Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, Malaysian insurtech company PolicyStreet has successfully raised USD 1.8 million (MYR 7.8 million) in a Series A round, marking the largest funds to be raised from an equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform in Malaysia.
In the midst of the pandemic, it had opened its fundraising campaign to the angel network on ECF platform PitchIN and closed it early after achieving more than 500% of the minimum requirement.
According to co-founder and CEO Yen Ming, they’re also the first insurtech company to raise funds on an ECF platform, and they believe it was their performance and business that attracted investors.
“We’ve put this down due to their commitment to making themselves available for investors by utilising virtual platforms to reach out to the investors and a clear vision of where they’d like to take PolicyStreet to,” said Sam Shafie, CEO of PitchIN.
Participation included a government co-investment fund and both international and local investors, some of which are KK Fund (who led this round and is an existing investor of the company) and Spiral Ventures.
Using these funds, PolicyStreet aims to sharpen its technological capabilities.
“We have and are currently developing our own proprietary API where we connect with various insurers to enable consumers to get real-time pricing and product offerings from various insurers,” said CEO Yen Ming.
They will also channel funds into increasing sales and marketing activities, and expanding into new markets which include Indochina and Indonesia in the near future.
When the CEO fell off a tree…
PolicyStreet was founded in January 2017 by Yen Ming, Wilson Beh and Winnie Chua, and the inspiration came after Yen Ming fell out of a tree and injured himself.
Thanks to his insurance, however, he was able to be cared for in a great facility. This only served to highlight the importance of insurance to him.
Thus, he and his team set out to make insurance more affordable, simpler, and transparent.
Through its platform, consumers and businesses are able to choose and purchase insurance policies based on their needs and requirements.
In 2019, it was the only local insurtech company to obtain the Financial Adviser and Islamic Financial Adviser approval from the Central Bank of Malaysia, enabling it to work with over 35 insurers to offer more than 1,000 insurance products.
Over 40,000 policies sold in the first two months of 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Yen Ming shared that they saw an increase in demand for selected insurance categories, namely for the medical ones.
In Q1 alone, their sales showed more than 500% year-on-year growth, and it’s a continuous trend, he added. 2 months into 2020, they had sold over 40,000 policies.
“COVID-19 has increased the awareness and need to have an adequate insurance protection which has accelerated the business demand for PolicyStreet. I am looking forward to seeing higher growth in their business as they expand in the region,” Koichi Saito, General Partner of KK Fund said in the press release.
Across the globe, it appears to be a trend that insurtech companies are receiving funding during the crisis, with Jakarta based Qoala and Singapore based Axinan as two examples.
This article was first published by Vulcan Post.