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BBM parent Emtek boosts payments tech with 2 acquisitions

Photo credit: Tech in Asia Indonesia

Indonesian media conglomerate Emtek, which develops the popular Blackberry Messenger (BBM) app in the country, has snapped up shares in payment companies PT Espay Debit Indonesia Koe (EDIK) and Doku.

Emtek plans to develop BBM into a versatile ecosystem for shopping and services.

This was first reported by DailySocial, but the deals are also documented in Emtek’s financial statements.

According to its first-quarter 2017 report, Emtek subsidiary PT Elang Sejahtera Mandiri acquired a 90 percent stake in EDIK for roughly US$6.7 million.

Its 2016 financial report, on the other hand, confirmed rumors that the media company invested in Doku, legally known as PT Nusa Satu Inti Artha, acquiring a 50 percent stake.

Both EDIK and Doku own emoney and money transfer licenses from Indonesia’s central bank, which are necessary for ewallet services that let users send money to peers and cash out.

EDIK is part of Square Gate One, which has worked with Lippo Group in the past on the implementation of its digital payment service Nobupay. It offers a range of fintech services to different stakeholders, like banks and retail. Another firm under its umbrella is Pembayaran Lintas Usaha Sukses, also known as Espay, but this is a different company.

Joshua Dharmawan, director of Square Gate One, says Espay focuses on its payment gateway, while EDIK focuses on emoney. The firm’s other business units are not affected by EDIK’s acquisition, he adds.

Doku’s main product is also a payment gateway, and it partners with companies like Grab, enabling riders to top up their GrabPay balance through the Doku ewallet, ATMs, internet banking, and via mini marts such as Alfamart.

Doku hasn’t responded to a request for comment on the acquisition.

Building its own version of WeChat

The deal comes on the heels of Emtek’s plans to develop BBM into a versatile ecosystem for shopping and services, similar to Tencent-owned WeChat. It introduced BBM Money back in 2013.

Emtek also recently set up a joint venture with China’s Ant Financial, with the intention to launch a new mobile payments product as well as other financial services.

Go-Jek last year made a similar move when it acquired license holder MVcommerce, known as PT Dompet Anak Bangsa. Go-Jek’s digital wallet allows users to not only store credit in the app for future purchases, but also transfer money from one user to another, and turn credit stored in the wallet back to cash at an ATM.

This post BBM parent Emtek boosts payments tech with 2 acquisitions appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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