BIMA, an insurance technology (insurtech) firm that provides microinsurance to underserved families in emerging markets, has closed $16.8 million from Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata).
Axiata Digital replaces existing shareholders’ commitment for the second instalment of a C-series fundraising completed in June 2015. To date, BIMA has raised $75 million in equity funding.
BIMA founder and CEO Gustaf Agartson said, “Asia is a key region for BIMA; it is home to some of our most successful and profitable markets as well as the consumers who will drive the digital services revolution. Axiata Digital’s investment will ensure that BIMA continues to lead the industry and capitalises on the significant opportunity in Asia.”
The Asian telecom corporation, which has a presence in 10 countries and has over 320 million customers across the region, already works with BIMA as a partner in several markets. This investment will deepen the integration between BIMA and Axiata while opening up new high-growth markets across Asia.
According to a media release, an example of the collaboration between BIMA and Axiata Digital has seen an Axiata subsidiary, Smart, become the largest provider of life insurance in Cambodia. At end 2016, approximately 3 million Axiata customers in three of its operating companies are covered by mobile insurance policies.
Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO of Axiata Digital, said, “Investing in BIMA is a strategic move that positions Axiata Digital and Axiata mobile operating companies to shape the future of Digital Services in Asia. As a long-term partner, we recognise the strength of BIMA’s technology and model, and have seen its growth trajectory.”
The deal comes at a time when telecom firms are placing more private market bets in an effort to keep ahead of technological disruption, tap a pipeline of new products and services and expand their offerings.