As you probably already know, I’ve created InsurTechAsia as a vehicle to drive positive impact through the much needed changes in insurance. Focused on Asia as its the region that I’ve been immersed throughout my corporate insurance career. I fell in love with its diversity, vibrancy and people. Now I’m on a quest to help fix insurance here!
Over the last year I’ve been travelling extensively across Asia as part of the activities to build foundation for the InsurTech ecosystem in the region. Among others, I’ve visited and spend time in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and Hong Kong, which together have a combined population of 560 million. I met and spent countless hours discussing InsurTech and insurance industry challenges with many insurance leaders, entrepreneurs and stakeholders. I’ve pieced all these conversations and learning together to build a mental map of all things InsurTech in the region. Today I’d like to share a summary version of it with you.
Evolving InsurTech Scene
It should come as now surprise that there has been a substantial increase of interest in insurance tech across the region. The interest came from all sides, including investors, insurance corporates, entrepreneurs and public stakeholders. Some saw great opportunities while many others saw threats. Both sides agreed that InsurTech is coming and is probably quicker than many have expected. While the projected funding amounted to nearly $70M for 2016FY and accounted for a relatively small share of the global investments, its none the less was a steep multiple vs. 2015.
Quick look at few substantial funding investments across the ecosystem:
- ConneXionsAsia (Flexible Employee Benefits): $35M Series B
- Gen.Life (Insurer SaaS): $25M – Seed Investment
- UEX (Expat Health Insurance): $5M – Seed Investment
- frame.ai (Intelligent Service/Sales Platform): $1.5M Series A
- Apvera (Cyber Security / Cyber Insurance Bundle): $1.7M Series A
- Latize (Big Data / Analytics Platform): $1.5M Series A
Singapore continued to account for the lion’s share of the InsurTech activity in the region, due to the unique combination of the rapidly maturing startup ecosystem, regional insurance expertise and government / regulatory encouragement.
Regulators across the region continued to grapple with what InsurTech might mean for their existing regulations and how to find the balance between not stifling innovation while safeguarding consumer interests. Singapore has continued to be at the forefront of insurance tech in the region and has launched a FinTech/InsurTech sandbox, ran a major global Fintech festival and signed a number of bi-lateral Fintech cooperation development agreements. Malaysia and Hong Kong have both followed with their own equivalents of FinTech/InsurTech Sandboxes.
Harmonisation of regulations continued to be an issue as cooperation and dialog between the regulators across the regional around this topic appears to be limited.
Number of international InsurTech startups have expanded into SEA, choosing Singapore as their regional hub. The trend is expected to continued and accelerate further in 2017.
- BIMA (Micro-insurance): $38M Series C (HQ Sweden)
- Shift Technologies (Fraud Detection): $10M Series B (France)
- Raxel Telematics (Telematics): Series A (Russia)
560MM market opportunity: Country-By-Country
Here comes the best part. Following is a table of key country indicators, learnings and opportunities, all in the context of InsurTech. As the region gets ready for an influx of home-grown and international startups this year, this could help to shape their roadmaps and focus them in the most impactful areas as they look to quickly gain access to opportunities here.
Link to Singapore InsurTech Directory referenced below.
As always, happy to hear your thoughts and feedback and look forward to seeing many of you in this part of the world for our awesome April program!
George & InsurTechAsia Team
P.S. Your likes/shares help to bring this conversation to a broader audience 👍
Originally posted in: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/560mm-insurtech-opportunity-asean-playbook-george-kesselman