AIP News RoundUp – EP 44 – Theresa Blissing and Michael Waitze – You Have the Perfect InsurTech Storm


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His show has listeners in more than 170 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Theresa is the founder of the Asia InsurTech Podcast and a Thought Leader on innovation in insurance in Asia. She has worked for ten years for leading multinational insurers in Europe and Asia before turning to management consulting and venture building with the goal of transforming the insurance industry and helping shape its future in the region.

We are kicking off the second half of the year with more incredible news on InsurTech. Global investment in InsurTech is at an all-time high, a trend we have been following in Asia all year. The good news is that investment in established players is increasing and the number of early-stage deals. We are looking forward to seeing several new entries in the market. 

But InsurTech is not only about startups anymore. Many insurance incumbents have recognized the potential and have identified InsurTech startups as a way to digitize and gain access to new market segments and AIA is an excellent example. The largest life insurer in Asia is looking to expand in even more segments and takes a minority stake in Malaysian TNG Digital, the owner of popular Touch ‘n Go eWallet, acquires a 25% stake in China Post Life Insurance, and announces Vietnam’s first comprehensive exclusive insurance and digital platform partnership with leading e-commerce platform Tiki. And this was only July. We are looking forward to hearing more from AIA in this space. 

Another impressive player when it comes to InsurTech is Pacific Century Group’s Bolttech. The InsurTech startup achieved unicorn status following a $180 million series A funding round. With the new funding in its pocket, bolttech continues its aggressive expansion globally and acquires i-surance to help accelerate expansion across Europe. i-surance has been following a similar strategy as bolttech and partners with telecommunications providers, retailers, and other B2C partners to distribute insurance products. 

In other news, PolicyBazaar is still working on its planned IPO. YAS has launched small-ticket insurance BUS RYDE in a partnership with Generali and AXA has partnered with the Chinese health insurance platform QingSong.

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