Singapore rewards app ShopBack acquires buy now, pay later start-up Hoolah

The merger means new features will be added to ShopBack's platform. PHOTO: SHOPBACK

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Singapore's online shopping rewards app ShopBack is buying local fintech start-up Hoolah to add "buy now, pay later" (BNPL) services.

The deal expands ShopBack's services beyond cashback and other rewards it currently offers to consumers on properties of Alibaba Group Holding and other major online retailers. The companies did not disclose the acquisition's value in their statement on Tuesday (Nov 2).

Closely held ShopBack, with investors including Temasek and Rakuten Capital, is seeking to become a more significant partner for merchants as online shopping gains popularity in Asia. Hoolah, a pioneer in BNPL services in South-east Asia, lets consumers pay for purchases in three interest-free installments.

After the merger closes, ShopBack will own all of Hoolah, but the BNPL service's brand, app and website will continue to operate as before, ShopBack founder and chief executive Henry Chan told TechCrunch.

The merger means new features will be added to ShopBack's platform, evolving it from a loyalty app for e-commerce purchases to enabling transactions with BNPL options.

"Together as one, we unlock value by providing a broader platform of new capabilities and services for shoppers and merchants," Mr Chan said in a statement.

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