Singapore fintech firm secures $17M to build out platform

Raking in $17 million in its latest fund raising, GoBear will be looking to build up a "full-fledged financial services platform" and tap an estimated base of 300 million in the region who remain underserved by existing market offerings.

GoBear has secured $17 million in funds that it says will drive its efforts to become a "full-fledged financial services platform". It plans to focus on three growth areas, namely, online financial supermarket, digital insurance brokerage, and digital lending. 

Launched in Singapore in 2015, the fintech firm now operates in six other markets in the region including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its online platform offers more than 2,000 personal financial products encompassing insurance, banking, and lending services, and has served more than 55 million users. 

Dutch VC firm Walvis Participaties and life insurance and asset management company Aegon N.V. contributed in the latest funding round. 

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Citing figures from a Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company study, GoBear CEO Adrian Chng said an estimated 300 million people in the markets his company targeted remained underserved by existing banking and insurance services. GoBear's transformation strategy aimed to address local barriers to financial literacy and inclusion, Chng said. 

The company had started out as a metasearch engine, before expanding into a financial services platform on which consumers could search and purchase products they needed. 

Having completed the bulk of its business transformation last year, GoBear said it would tap the new funds to build out its platform across three growth areas: online financial supermarket, digital insurance brokerage, and digital lending. Chng added that its unique datasets enabled the company to better assess risk as well as co-create better products with its partners.

According to GoBear, its digital insurance brokerage services grew 52% in average order value over the last three months. The product segment recently saw the introduction of Go Travel, a white-label travel insurance product launched with Chubb, as well as Travel Buddy, offered in partnership with Allianz. 

GoBear also boosted its digital lending business with the acquisition of AsiaKredit and saw a 50% year-on-year revenue growth from its loan products. 

The Singapore government earlier this month unveiled a SG$6 million ($3.44 million) grant to help fintech companies cope with the pandemic, enabling them to tap the funds to cover their day-to-day expenses as well as create proof of concepts. This was in addition to a SG$125 million ($71.62 million) support package that was announced last month to help the local financial services industry and fintech firms boost their digital capabilities.

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