November started with some exciting blockchain news. Singlife Philippines adopts Galileo’s blockchain solution as their insurance core policy administration system. After years of proof-of-concept projects, this is Galileo’s first implementation and possibly the first time ever a blockchain platform is used by an insurer as a core system. Blockchain platforms promise to lower admin costs substantially and are therefore a great fit for low-cost products. Singlife will use Galileo’s platform in conjunction with e-wallet provider G-Cash to offer micro-insurance policies.
Another company launching a new micro-insurance product is Chubb in partnership with international money transfer service Pay2Home. Similar to the concept developed by AXA, Democrance and Hello Paisa in Dubai, Chubb and Pay2Home are targeting foreign low-wage workers in Singapore sending money back home. The product includes a freemium version offering a free 30-day plan for users when they make a remittance of at least S$100. The question that remains is if they will be successful converting users from freemium to premium.
November has seen some interesting InsurTech fundings so far. Indian startup Fedo collected $1Mn in Pre-Series A led by Unicorn Ventures. Fedo focuses on AI providing insights into the health risks of an individual. While this is a useful tool to fight fraud, it raises the question if it can be used for anti-selection and discrimination. In Hong Kong, InsurTech Coherent raises US$14 Million in Series A Funding led by Cathay Innovation. Coherent was founded by the former CIO of ManuLife Hong Kong and is focused on developing backend solutions for insurance incumbents.
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