Line and Go-Jek invest in insurance startups. This week in insurance tech.
One of the most frequent topics of conversation at our recent Future of Fintech Conference was Ant Financial. At $150 billion, Ant’s latest valuation now surpasses the market caps of many leading global banks.
Last month, China Pacific Life Insurance invested $240M into Ant with plans to jointly develop a series of tax-deferred pension insurance products and services on Alipay. Tencent is also experimenting with jointly developing one-off insurance products with single insurers and distributing them on its WeChat app. Its latest is an annual flight accident insurance product in partnership with MetLife China.
While China’s fintech giants command a lot of attention, what’s less talked about are platforms around the world that have been inspired to build out their own digital finance units. Let’s call them XYZ Financials. Like Ant, the plan is to expand from mobile payments and digital wallets into a broader suite of financial services.
Three examples are messaging app Line in Japan, e-commerce marketplace MercadoLibre in South America, and on-demand apps Grab and Go-Jek in Southeast Asia. In recent weeks, Line and Go-Jek both made investments in insurance startups – Line in a smartphone insurance app JustInCase and Go-Jek in online insurance portal PasarPolis, which runs Go-Jek’s driver insurance program Go Protect.
Meanwhile, MercadoLibre is also busy applying lessons from Ant’s playbook. It recently launched a big campaign to boost QR payment adoption and plans to launch an investment product called Mercado Fondo for Argentinians to invest in high-yielding, short-term securities.
In just 10 years, Ant Financial has transformed from an online payments service into a mobile ecosystem, in which 100M+ users use all five of Ant’s financial services functions (payments, wealth management, lending, insurance, and credit scoring).
Worth keeping an eye on how the new XYZ Financials develop over time.
Post-AXA announcement, XL stays active
The $15.3B acquisition of XL Catlin will turn AXA into the third-largest specialty writer of insurance in the world. While the transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018, it hasn’t stopped XL from remaining active on the partnership and investment front.
While many of these were likely in the works before AXA’s announcement, recent deals are focused on risk analytics that aim to bring better visibility into risks across different lines (cyber, property, marine, construction).