(Bloomberg) — Indonesia’s Traveloka is in advanced talks to go public through merging with Bridgetown Holdings Ltd., a blank-check firm backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, according to people familiar with the matter.
A deal could value Southeast Asia’s online travel leader at about $5 billion, said the people who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The potential transaction could also involve raising between $500 million and $750 million through a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, the people said. Details including the amount to be raised could change as the companies start discussions with potential investors, they added.
Representatives for Bridgetown and Traveloka declined to comment.
Shares in Bridgetown Holdings rose about 6% in pre-market trading in New York, extending their 13% gain on Thursday.
The deal would make Jakarta-based Traveloka one of the first Southeast Asian unicorns to go public through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Grab Holdings Inc. is in advanced talks to go that route through Altimeter Capital’s first SPAC, which may value the company at about $40 billion, Bloomberg News reported last month.
Read more: Traveloka Is Said to Pick JPMorgan for U.S. Listing via SPAC
Traveloka was valued in 2020 at around $2.75 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bridgetown raised about $595 million in a U.S. initial public offering in October. The company’s sponsor is a collaboration between Thiel Capital, Thiel’s personal investment vehicle based in Los Angeles, and Pacific Century Group, a Hong Kong-based investment company led by Li.
Founded in 2012, Traveloka has expanded its reach across six Southeast Asian nations and also covers Australia, making it easier for consumers to book flights and hotels across countries. Like other startups in the region, the company has sought to grow its offering with complementary services, extending into finance alongside its travel, lifestyle and accommodation booking portfolio.
Traveloka’s backers include Expedia Group Inc., Rocket Internet, East Ventures, Li’s FWD Group Ltd. and Singapore’s GIC Pte.
(Adds pre-market trading in fourth paragraph.)
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