Southeast Asia insurtech Igloo raises its Series B to US$46 million

Igloo, a Singapore-based insurance company focused on underserved communities in Southeast Asia, announced that it has raised a $27 million Series B extension, bringing its total round to $46 million. The first tranche of $19 million was announced in March and was led by Cathay innovation with the participation of ACA and returning investors OpenSpace.

The latest round was led by the investment fund InsuResilience II, launched by the German development bank KfW for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and managed by the impact investor BlueOrchard. Other major investors included Women’s World Banking Asset Management (WAM), FinnFund, La Maison and returning investors Cathay Innovation.

Igloo develops its own insurance products and then works with the insurance companies that underwrite their policies. Igloo currently works with 20 global, regional and local insurance companies across Southeast Asia. It distributes its insurance products through partnerships and works with more than 55 companies in 7 countries. It now offers 15 products, including policies for gig workers, gamers, autos and farmers in Vietnam, and says it has facilitated more than 300 million policies and grown gross written premiums 30 times since 2019.

Co-founder and CEO Raunak Mehta told Root Devices that Igloo decided to expand the Series B due to interest from investors after the first tranche of funding. The expansion will give the startup a multi-year runway and will be used for recruiting, infrastructure and M&A opportunities.

Insurance penetration rates in much of Southeast Asia are low, less than US$100 per capita in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, Mehta said. Igloo was created to make insurance more accessible and relevant to the needs of communities in Southeast Asia. Igloo distributes insurance products ranging from $2 cents for a phone screen protector to $600 for motor vehicle comprehensive insurance.

Igloo provides a technology suite for its products across Southeast Asia, which Mehta says means the entire insurance value chain, from product discovery to claims, is available on one platform. In this way, it can bring the policies it distributes to the market faster and significantly reduce the operational costs of receivables.

Mehta said that more than 80% of claims are currently managed in an automated or semi-automated manner and that the management of big data, along with machine learning and artificial intelligence, has made it possible to reduce the risks of anti-selection, false positives and fraudulent claims. By reducing claims management costs, Igloo is able to offer lower premiums to customers.

An example of Igloo’s insurance policies include insurance policies for large business drivers, which it sells through its partnership with Foodpanda in Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, and Lozi and Ahamov in Vietnam. Its policy for Foodpanda, called PandaCare, includes protection of workers’ income in the event of road 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 payouts using pre-assigned values ​​for crop losses caused by weather and other natural events. Igloo says Weather Index Insurance is Vietnam’s first parametric insurance (or a policy that agrees to pre-agreed payouts based on trigger events such as a flood) and its first integration of smart contracts into insurance.

Igloo also offers products that Mehta says directly or indirectly benefit women through a partnership with Philinsure in the Philippines. They distributed more than 5 million policies to micro-entrepreneurs and their families, covering credit default, personal accidents, family assistance and natural disaster support. In Vietnam, more than 65% of agents using Igloo’s digital platform Ignite to sell insurance policies are women, and they are also the main beneficiaries of the Weather Index insurance product.

Insurtech’s distribution partners include telcos such as Telkomsel, AIS and Mobifone, and e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Lazada, Bukalapak and JD.ID. It also works with financial service providers such as AEON, Gcash and UnionBank to sell policies to their customer base and provides products to insure goods in transit and protect fleet drivers through logistics platforms such as Ahamove, Shippit, Loship and Locad.

Other Southeast Asian-based insurers looking to increase insurance penetration in the region and have closed large Series Bs include Indonesia’s Fuse and PasarPolis and Thailand’s Sunday.

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