Hong Kong insurtech startup OneDegree bags $13m in fresh funding

Light displays sit on buildings on the city skyline ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's arrival in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

OneDegree, a Hong Kong-based insurance technology startup, has raised a HK$100 million ($13 million) Series A funding from a group of over 10 investors, the company said in a release.

The deal is currently subject to regulatory approval and therefore the identity of the investors could not be disclosed, the company told DEALSTREETASIA.

The funding, which also comes with an additional HK$100 million for future financial support at the company’s option, represents the largest ever fundraising round for a pre-revenue insurtech startup in Hong Kong.

Founded in 2016, OneDegree is a technology company that aims to be the next-generation insurance industry leader in Asia. It has built a highly scalable end-to-end digital insurance platform with the flexibility to support all personal-line general insurance and health insurance products.

The company, which is a graduate of the Cyberport Incubation Programme, now collaborates with global leaders in insurance and health sectors to deliver new technology and user experience.

The amount raised in the Series A funding will be used to further advance OneDegree’s technology development, expand product portfolio, support customer acquisition, and serve as the risk capital for its pending insurance operation.

The company is also in the process of obtaining authorization to operate as a digital insurer in Hong Kong under the Insurance Authority’s “Fast Track” scheme launched last September.

“We’re taking on a tall task by modernizing an industry with large incumbent players, and building a highly flexible and scalable insurance technology platform from scratch. We’re on the cusp of a new era, and our end goal is to empower customers with a smooth and seamless experience,” OneDegree Co-Founder Alvin Kwock said.

The investment follows other notable deals in the insurtech space by regional investors in the last couple of months. In July, Hong Kong-headquartered venture capital firm Arbor Ventures has led a $12-million funding round for Israeli commercial insurance data platform Planck Re. Meanwhile in Indonesia, three of the country’s unicorns, Go-Jek, Traveloka and Tokopedia, have recently announced an investment in local insurance technology (insurtech) startup Pasarpolis.

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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.