Indonesian insurtech firm Fuse raises up to $30m from Jack Ma’s family office, EV Growth, others

Photo: Reuters

Indonesian insurtech startup Fuse has closed a Series B round raising around $30 million, sources close to the deal told DealStreetAsia.

The round was joined by Chinese investors including the family office of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, while existing investor EV Growth is learnt to have re-upped in the round, according to two people familiar with the development.

DealStreetAsia had reported in April that Fuse was in talks with Jack Ma’s family office Blue Pool Capital and EV growth for a new funding round.

The funding marks a significant increase from Fuse’s last capital infusion in 2019 when it had secured “a couple of million dollars” in a Series A round led by EV Growth.

For Blue Pool Capital, the deal with Fuse marks its first bet in Southeast Asia. The Hong Kong-based firm, which was formed in 2015 and holds a portion of the wealth of Ma and his right-hand man Joe Tsai, has backed 11 companies, mostly based in the US, according to Crunchbase.

In an email response, Fuse founder and CEO Andy Yeung denied the development. EV Growth and Blue Pool Capital did not respond to DealStreetAsia queries.

Founded in 2017, Fuse offers general and health insurance products on its platform covering segments such as vehicles, property, travel, health, term life, critical illness, as well as digital insurance for gadgets, cargo liabilities, and also credit default insurance.

Fuse operates a partner model wherein it works with agents to sell insurance products to end customers; a microinsurance model through which it offers small-ticket insurance top-ups; a B2C insurance aggregator; and a financial institution model, where it teams up with multi-finance companies.

The deal comes as Fuse claims to be enjoying substantial growth. As of the end of last year, the company said it managed to grow as much as 250% year-on-year in terms of Gross Written Premiums (GWP).

Interest in insurtech

The insurtech segment, and the fintech sector in general, has witnessed notable deal traction lately.

In September last year, insurtech firm PasarPolis, based in Indonesia, announced a $54 million Series B funding round backed by financial services investors LeapFrog Investments and SBI Investment, VC firms Alpha JWC, and Intudo Ventures, as well as Chinese consumer electronics giant Xiaomi.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Qoala closed a $13.5 million Series A round led by Centauri Fund, a joint venture between funds from South Korea’s Kookmin Bank and Telkom Indonesia in April 2020.

The companies are seeking to tap the general insurance market in Indonesia, which, in terms of gross written premiums, is projected to grow from Rp63.87 trillion ($4.50 billion) in 2020 to Rp77.53 trillion ($5.17 billion) in 2025, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

In the first quarter of 2021, insurtech startups secured nine fundraisings from private equity and venture capital investors — the third-highest segment within the fintech sector, behind e-payments (13 deals), and wealthtech (15). A total of $30.6 million was raised from the nine insurtech deals, showed data from DealStreetAsia’s SE Asia Deal Review: Q1 2021 report.

Source: SE Asia Deal Review: Q1 2021 report

The fintech sector, as a whole, was the most sought-after by PE and VC investors in the March quarter of this year, clocking 65 deals and raising $1.15 billion.

In 2020, insurtech startups had raised a combined $92 million from nine deals, according to DealStreetAsia’s SE Asia Deal Review: Q4 2020 report.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.