its all-time record high sales volume, at a time where traditional branch operating hours and business model were severely hampered;
  • WeLab’s B2B enterprise solution platform in Mainland China doubled the number of business partners from 300 to over 600 as financial institutions move towards online financial services;
  • In Indonesia, the mobile lending platform Maucash continues to scale with increased brand recognition and popularity of online financial services in Indonesia, achieving over 6x YoY volume growth.

Partnership will accelerate growth of WeLab’s pan-Asian financial services footprint

With this round of investment and new cooperation, WeLab aims to combine its advanced digital banking technology capabilities and market know-how with Allianz’s expertise in insurance and asset management, the two partners aim to holistically improve people’s financial wellbeing. The broader strategic cooperation between WeLab and Allianz will continue to develop over time and encompasses two key areas:

  1. The rollout of pioneering digital wealth management in Asia: WeLab Bank and Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) intend to enter into a strategic cooperation in digital wealth management and financial services. WeLab Bank is looking into developing and distributing digital wealth management solutions with AllianzGI, a global asset manager under Allianz, with assets under management of over EUR 582 billion*. These would aim to bridge the significant unmet investment needs in Asia, a region where only 27% of the population use financial advisors, resulting in a sizable under-advised population of over 3.4 billion. Once implemented, WeLab Bank will be the first digital bank to deploy this wealthtech advisory technology in Asia. The plan is to roll out these wealth management services to new digital customers in Hong Kong and later to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), through Wealth Management Connect, reaching the 72 million population in one of the world’s wealthiest megalopolis.

  2. New markets and new products: development and distribution of investment and insurance solutions: WeLab recognizes opportunities to widen the regional scope of its financial service offerings to other markets in which Allianz operates. For example, in the booming digital Southeast Asian economies, there are around 400 million active internet users, but over 70% of the total population is either unbanked or underbanked. There is, therefore, a lot of potential to expand the cooperation. The two companies are exploring opportunities to offer new digital investment and insurance products in the region, combining Allianz’s expertise in investment and insurance and WeLab’s network of customers and technology.

Simon Loong, Founder & Group CEO of WeLab, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Allianz as an investor and strategic partner to the WeLab Group. We see this as a first-in-market 4-way partnership where there are abundant synergies between WeLab, as a fintech leader and a pioneer in digital banking, and Allianz, as a global insurer and asset manager. More importantly, both companies share a vision on delivering advanced technology solutions to customers in Asia. Today, we announce both the new round of funding and a strategic partnership in wealthtech and banking at WeLab Bank. We look forward to expanding WeLab’s geographical presence and bringing our technology into these new markets with Allianz. We will be expediting our hiring this year, aiming to add around 100 hires, as investing in people and culture will be key to support future growth.”

Nazim Cetin, CEO of Allianz X, said, “In a relatively short amount of time, WeLab has built up a powerful platform for digital financial services and achieved excellent access to retail and business customers in Asia, a region of strategic importance for Allianz. WeLab’s high-performance technology platform, in particular, makes it a unique fintech in the Asian markets. The investment in WeLab is a promising one for Allianz both economically and strategically. We look forward to leveraging our strategic partnership with WeLab and the business potential in the region.”

Desmond Ng, Head of Asia Pacific at Allianz Global Investors, said, “Asia is home to some of the most dynamic wealth management and banking markets of the world. Hong Kong, in particular, is a significant market for us. With the second-highest bank deposits per capita in the world, it is a very attractive wealth management market. The potential strategic cooperation with WeLab presents an exciting opportunity for Allianz Global Investors as an integral part of our growth strategy in Asia.”

Existing investors also participated in this round, reflecting their continued conviction and confidence in WeLab. The Series C-1 round remains ongoing, with the final close expected in the coming months.