Fintech startup Singapore Life acquires prepaid card brand Canvas

Singapore Life
Along with the acquisition, former Yolopay partner Liam McCance has joined Singapore Life as chief marketing officer and head of its new fintech venture division.

Insurance technology (insurtech) startup Singapore Life has acquired prepaid Visa card brand Canvas from local payments startup Yolopay as part of the insurer’s continued expansion in the financial services space.

A Business Times report pegged the deal value at less than S$2 million ($1.5 million).

The Canvas app, which will be available mid-2019 on Android and iOS devices, provides a cashless method for parents to issue pocket money and manage spending limits via a prepaid Visa card. Singapore Life is reportedly looking at launching the app for public transport, considering teenagers spent nearly 70 per cent of their money on travel-related activities.

“Along with our increasing number of wealth-centric product verticals, Canvas is a great addition to the Singapore Life family and adds payment functionality to our core offerings,” said Singapore Life founder and CEO Walter de Oude. 

Along with the acquisition, former Yolopay partner Liam McCance has joined Singapore Life as chief marketing officer and head of its new fintech venture division.

Canvas was founded in 2014 by fintech entrepreneur Ravi Patel, who started Singapore’s first standalone digital bank YoloPay. He previously worked for Credit Suisse and Barclays, helping them grow their businesses across Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

The acquisition comes about a month after Singapore Life raised $13 million in a venture round backed by Aberdeen Standard Investments. The investment follows US-based insurance company Aflac’s $20-million investment in the Singapore-based insurtech startup in January.

Singapore Life is the first local independent life insurance company fully licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore since 1970. Last year, Singapore Life had acquired the business portfolio of Zurich Life Singapore. As part of the deal, Singapore Life became responsible for all Zurich Life Singapore’s customers’ policies, totalling approximately S$6 billion ($4.4 billion) of coverage for life, critical illness, and disability benefits.

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