Many platforms in the world have felt the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, but investors in the Southeast Asia region seem to have faith in insurance startups still. Jakarta-based Qoala recently raised US$13.5 million in its Series A round, the startup which started last year said on Tuesday.
Centauri Fund, led this Series A round a joint venture funds from Kookmin Bank, which is based in South Korea and Telkom Indonesia.
Other investors included Mirae Asset Sekuritas, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Sequoia India, and existing investors such as MDI Ventures, MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia, and Central Capital Ventura. Now the total raise for the insurance platform stands at US$16.5 million.
Qoala currently works with leading insurers, including Tokio Marine, AXA Mandiri, and Great Eastern to offer clients cover against e-commerce logistics, phone display damage, and hotel-quality checks.
Qoala says that it offers personalized products to clients and eases their burden while they are making claims by allowing them to upload images.
The startup maintains partnerships with a few e-commerce firms, including Shopee, Grabkios, Tokopedia, and JD.ID as well as hotel and travel firms RedBus and PegiPegi.
Qoala uses machine learning to detect fraud. The use of machine learning is a win-win situation for both insurers and customers as customers can make claims easily and have more affordable insurance products to buy, and insurers can reach more and more customers.
Currently, Qoala processes over two million policies every month, up from seven thousand in March 2019. It said that it is working on insurance products that will cover health and peer-to-peer categories. Qoala has around 150 employees currently, and it plans to double this number in the next one year.
“As a relatively new entrant in the space, we are delighted to partner with leading global investors whose tremendous thought leadership as well as operational experience will allow us to maintain our innovative edge. This truly demonstrates the ecosystem’s belief in what Qoala is trying to achieve- humanizing insurance and making it accessible and affordable to all,” Harshet Lunani, the founder and chief executive of Qoala said in a statement.
Kenneth Li, the managing partner at Centauri Fund, said, “Our thesis identified that Indonesia has a considerably low gross written premium (GWP) to GDP ratio in comparison to other emerging countries, coupled with the large growing middle class in need of more security in their financial planning which allows the immense potential for the insurance sector to take off in Indonesia through innovative propositions.”
Southeast Asia’s digital insurance market is valued at US$2 billion, and it is expected to grow to around US$8 billion by 2025, so it is understandable why these investors are not afraid to invest in digital insurance platforms.