Buka Investasi Bersama (BIB), the fintech subsidiary of Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak, is set to receive IDR 50 billion (USD 3.5 million) from investment management firm Ashmore Asset Management Indonesia (IDX: AMOR) for a 20% stake in BIB.
Ashmore Indonesia is affiliated with Ashmore Group, which is headquartered in London. The firm has a deep understanding of emerging markets, with local know-how and good knowledge about regional capital markets after operating for more than 20 years in Indonesia.
BIB aims to bolster financial inclusion in the country by providing investments products and services that leverage technology and infrastructure from Bukalapak. The partnership between BIB and Ashmore is expected to increase accessibility for all consumers in Indonesia, especially those who are underserved in investment products and services.
“With this strategic partnership, Bukalapak through BIB will continue to improve services and organize operational processes to make BIB a reliable APERD [mutual fund sales agent] for mutual fund transactions,” Bukalapak president and BIB CEO Teddy Oetomo told KrASIA.
BIB obtained its APERD license in October. Oetomo said BIB is a separate entity from Bukalapak and has its own operations team in accordance with Indonesia’s rules and regulations.
In the near future, BIB will launch four of Ashmore’s mutual fund products on its platform—equity mutual funds, small and mid-cap mutual funds, flexible-duration fixed income mutual funds, and low-duration dividend-paying fixed income mutual funds.
Mutual fund investments have been heavily promoted in Indonesia lately. This year, the number of mutual fund investors continues to rise even though the capital market was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data from the Indonesian Central Securities Depository (KSEI), active single investor identification (SID) numbers reached 3.28 million in September 2020, including 2.58 million mutual funds investors. In particular, millennial investors are expected to increasingly adopt mutual funds as part of their portfolios.
There are various mutual funds platforms in Indonesia. E-commerce unicorn Tokopedia and e-wallet platform Ovo also offer mutual funds on their platforms. However, as BIB is registered and supervised by Indonesia’s financial regulator OJK, it makes Bukalapak the first e-commerce platform to receive a license to sell this type of financial instrument.
“With BIB’s various product developments, we are optimistic that we can get at least 500,000 mutual fund investors in 2021,” said Oetomo.