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Indonesia’s Bank BRI to offer digital banking, lending products in Bukalapak

This comes after the bank’s venture capital arm invested in the company.

Indonesia’s Bank BRI will soon be able to offer its digital banking and lending products to users of e-commerce company Bukalapak.

The partnership comes after the bank’s corporate venture capital arm, BRI Ventures, made an investment of an undisclosed amount in Bukalapak.

The deal is in line with Bank BRI’s mission “to bolster and digitize micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) throughout the country,” the press release said. Currently, more than 13.5 million local MSMEs operate within Bukalapak’s digital ecosystem.

Data from the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises shows that MSMEs contribute a staggering 60.34% to the nation’s GDP and absorb 58.18% of the total investment in Indonesia.

“This strategic investment into Bukalapak is very important because it fuels the mission of BRI Group in supporting MSMEs. With the massive growth of digital MSMEs we’re seeing today, we believe that they will be the support pillars of our national economy in the future,” said BRI Ventures’ CEO Nicko Widjaja regarding their investment. “This also plays a part in BRI Ventures' commitment to strengthening the tech startup sector in Indonesia.”

Recent data from the nation’s central bank indicates that 87.5% of MSMEs were affected by the pandemic-driven economic downturn. However, it also shows that 27.6% of MSMEs operating online actually saw sales increase in 2020 and beyond.

This illustrates the increasing importance for companies of all shapes and sizes to embrace online business models and digital adaptation in emerging Asia, according to Bank BRI.

Through its online-to-offline platform Mitra Bukalapak, the Bukalapak has reportedly reached more than 13.5 million MSMEs and more than 100 million users throughout the archipelago.

In 2019, the ecommerce company launched its B2B e-procurement business unit through BukaPengadaan Indonesia. It also rolled out its signature platform for buying and selling mutual funds (BukaReksa).

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