Indonesian travel tech unicorn Traveloka on Friday announced that it will partner with SCB 10X, the innovation arm of Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), and form a joint company called Trex Ventures.
Siam Commercial Bank is one of the largest lenders in Thailand and was reportedly involved in Traveloka’s USD 250 million funding round in July last year. Together, the partners plan to create financial products that are tailored to meet the needs of travelers and lifestyle consumers in Thailand, said Pitiporn Phanaphat, chief business development and financial officer at SCB 10X.
Traveloka didn’t provide further details on the services, that will be offered via its platform. Nevertheless, considering its history in Indonesia, there’s a possibility that it might start with a BNPL product. “With only 30% of Thai customers owning credit cards, we see similar needs to what we have in Indonesia,” said Traveloka’s president Caesar Indra in a statement.
Traveloka entered the fintech space in its home country in 2018, launching a “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) payment option. The company has been working closely with several state-owned lenders. It formed a partnership with Bank BRI in 2019, and the two released a credit card for its registered users. Last year, Traveloka established a similar collaboration with Bank Mandiri.
The unicorn has already facilitated over 6 million loans through the BNPL service, a spokesperson told KrASIA. In an interview last year, co-founder Albert said that the firm planned to expand its fintech offerings “vertically and geographically” in 2021.
Traveloka will also reportedly expand to Vietnam this year. Despite the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, it said that the business has consistently recovered in all markets, particularly in Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Traveloka is one of a handful of Southeast Asian tech powerhouses racing to go public in the US this year. The company reportedly held discussions with several blank check companies, including Bridgetown Holdings and Provident Acquisition.