Akulaku, a banking and digital finance platform in Southeast Asia, announced a $200 million investment from Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG).
The investment round “provides additional support for Akulaku’s projected growth as it advances towards its mission of providing banking services across Southeast Asia with an emphasis on reaching underserved customers and markets.”
The company’s future growth plans “align with MUFG’s, and the companies’ joint expansion into new territories, markets, and products will accelerate heading into 2023.” This is the second strategic investment in the company this year, “following the $100 million in funding closed from Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Thailand’s leading full-service bank, at the beginning of 2022.”
Along with the investment, Akulaku and MUFG will “enter into a framework agreement for Akulaku to work with MUFG companies across Southeast Asia on technology, product development, financing, and distribution.”
Akulaku’s strong technological capabilities “in credit, risk management, mobile banking, and customer acquisition will bring solid value to this partnership.”
The company said in a statement:
“Akulaku’s emphasis on emerging markets has highlighted a vast, underserved audience in the banking industry. By partnering with MUFG, another innovative financial institution, we will have the knowledge, resources, and services to meet the long-term needs of our growing customer base. Both companies will benefit from shared skills and knowledge, which will enable us to expand both our products and geographical reach.”
Kenichi Yamato, Managing Executive Officer and Chief Executive of the Global Commercial Banking Business Unit at MUFG Bank said:
“Southeast Asia is key and a second home market to MUFG. Our investment in Akulaku will further solidify our commitment in this region to meet growing financial needs of underserved customers. With Akulaku’s digital financial services backed by its strong technology, our journey with Akulaku will help us further contribute to the growth of this region.”
This transaction “bookends a momentous year for Akulaku.” The company significantly expanded “its revenue, user base, GMV, and loan disbursement throughout 2022.”
This year has also “been marked by international recognition, cross-border partnerships, and innovative new products.”
Morgan Stanley is “acting as financial advisor” to Akulaku in respect of the transaction; Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is “acting as legal advisor” to Akulaku in respect of the transaction.