Jakarta. Tokyo Century Corporation has invested $116 million in a digital financial services company owned by the Lippo Group, in an effort to tap into the growing market for electronic money services in Indonesia.
The Japanese company acquired 20 percent of the shares of Lippo-owned Bumi Cakrawala Perkasa (BCP), which controls Visionet Internasional that runs electronic money, digital payment and investment platform OVO, Tokyo Century said in a statement on Dec. 11.
The move is an expansion of fintech cooperation between Tokyo Century and the Lippo Group, which started in November last year.
Tokyo Century earlier invested $17 million to acquire a 20 percent stake at Big Ecommerce Bersama, a Lippo-affiliated company that runs business-to-government (B2G) and business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce services.
"This is one of the most exciting opportunities in Indonesia, at the heart of the consumer, digital and financial services transformation. Tokyo Century is a strategic partner of the Lippo Group and we are pleased to welcome their investment into BCP," Lippo Group director John Riady said, as quoted in the statement.
While Indonesia has a population of 260 million, only about 40 percent of Indonesians own bank accounts. The credit card penetration rate in the world's fourth most populous nation is still less than 10 percent, which has resulted in the rapid spread of the use of electronic money through mobile phones, the Japanese company said in the statement.
BCP, according to the statement, will expand its digital financial services under the OVO brand by utilizing the Lippo Group's customer base in the property, retail, IT, mass media, health care and financial sectors.
OVO is a fast-growing fintech player, which competes with, among others, Go-Pay — a payment service offered by ride-hailing company Go-Jek.
OVO director Johnny Widodo told the Jakarta Globe in a recent interview that he wants the company, which records Rp 1 trillion worth of transactions per month, to become the number one fintech player in the country.
OVO already has 7 million users, who can perform transactions at 20,000 outlets in 75 cities in Indonesia. Johnny said the company seeks to double the number of customers next year.
Tokyo Century said it expects to benefit from the Lippo Group's big data and is open for further investment and cooperation.
The Jakarta Globe is affiliated with the Lippo Group.