Insurance tech activity and "coopetition" by Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent has quickened substantially in 2015.
Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and Rakuten total a whopping $478B in aggregate public market cap. And over the past several years, all four Asian tech giants have made major inroads into the multi-trillion dollar insurance industry by way of partnerships, joint ventures, investments, and acquisitions.
Rakuten, for example, acquired AIRIO Life Insurance in September 2012, which it has since rebranded Rakuten Life Insurance Co. More recently, Baidu teamed up with Allianz and Hillhouse Capital to launch Bai’an Insurance, a new “scenario-based” insurer offering protection on wide range of insurable situations including dining, takeout delivery, travel, and ticketing. Alibaba and Tencent — which overlapped on their first US startup investment to Snapchat in March 2015 — were initial investors in online property & casualty insurer Zhong An Insurance.
The chart below highlights the rapid expansion of Asian Internet giants into the insurance sector over the past four years across lines including P&C, life, and health insurance. Insurance tech activity and coopetition by Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, in particular, has picked up in 2015.
Below is a roundup of major partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions by Alibaba, Baidu, Rakuten, and Tencent in the insurance space since 2012.
|Asia Internet Giant||JV/Partner/Acquisition/Investment||Date||Description|
|Rakuten||AIRIO Life Insurance||Sep-12||After launching online medical insurance in 2011, Rakuten bought Airio Life Insurance Company, which it promptly rebranded as Rakuten Life in 2013.|
|Alibaba / Tencent||Zhong An Insurance||Feb-13||Alibaba teamed up with Tencent and Ping An to launch online-only P&C insurer Zhong An.|
|Tencent||Taikang Life||Mar-14||Tencent collaborated with Taikang Life to offer WeChat users health insurance protection.|
|Alibaba / Tencent||Ping An Insurance||Dec-14||Pony Ma of Tencent and Jack Ma of Alibaba were among a group of investors purchasing a $4.7B stake in Ping An Insurance.|
|Baidu||Ping An Insurance||Jan-15||Baidu teamed up with Launch Tech and Ping An to launch vehicle telematics device Golo, with Ping An determining the vehicle insurance rate.|
|Alibaba / Tencent||Zhong An Insurance||Jun-15||Alibaba and Tencent-backed Zhong An raised $931M from investors including Morgan Stanley, CDH Investments, and China International Capital Corp.|
|Alibaba||eBaoTech||Jul-15||eBaoTech, a software provider for the life and P&C insurance industries, partnered with Alibaba to launch an insurance cloud infrastructure platform.|
|Alibaba||CPIC Allianz||Jul-15||Alibaba Health partnered with CPIC Allianz Health Insurance to promote health reform policies and explore commercial insurance services.|
|Tencent||CITIC Guoan Group||Sep-15||A joint-venture with state-run CITIC Guoan to set up an online life insurance firm.|
|Alibaba||Cathay Insurance||Sep-15||Alibaba’s Ant Financial agreed to invest $188M for 60% of China insurance firm Cathay Insurance, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Cathay Financial.|
|Paytm (Alibaba)||ICICI Prudential, HDFC Ergo, Religare Health Insurance||Nov-15||Indian mobile wallet Paytm partnered with insurance firms to facilitate cashless payment of renewal premiums. Alibaba previously took a 25% stake in Paytm owner One97 in February 2015.|
|Webank (Tencent)||Guohua Life Insurance||Nov-15||Tencent-backed online bank Webank launched its first insurance product with Guohua Life Insurance. Webank is 30% owned by Tencent.|
|Baidu||Allianz, Hillhouse Capital||Nov-15||Baidu partnered with Hillhouse Capital and Allianz to launch Bai’An Insurance, a new “scenario-based” insurer for situations including ticketing and takeout delivery.|
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