(Bloomberg) -- Indonesia’s Traveloka is in talks with potential investors to raise as much as $400 million as part of its plan to go public through merging with a blank-check company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, according to people familiar with the matter.
The fundraising, a so-called private investment in public equity, would be part of a deal to merge the Jakarta-based online travel startup with Bridgetown Holdings Ltd. as soon as this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The merger is set to value the combined entity at about $5 billion, the people said.
The PIPE amount discussed is about $200 million to $400 million and could still change, the people said. A representative for Traveloka declined to comment.
Traveloka is seeking funds for growth as its expands its geographic reach and the range of services it offers. A successful merger with Bridgetown would make Traveloka one of the first Southeast Asian unicorns to go public through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.
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 financial services alongside its travel, lifestyle and accommodation booking portfolio.
Shares of Bridgetown rose 0.5% to $9.82 in New York on Monday.
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