保险科技公司Singapore Life 4月27日宣布获5000万美元A轮融资。
中国信贷（CCFH）旗下全资附属公司Impact Capital Holdings为本轮融资参投方之一。CCFH主要通过网络和移动端，为中国和亚洲的中小型企业、商家和个人提供全天候的在线金融服务。
香港证券及期货交易相关文件表示，借助这轮融资，Impact Capital将出资2130万美元，拟持有新加坡寿险33.8%的股份。这轮融资预计将于今年6月底左右完成，目前正在等待新加坡金融监管局（Monetary Authority of Singapore，MAS）的认证以及各方的同意。
本轮融资是新加坡以及东南亚近年来最大的一次A轮融资。Tech in Asia数据显示，2016年未公开的A轮融资的中位数为300万美元。之前，新加坡获大规模A轮融资的公司是大数据创企Antuit（2015年，5600万美元）以及电商网Qoo10（2015年，8200万美元）。
相对而言，这家公司的创始人兼首席执行官Walter de Oude并不神秘。他是一位资深保险计算员，曾在汇丰保险（HSBC Insurance）就职七年，担任了4年的首席执政官。Walter称其任职期间，汇丰银行在新加坡的市场占有率翻了三倍。
Walter在一份声明中称：“中国信贷与IPGL支持Singapore Life长期战略，促成了技术型企业成功佳例。有这些实例雄厚的国际股东支持，证明了其对Singapore Life战略、对新加坡作为金融中心及全球投资聚集地的信心。
Insurtech firm Singapore Life announced today it has raised a blockbuster US$50 million for its series A round.
Investors include Impact Capital Holdings, a subsidiary of Credit China Fintech Holdings. CCFH is a Hong Kong-listed group “with a focus on providing 24/7 online financial services to SMEs, merchants, and individuals in China and Asia through internet and mobile solutions.”
According to a filing with the Hong Kong securities and futures exchange, Impact Capital will hold 33.8 percent of shares issued by Singapore Life, for an investment of US$21.3 million. The investment is expected to be completed by or after end of June 2017, pending approval by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and agreement from all the parties involved.
UK-based investor IPGL also participated.
The investment is one of the largest series A fundraises in Singapore and Southeast Asia in recent years. According to the Tech in Asia database, the median size for disclosed series A deals in 2016 was around US$3 million. Examples of other sizeable series A investments in Singapore include big data startup Antuit’s US$56 million fundraise and ecommerce website Qoo10’s US$82 million round in 2015.
If you’re wondering what Singapore Life is, you’re not alone.
The private company claims to “provide state-of-the-art, long-term life and savings solutions for customers that value simplicity, safety, and security.” Its website doesn’t offer much information about its products or how it’s using technology to achieve its goals, even though the firm was founded in 2014.
A spokesperson says more details will be “shared later,” after approval from local authorities. According to the HKEX report, Singapore Life has applied to MAS for a direct life insurance license.
Hands on the wheel
The only insight into the company is its founder and CEO, Walter de Oude. An experienced actuary, he worked for HSBC Insurance for seven years, spending four of those as CEO. He claims to have tripled the company’s market share in Singapore during that time.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Walter believes “a new age for insurance is dawning. The life insurance market of the future will be one of significantly greater efficiency and customer empowerment than what exists today.”
“Credit China FinTech and IPGL bring the best of technology-led business success in support of Singapore Life’s long term strategy,” he says in a statement. “Having the support of these strong international shareholders attests to the strong confidence in Singapore Life’s strategy, and in Singapore as a financial center and a destination for global investment.”
Insurance is the next big opportunity in fintech for many startups. Young companies like PolicyPal and Insurance Market are helping with insurance product discovery, purchase, and management with the blessings of MAS. Other companies, like Biofourmis, are exploring data analytics solutions to enable more flexible and customizable insurance products.
Established insurance companies are getting on board as well. Providers like AIA, MetLife, and NTUC Income all have accelerator programs or innovation centers in Singapore, inviting startups to develop new products and services.