Traveloka is planning to list in the US this year to raise funds using a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), according to chief executive offer Ferry Unardi. Traveloka is South-east Asia’s biggest online travel startup.
“SPAC is very efficient,” Mr Unardi said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. “If we can do it faster, we can then focus on execution and growing the company.”
Traveloka may consider listing in Indonesia at a later stage, he added.
More adopting SPAC approach
Traveloka adds to a list of Indonesian startups seeking similar US listings via the SPAC method. This method allows them to use funds raised from the initial public offerings (IPOs) to buy a private company that then takes over the listing. Ride-hailing giant Gojek and e-commerce platform Tokopedia, are in the midst of using a similar method.
Big investors have helped boost Traveloka’s valuation over the years. Firstly, these large investors include Expedia Group, secondly, Rocket Internet, thirdly, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, and JD.com. The company was valued at US$3 billion in 2017, according to CB Insights.
Traveloka has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co for a public listing in the US to take advantage of a boom in the IPO market. Mr Unardi said the company would explore options for a merger or an acquisition after completing the IPO.
More downloading Traveloka App
The Indonesian online travel unicorn currently has 40 million downloads. Sixteen million of these downloads in Indonesia. It is growing in popularity across its core home market and Thailand and Vietnam.
Despite the setbacks, the pandemic has also brought about a permanent and massive digital revolution in Southeast Asia. Around 40 million people in the region’s largest countries turned to the internet for the first time in 2020. This amount is double compared with a total of 100 million between 2015 and 2019. In conclusion, this is the scenario precisely what Traveloka’s looking to capitalise on.