Singapore’s fintech startup GoBear nets $17m from existing investors

Singapore-based fintech firm GoBear has snapped up a $17 million funding from its existing Dutch investors – venture capital firm Walvis Participaties and insurance group Aegon – to accelerate its transformation into a full-fledged financial services platform.

GoBear, which started out as an insurance comparison site, plans to use the latest funding to rev up its online financial marketplace, digital insurance brokerage and digital lending.

“Built on our strong foundation of alternative data, we can better assess and price risk, co-create better products, and ultimately improve financial inclusion,” said Adrian Chng, CEO at GoBear. Around 300 million people in Southeast Asia are still underserved by existing banking and insurance services, he added.

With the latest investment, the total funding raised by GoBear stands at $97 million.

The company made headlines a few weeks ago when it acquired consumer lender AsiaKredit to reinforce its digital lending business that reportedly clocked a 50 per cent year-on-year revenue growth from loan products.

According to GoBear, its growth in the insurance and lending verticals has propelled the entire business to be gross margin positive since the end of 2019.

In the last three months, its digital insurance brokerage segment saw a 52 per cent increase in average order value. The company has also launched new insurance products in partnership with Chubb and Allianz.

GoBear has recently strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Valeriy Gasratov as chief information technology officer, Jinnee Lim as chief strategy officer, and Mike Singh from AsiaKredit as chief lending officer.

Meanwhile, earlier last year, two of its co-founders – chief technology officer Ivonne Bojoh and chief commercial officer Marnix Zwart – resigned.

Launched in 2015, GoBear claims to have doled out over 2,000 personal finance products to over 55 million users across its markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

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.