Igloo, a Singapore-based insurtech focused on underserved communities in Southeast Asia, announced it had raised a $27m Series B expansion, bringing the round total to $46m. dollars. The first tranche of $19 million was announced in March and led by Cathay innovation with participation from ACA and returning investors OpenSpace.
The latest round was led by the InsuResilience II investment fund, which was launched by German development bank KfW for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and is managed by impact investor BlueOrchard. Other top investors were Women’s World Banking Asset Management (WAM), FinnFund, La Maison and returning investors Cathay Innovation.
Igloo develops its insurance products and then partners with the insurers who underwrite their policies. Igloo currently works with 20 global, regional and local insurers across Southeast Asia. It distributes its insurance products through partnerships and is associated with more than 55 companies in 7 countries. It now offers 15 products, including policies for construction workers, gamblers, cars and farmers in Vietnam, and claims to have facilitated over 300 million policies and increased gross premiums written 30 times since 2019.
Co-founder and CEO Raunak Mehta told TechCrunch that Igloo decided to raise a Series B extension due to investor interest after the first tranche of funds. The extension will give the startup a multi-year track and will be used for hiring, infrastructure, and M&A opportunities.
Mehta said insurance penetration in much of Southeast Asia is low, below $100 per capita in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Igloo was created to make insurance more affordable and tailored to the needs of Southeast Asian communities. Igloo distributes insurance products ranging from 2 cents USD for phone screen protection to 600 USD for full car insurance.
Igloo provides the technology stack for its products across Southeast Asia, which Mehta says means the entire insurance value chain, from product discovery to claims, is available on a single platform. . This allows it to bring the policies it distributes to market more quickly and to significantly reduce the operational cost of claims.
Mehta said that more than 80% of claims are currently handled in an automated or semi-automated way, and that big data management, along with machine learning and artificial intelligence, have enabled him to reduce the risks of anti -selection, false positives and fraudulent claims. By reducing the cost of claims handling, Igloo is able to offer a lower premium to customers.
An example of Igloo’s insurance policies include those for gig economy passengers it sells through its partnership with Foodpanda in Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, and Lozi and Ahamove Vietnam. Its policy for Foodpanda, called PandaCare, includes income protection for workers in the event of traffic accidents, personal accidents and hospitalization.
Another, more recent, product is Weather Index Insurance in Vietnam. The policy uses blockchain-backed smart contracts and automates claim payments using pre-assigned values for crop losses caused by weather and other natural events. Igloo claims Weather Index Insurance is Vietnam’s first parametric insurance (or a policy that agrees to make pre-agreed payments based on triggering events like a flood) and its first integration of smart contracts into insurance .
Igloo also provides products that Mehta says directly or indirectly benefit women, through a partnership with Philinsure in the Philippines. They have distributed more than 5 million policies that cover credit default, personal accident, family relief and natural disasters to women micro-entrepreneurs and their families. In Vietnam, more than 65% of agents who use Igloo’s Ignite digital platform to sell insurance policies are women, and they are also the main beneficiaries of the Weather Index Insurance product.
Insurtech distribution partners include telecoms like Telkomsel, AIS and Mobifone, and e-commerce platforms like Shopee, Lazada, Bukalapak and JD.ID. It also works with financial service providers, like AEON, Gcash and UnionBank, to sell policies to their customers, and provides products to insure goods in transit and protect fleet drivers through logistics platforms like Ahamove, Shippit, Loship and Locad.
Other Southeast Asian-based insurtechs keen to increase insurance penetration in the region and have raised major Series B funding rounds include Fuse and PasarPolis in Indonesia and Sunday in Thailand.
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