Malaysia’s Grab Eyes Indonesia’s Dana, Plans to Merge with OVO

PT Bumi Cakrawala Perkasa, the parent PT Visionet International, the parent of OVO, and Chinese ZA Tech form an insurance technology - Photo by the Company

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Singapore’ Grab Holdings have a premilinary talked with local firm, PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi (IDX: EMTK) also known EMTEK to acquire its digital payment arm Dompet Digital Indonesia (DANA), Reuters reported. It said, a deal would see Grab buy a majority interest in DANA.

The Japan’ Softbank Group-backed firm plans to merge OVO, an Indonesian digital payments with Chinese’ Ant Financial (Alipay)-backed local peer to build heft and power ahead of arch rival GOJEK. OVO and GOPAY have been vying for the top spot in payments since 2018, with DANA not far behind.

Grab and GOJEK are the top-two startup brands in Southeast Asia, valued at US$14 billion and $10 billion, respectively. They compete in a host of areas including financial services, e-commerce, ride-hailing and food delivery.

The plan also points to intensifying competition in Indonesia’ digital payments industry that is seeking to piggyback on the country’ booming e-commerce market and its 260 million people.

In 2017, Emtek and Ant Financial (Alipay) launched DANA by carrying out a system that is integrated with other applications or open platforms, the money deposited at the digital wallet used at other merchants that are its partners. Emtek owns over 50 percent of the company through a tie-up with Alipay.

DANA is utilizing the e-money license of PT Espay Debit Indonesia Koe (Espay) which EMTEK had acquired in the beginning of last year.

Recently, Grab Holdings get another US$2 billion funds and will investing in Indonesia as part of the company expansion plan in the country. Last March, one of the leading apps in Southeast Asian received funding from Softbank Vision Fund and other investors worth of $1.46 billion.

With this Series-H funding round, so far Grab has received more than$4.5 billion. Other investors included in the Series-H funding round are Toyota Motor Corp., Oppenheimer Funds, Hyundai Motor Group, Booking Holdings, Microsoft Corporation, Ping An Capital, and Yamaha Motor Corp.

“We have already invest $2 billion in Grab and now we would invest another $2 billion as a new investment. We would invest more in Grab then also encourage more in another company,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of Softbank on July 29.

He continued, Softbank and Grab planned to create second headquarter in Jakarta and aimed to bring Grab Indonesia become the fifth unicorn in the country. On top of that, Son stated, the company also aimed to investing in new investment like renewable energy solar, wind, and geothermal projects in the archipelago.

Since 2017, Grab has invested more than $1 billion in Indonesia through Grab4 Indonesia 2020 master plan. As part of the $2 billion investment, which is from the close $3 billion capital that Softbank has invested into Grab, the first decacorn in Southeast Asia aims to double the number of micro-entrepreneurs across the nation in five years period. So far Grab has created five million companies.

According to CSIS and Tenggara Strategic research report, in 2018, Grab contribution to Indonesia’ economy was approximately Rp48.9 trillion ($3.47 billion).

US$1: Rp14,100

by Linda Silaen, Email: