Great Eastern has announced a strategic investment of US$70 million in Axiata Digital's financial services (DFS) business, via a newly created holding company wholly owned by Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of Axiata Group Berhad.
With the investment, Great Eastern takes a 21.875% stake in Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd (the newly created holding company), with Axiata Digital Services Sdn Bh holding the balance.
Axiata Digital’s DFS business will comprise the following:
- Boost, the largest homegrown e-wallet and lifestyle app with over 7.5 million users and 170,000 merchant touchpoints1 in Malaysia
- Boost Indonesia, with 544,000 merchant touchpoints
- Aspirasi, a micro-financing and micro-insurance digital financing provider with over US$20 million in loans disbursed to-date
- Trust Axiata Digital Limited, a joint venture with a local bank in Bangladesh
- Launchpad for bringing digital financial services to other Axiata markets
The transaction is expected to be completed in the next few months, subject to relevant regulatory approvals.
Khor Hock Seng, Group Chief Executive Officer, Great Eastern said: “This strategic investment will enable Great Eastern to participate in Axiata’s growing fintech expansion plans in the region. Axiata’s focus on providing financial services for the underserved, unbanked and under insured customer segment also resonates well with our business strategy.”
Read also: Great Eastern partners Axiata Digital Capital to offer affordable insurance and takaful
Proceeds from the investment will fund expansion plans for Axiata Digital’s DFS business over the next year in Malaysia and the region, which includes securing Boost’s next level push to develop its ecosystem of merchants and customers, and enhancing Aspirasi’s credit scoring technology, and potentially housing the digital bank.
According to Axiata Digital, these developments are in response to rising demand and interest for digitization expected to grow exponentially following the COVID-19 crisis. Customers and merchants expect better protection measures, along with affordable and more flexible financing solutions to respond with operational resilience in weathering tough economic conditions
Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO, Axiata Digital said: “With the investment from an esteemed partner like Great Eastern, we hope to further leverage emerging technologies to develop distinct financial and insurance innovations for our consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, as we continue on our journey to narrow the financial inclusion and protection gap in the country.”
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