Astra Invests $259m in BJJ to Form Digital Bank

Diversified conglomerate Astra International has completed a transaction to acquire a stake in private lender Bank Jasa Jakarta (BJJ) for Rp 3.88 trillion (US$259 million) with a view to forming its own digital bank. The transaction was done through Astra subsidiary PT Sedaya Multi Investama, also known as Astra Financial, alongside WeLab Sky, a consortium led by Hong Kong-based fintech platform WeLab, with each entity to own 49.56 percent of BJJ.
“BJJ as a digital bank will complement many financial products and services that we could offer to our customers,” Astra financial director in charge Suparno Djasmin said in a statement on Monday.
Astra’s acquisition comes after a wave of new digital banks in the country, like GoTo-backed Bank Jago, CT Corp-backed Allo Bank and Sea Group-backed Sea Bank. Digital banks have gained traction in Indonesia, where their investors look to capitalize on the country’s large market with consumers who are accepting of the fintech industry.
Simon Loong, founder and group CEO of WeLab, said the acquisition would allow the fintech firm to expand its digital bank services beyond Hong Kong. In 2018, WeLab partnered with Astra to form a fintech lending company, PT Astra WeLab Digital Arta.
“Our partnership with Astra will support our strategic focus to increase our cooperation and business with partners in expanding the scale and reach to strengthen our network in pan-Asia fintech platforms,” Simon said in the same statement.

September20, 2022, The Jakarta Post