Singapore-based Igloo, an insurtech focused on underserved communities in Southeast Asia, has announced a $27 million Series B raise, bringing the round total to $46 million. The first round of $19 million was announced in March and is led by Cathay Creative with funding from ACA and returning investors.
The new round was led by the Insurreliance Investment Fund II, announced by German development bank KfW for the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and managed by impact investor BlueOrchard. Other leading investors were Women’s World Bank Asset Management (WAM), Finfund, La Maison and return investors Cathay Innovation.
Igloo develops its insurance products and then partners with insurers who write their policies. Igloo currently works with 20 international, regional and local insurers across Southeast Asia. It distributes its insurance products in partnership with more than 55 companies in 7 countries. It now offers 15 products in Vietnam, including policies for gig workers, players, cars and farmers, and says it has facilitated more than 300 million policies since 2019 and increased gross written premiums 30-fold.
Co-founder and CEO Raunak Mehta told TechCrunch that Igloo decided to raise a Series B extension after investor interest. The extension will give the startup a multi-year lease and will be used for hiring, infrastructure and merger and acquisition opportunities.
Insurance penetration rates are low in most of Southeast Asia, with less than $100 per capita in all of Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, Mehta said. Igloo was created to make insurance more affordable and tailored to the needs of communities in Southeast Asia. Igloo distributes insurance products ranging from $2 cents for a phone screen protector to $600 for comprehensive motor insurance.
Igloo provides a technology stack for its products across Southeast Asia, which Mehta says covers the entire insurance value chain, from product discovery to claims, on one platform. This makes it faster to market the policies they distribute, and significantly reduces claims processing costs.
Mehta says more than 80% of claims are currently managed in an automated or semi-automated manner, and big data management with machine learning and artificial intelligence has enabled it to reduce anti-choice risks, false positives and fraudulent claims. By lowering the cost of managing claims, Igloo is able to offer lower premiums to customers.
Igloo’s insurance policies, sold through its partnership with Foodpanda in Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, and Lozi and Ahamov in Vietnam, cover drivers of the gig economy. Foodpanda’s policy, called Pandacare, includes motor, personal accident and hospital income protection for employees.
Another, more recent one, is a weather index insurance product in Vietnam. The policy uses blockchain-backed smart contracts and automatically schedules payments for crop losses based on weather and other natural events using pre-assigned values. Igloo claims that weather index insurance is Vietnam’s first parametric insurance (or a policy that agrees to make pre-agreed payments based on trigger events such as floods) and is the first to integrate smart contracts into insurance.
Igloo has partnered with Philinsure in the Philippines, which Mehta says will directly and indirectly benefit women. They have distributed more than 5 million policies covering credit default, personal accident, family relief and natural calamities to young women and their families. More than 65% of agents using Igloo Ignite’s digital platform to sell insurance policies in Vietnam are women, and they are the main users of the Weather Index insurance product.
Its insurance distribution partners include telecoms such as Telkomcel, AIS and Mobiphone 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 customers, and offers products to logistics platforms such as Ahamov, Shipit, LoShip and Lockad to insure goods in transit and protect pilots.
Other Southeast Asia-based insurtechs looking to increase insurance coverage in the region and have raised large Series B rounds include Indonesia’s Fuse and Pasarpolis and Thailand’s Sunday.