SEA Digest: SG’s Goldbell acquires BlueSG; Indonesia’s PasarPolis raises $5m from IFC

A BlueSG electric car-sharing vehicle is parked at a charging station in a public housing estate in Singapore December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Singapore’s Goldbell has officially announced the proposed acquisition of BlueSG, while Indonesian insurtech PasarPolis has secured $5 million in equity investment from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

Goldbell confirms acquisition of BlueSG

Singapore’s transport and engineering group Goldbell has officially announced the acquisition of BlueSG, a leading player in the electric vehicle car-sharing market in the city-state. The deal is expected to be completed before August 2021.

According to Goldbell, the acquisition will accelerate BlueSG’s development in its next phase of growth, furthering Goldbell’s commitment to fulfilling its vision of becoming a leader in the future mobility landscape for smart cities.

Goldbell’s plan is to expand its business and technical capabilities with investments of more than S$70 million ($52 million) over the next five years. This will include injecting new vehicles into its fleet, the establishment of an R&D centre with a full-fledged BlueSG technology team and the development of new mobility algorithms, analytics, and technologies.

The acquisition was first reported by The Straits Times on February 1.

Launched in the year of 2017, BlueSG offers a new smart and affordable mobility option to all Singaporeans, complementing public transport, according to its website. Goldbell Group is Singapore’s largest player in the leasing and distribution of commercial and industrial vehicles.

The company has been providing industry-wide transport and logistic solutions — passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as material handling equipment — for nearly four decades.

PasarPolis raises $5m from IFC

Indonesian insurtech PasarPolis has secured $5 million in equity investment from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

The investment aims to develop the infrastructure required to connect insurers, digital platforms, and customers unserved by the traditional insurance sector. The corpus will also be used by the insurtech platform to expand its international network, range of products, and develop its technology and cost-efficient microinsurance products that are embedded within digital transactions.

Currently, PasarPolis has partnerships with 25 of Indonesia’s digital platforms, including ride-hailing giant GoJek, the e-commerce marketplace Tokopedia, fintech lender Kredivo, and travel apps Pegipegi and Bukalapak.

The firm claims to have issued over 775 million insurance policies in Indonesia. It is addressing the insurance issues in the fourth most populous country in the world, where almost 78 million Indonesians work in the informal economy and tens of millions fall outside of social welfare frameworks. 

“To date, the insurance gap and unequal distribution of insurance remains major challenges in Indonesia. Through the adoption of technology, we will continue to bridge the gap for people who previously had difficulty accessing these important insurance services,” said PasarPolis founder and CEO Cleosent Randing.

Established in 2016, PasarPolis is backed by Xiaomi, Gojek’s Go-Venture, Intudo Ventures, Alpha JWC, and SBI Investment. It claimed to provide insurance protection to 30 million Indonesians – 90% of whom are first-time policyholders, developing affordable microinsurance products that match with the people’s needs.

About 40% of PasarPolis policyholders work in the informal sector, as online motorcycle and taxi drivers, couriers, and as part of the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector.

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.