Singapore based insurer Great Eastern will make a US$70 million investment in Malaysia’s Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of telco operator Axiata Group , it announced on 25 June. This is the largest investment till date into a Malaysian fintech.
Great Eastern will make this investment to participate in Axiata’s growing fintech expansion plans in the region. The investment will be made via a new holding company Boost Holdings, to be wholly-owned by Axiata Digital. In an announcement today, Axiata’s digital services arm, Axiata Digital Services Sdn Bhd revealed, Great Eastern will hold a 21.875% stake in the new unit, Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd. Axiata Digital will control the remaining stake. After this investment, the valuation of Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd will stand at US$ 320 Million.
Boost Holdings comprises Boost – An e-wallet app available in Malaysia and Indonesia, Apigate – A regional direct carrier billing (DCB) payments player, Trust Axiata Digital Ltd – A joint venture with a local bank in Bangladesh and Aspirasi – A micro-financing and micro-insurance digital financing provider. Axiata Digital’s aim is to give Malaysians a cashless experience.
Jamaludin Ibrahim is the CEO of Axiata Group. According to the company, Boost e-wallet has garnered over 7.5 Million users and 170,000 merchants in Malaysia. Their Indonesian arm has 544,000 merchant touchpoints. Their Aspirasi platform has disbursed over US$ 20 million in loans till date. The company also said in a statement that they are planning to launch a digital bank by 2021.
The investment will be used in Boost’s upcoming plans to expand its ecosystem of merchants and customers. It also aims to enhance its micro-financing and micro-insurance digital financing provider Aspirasi’s credit-scoring technology.
According to Axiata Digital, as demand and interest for digitisation will grow exponentially following the Covid-19 crisis, customers and merchants expect better protection measures, reasonable and more flexible financing solutions in these tough economic conditions.