Singapore's ShopBack to acquire BNPL player hoolah for undisclosed amount

  • Hoolah saw resignation of cofounder/CEO in Aug followed by headcount cuts
  • ShopBack raised US$40mil in Oct with Temasek, East Ventures among investors

Henry Chan, CEO of ShopBack with Arvin Singh, CEO of hoolah.

On the back of a recent US$40 million funding round last month, shopping and rewards platform ShopBack, which counts Japan’s Rakuten and Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek as investors, announced that it will acquire hoolah, a ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) platform that has had a rough time recently.

August saw hoolah cofounder and CEO Stuart Thornton stepping down in what he described as for personal reasons in a LinkedIn post. This was followed quickly by the company reducing its headcount to around 60 in response to the ongoing pandemic which has compelled it to operate in “a leaner structure”. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We see significant synergies between ShopBack’s and hoolah’s product lines. Together as one, we unlock value by providing a broader platform of new capabilities and services for shoppers and merchants alike,” said Henry Chan, cofounder and CEO of ShopBack which claims to serve over 8,000 merchants and 30 million shoppers across nine markets in the Asia-Pacific.

“Our best-in-class technology and rich transaction data will enable us to further accelerate the development of the BNPL sector across the Asia-Pacific,” Henry adds.

Arvin Singh, cofounder and CEO of hoolah, talks about the natural fit between the two companies given their similarities in user demographics and an aligned vision of placing the customer at the heart of everything.

“Hoolah’s deep experience in BNPL, complemented by ShopBack’s stature as the leading rewards and discovery platform marks an incredible opportunity to support growth for merchants across the Asia-Pacific. We look forward to realising our growth ambitions alongside ShopBack as we expand our offerings to other markets in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Arvind.

Launched in Singapore in 2018, hoolah is regarded as the pioneer in the BNPL space in Southeast Asia and has claimed to be the regional leader. Offering shoppers an option to pay for purchases in three interest-free instalments, hoolah claims it has helped over a quarter of a million shoppers shop smarter and more responsibly, working with online and in-store merchants in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

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