KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Axiata Group Bhd’s digital arm service Axiata Digital Services Sdn Bhd has secured a strategic investment of US$70 million (RM299.36 million) from Great Eastern Holdings Ltd to spur its fast-growing digital financial services (DFS) across the region.
With the investment, Great Eastern takes a 21.87 per cent stake in Axiata Digital’s DFS business, Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd, while Axiata Digital holds the balance of 78.13 per cent.
“Over the past two years, we have been sharpening our focus on building and enhancing our digital financing services brand using digital technologies and our telco assets to serve the underserved,” Axiata Digital chief executive officer Mohd Khairil Abdullah told reporters here today.
He said this after the signing ceremony between Axiata Digital and Great Eastern on the strategic investment.
The investment marked the third strategic investment secured by Axiata Digital from financial industry players.
In 2018, Sumitomo placed an investment of US$20 million (RM85.53 million) in Axiata Digital’s digital advertising business ADA and in 2019, Mitsui channeled an investment of up to US$50 million (RM213.83 million) into the company.
Boost Holdings comprises Boost, the largest homegrown e-wallet and lifestyle app with over 7.5 million users and 170,000 merchant touchpoints.
Boost Holdings also consists of Aspirasi, a micro-financing and micro-insurance digital financing provider with over US$20 million in loans disbursed to date, as well as Boost Indonesia and Trust Axiata Digital Ltd.
Proceeds from the investment will fund expansion plans for Axiata Digital’s DFS business for the next year in Malaysia and the region, which includes securing Boost’s next level push to develop its ecosystem of merchants and customers in enhancing Aspirasi’s credit scoring technology and potentially housing the digital bank.
“The digital bank will be a different ballgame all together. When that happens, obviously we are looking to establish a consortium to apply for the licence and hopefully, develop a digital bank.
“And when that happens, I think we will be looking for additional sources of funding for that,” said Mohd Khairil.
Earlier this year, Axiata Digital expressed interest in acquiring a digital banking licence from Bank Negara Malaysia and has begun preparation for the application. — Bernama