Ovo, the mobile wallet associated with Indonesia’s Lippo Group, is speeding up its push into online lending by acquiring local p2p lending startup Taralite, one of the first fintech startups in the country.
Ovo is the third party wallet that’s integrated into two major digital platforms in Indonesia, Grab and Tokopedia. By adding Taralite’s online lending features, Ovo can extend loans and credits to shoppers and merchants in its ecosystem.
That’s already working to some degree. For example, Ovo’s “Pay-later” option for shoppers on Tokopedia was made possible by Taralite. The two firms have been collaborating since last year.
Taralite founder Abraham Viktor told KrASIA that Ovo and Taralite finalised the acquisition deal in February, but declined to reveal the terms.
Taralite’s last round of external financing was announced in 2017. The firm raised US$6.3 million in venture capital from Japanese SBI Holdings.
Viktor says he decided to join Ovo because the link-up will help Taralite diversify the types of loans and credits it offers and reach a bigger scale. He will remain Taralite’s CEO.
Lending, the next frontier
Online lending in its many forms, from small consumer loans and credits to larger business loans, is the next frontier for many mobile wallet services in the region.
Owning and operating a suite of lending features is strategically important for wallet businesses, Viktor explains, because it’s a potential profit-generator that can help offset losses from other costly businesses segments.
Go-Jek, a homegrown unicorn with ride-hailing and many other local services on its app, has its own wallet Go-Pay. It has also announced a number of collaborations to explore lending.
Taralite was founded in 2015 under the name Wedlite as a fintech platform to provide loans for personal use. Viktor says he had been in talks with several of the leading e-commerce companies in Indonesia for further funding but then decided to accept Ovo’s acquisition offer. Taralite’s team of 60 people has moved and now works out of the Ovo headquarter in Jakarta.