Japanese insurer Sumitomo picks up 25% stake in Singapore Life for $90m

Walter de Oude, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Life

Sumitomo Life, one of the largest life insurance companies in Japan, has invested $90 million to acquire a 25 per cent stake in insurance technology (insurtech) startup Singapore Life.

In an announcement, Singapore Life said the fresh funding will support its expansion plans in the city-state and beyond and accelerate its mobile-first ambitions.

Sumitomo Life’s investment brings Singapore Life’s total funding to date to $153 million.

“Now with the backing of Sumitomo Life in addition to our existing shareholders who recognise this, we will reshape the way that consumers experience financial services for the better and unlock the potential of money for everyone,” Singapore Life founder and CEO Walter de Oude said.

Singapore Life has previously secured funding from Aberdeen Standard Investments and Aflac Incorporated. In January, Aberdeen picked up a $13-million minority stake in Singapore Life, while Hong Kong-based asset manager Ion Pacific made a $7.3-million investment in May.

“We foresee rapid growth in the life insurance markets in Southeast Asia and Singapore in particular. We are excited to support Singapore Life’s growth by participating in the company as a long-term strategic investor,” according to Sumitomo Life president and CEO Masahiro Hashimoto.

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 announced plans to acquire the business portfolio of Zurich Life Singapore. Under the agreement, Singapore Life became responsible for all Zurich Life Singapore’s customers’ policies, totalling approximately S$6 billion of coverage for life, critical illness, and disability benefits.

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.