Japan’s largest e-commerce retailer, Rakuten, acquired P&C insurer Asahi Fire & Marine for $415M to expand its portfolio of financial services. Recall Rakuten earlier acquired AIRIO Life Insurance in 2013 to enter the life insurance business.
Meanwhile, Japan’s biggest messaging service, Line, is reportedly expanding into insurance with a focus on “resale, centered initially on the Japanese market where commissions are high.”
Line isn’t the only messaging giant in Asia wading into the insurance industry.
Tencent’s WeSure launched last month to offer short-term health insurance policies covering 100 specific illnesses to its user base of over 490M in China. The offering was launched in partnership with Taikang Online.
One of the most compelling aspects of WeSure is its effort to leverage social and gamification to expand its policyholder base. Users receive 1 yuan of “encouragement gold” by walking 8,000 steps a day (up to 100 yuan per day) and a free tooth cleaning coupon for signing up.
Lastly in India, Paytm Mall partnered with Fairfax Financial-backed general insurance startup Digit Insurance to offer smartphone protection at the point of sale. Digit has reportedly sold over 20,000 policies and settled over 100 claims since it launched late last November.
Willis Towers Watson, in partnership with CB Insights, released its latest quarterly insurance tech briefing. The briefing includes the latest list of insurance startup investments, strategic investments by (re)insurers, and partnerships through Q4 2017. Get a copy of the 66-page report here.