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Southeast Asia’s No. 1 Travel App Is Getting Into Fintech

Yoolim Lee

(Bloomberg) -- Traveloka, Southeast Asia’s largest online travel startup, is getting into financial services.

The startup backed by Expedia Group Inc. and JD.com Inc. will issue a credit card with Indonesia’s PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Persero Tbk linked to its booking services. The travel app is targeting many users across the Indonesian archipelago who have little or no access to traditional banking or reliable internet.

Founded by three engineers in 2012, Traveloka -- said to be valued at around $2 billion in 2017 -- has expanded across Southeast Asia by making it easier for consumers to book flights and hotels within the region. It’s raised at least $500 million from investors including Hillhouse Capital and Sequoia. Henry Hendrawan, president of Traveloka operations, said the card was one facet of building a fintech business to complement its travel, accommodation and lifestyle services.

“In anything we do in financial services, we will always look to go with strong partners,” Hendrawan said in an interview, adding that he expects to unveil more products and partners in the near future. “This is a perfect example.”

With a population of more than 620 million and growing middle class, Southeast Asia is expected to see its online travel market almost triple from about $30 billion in 2018 to $78 billion in 2025, according to Google and Temasek Holdings Pte. By 2025, 57% of bookings will be made online, up from 34% in 2015.

Traveloka operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. Customers will be able to use its card in Indonesia and around the world for both online and offline transactions via Visa Inc.’s network.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yoolim Lee in Singapore at yoolim@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Peter Elstrom

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