OVO, a humble digital payment services startup, has been declared an Indonesian startup unicorn, as the company is now valued at more than US$1 billion, according to Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara.

This great achievement makes OVO the fifth Indonesian unicorn after ride-hailing app Go-Jek, online booking platform Traveloka and e-commerce platforms Tokopedia and Bukalapak.

“Our target was to have five unicorns by the end of 2019. Welcome to OVO that has already become the new Indonesian unicorn,” Rudiantara said, as quoted by Antara.

CB Insights, a New York-based market intelligence firm, has valued OVO at US$2.9 billion by March.

OVO itself is a digital payment product of PT Visionet International, the Lippo Group’s digital financial services subsidiary. OVO also offers consumer a loyalty rewards system that allows them to accumulate points; which in turn can be converted to currency to be redeemed at supporting outlets.

Separately, OVO president director Karaniya Dharmasaputra did not confirm nor deny the information when being asked by reporters. He, however, said he appreciated the minister’s statement on OVO’s unicorn title.

“We are thankful and appreciate the minister for making such a statement,” Karaniya said on Monday as quoted by Antara, without adding further details of the company’s valuation.

Indonesia’s Bukalapak e-commerce platform officially became the nation’s fourth startup unicorn just last year. The rate by which the country is able to raise its startups to such acclaim is telling about the nation’s business environment and the support that SMEs receive from institutions in Indonesia.


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