“The insurance industry is ripe for disruption. It is hugely slow and there is a lot of money there. There is also big potential in Indonesia, where people don’t even understand why they need to buy insurance, which represents an upside.” – Tiang Lim Foo, Partner, Seedplus
“When you try to tackle the B2C market, you need infrastructure, such as cybersecurity or artificial intelligence to optimise your B2C operations. That’s where the B2B guys come in.” – Ambar Machfoedy, Managing Partner, Rekanext
It is an exciting time to work in the Fintech / Insurance and Lending space. There are so many startups with fantastic ideas in the market, many of which offering very creative products that catches the attention. In 2Q18, insurance technology investments totaled $527 million in 71 deals, according to a quarterly survey by Willis Tower Watson Securities (source: TechCrunch).
(6 November 2018 update: Interest article here on fintechnews.sg on Asia Insurtech)
Two really good (imo) established ones are: Klarna, as discussed earlier, which offers payment solutions (e.g. buy-now-pay-later) to customers and Root Insurance, which uses AI algorithm to offer car insurance and recently raised $100M to move into unicorn status.
One that caught my eye recently is CredoLab, a mobile-based credit scoring solution provider that in May 2018 closed a $1M financing round.
Who are they?
Founded in 2016, CredoLab is a pay-per-use smartphone-based fintech solution SaaS provider based in Singapore. It has a mobile app called CredoApp, which collects anonymised data (e.g. call history, contacts, SMS history, calendars, and storage) from one’s mobile phone and uses this to assess the financial health and status of a customer, helping financial service providers decide whether to extend a service to the customer.
It can be used as a standalone solution or an SDK that can be integrated into a client’s mobile app. They have provided >0.5M scorecards, have 6M app downloads (ARR as of October 2018, vs. 2.4M in 2017) and serve 40 clients across 12 countries in SEA, China, India, LatAm and Africa.
Led by Co-founder and CEO Peter Barcak, the team has solid experience in financial services, risk and technology. In October 2018 they hired Tarun Kumar Kalra as Global Head of Sales, who mentioned that his immediate focus would be on expanding their direct sales and channel reach to India, China, the Middle East, LatAm, and Africa.
What is their value proposition?
Their customer value proposition is to better determine financial health and status of a customer, hence improving delinquency and approval rates.
Talk of the rising middle class and unbanked in Southeast Asia has been around for a while and there have been many companies that look to take advantage of the increasing financial sophistication of the region through products like insurance and lending (e.g. asuransi88, CompareAsiaGroup, PolicyPal, Modalku, Taralite, Kredivo etc.). Many of these companies offer similar products and/or services and as with most financial products, I feel that being able to gain even the slightest edge over a competitor is important, with one way being able to better evaluate the credit worthiness of a potential customer, a service that CredoLab provides and will be appreciated.
To add, the ever-increasing penetration and usage of mobile phones in Southeast Asia due to relative ease of use and increasing use cases (think superapp like Grab and Go-jek) implies that there could potentially be a treasure trove of data stored on one’s smartphone that can be utilised for credit scoring. Sesame Credit (Ant Financial) has already been evaluating one’s credit score based on transactions on Alipay and publicly accessible records. The ability to harness the information captured in this data will likely be extremely valuable and CredoLab is positioned to do that.
What are their recent developments?
In 2018, they entered the lead sourcing business in partnership with Visa, Experian and GoBear.
In Nov 2018, it launched Easy Apply, a credit card or loan application process with smart credit scoring, in partnership with GoBear. The app utilises machine learning to read application documents uploaded and optical character recognition to pre-fill forms, making the application easier and faster. It generates a digital scorecard at-application, based on the applicant’s digital footprint (anonymised smartphone data), which is sent to banks.