Emtek, the huge media conglomerate that operates Blackberry Messenger in Indonesia, is said to be in talks to acquire local payment gateway Doku, as reported by tech blog DailySocial.
"We can’t really confirm anything," a Doku spokesperson told Tech in Asia. Adi Sariaatmadja, who heads Emtek’s digital division, was also evasive. “There are always rumours flying around," Sariaatmadja added.
The sudden appetite for fintech start-ups is most likely linked to licences.
Both Doku and MVcommerce have the right to issue electronic money sanctioned by Indonesia’s central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI). E-money is like Paypal or Kenya’s M-PESA system.
Combined with mobile payments, e-money is an essential tool for any company wanting to enable its users to seamlessly and instantly pay for goods and services online.
In Indonesia, only 21 companies
have been issued an e-money license, and BI froze the issuing of new ones a while ago. The majority of those 21 are banks and telcos.
This makes smaller companies
that already hold the license a hot commodity. Their acquisition might be a last resort for well-established start-ups in a rush to develop payments solutions.