Tuesday, 19 October 2021

GoBear raises $17 million to expand its financial services in Asia

GoBear raised $17 million from Walvis Participaties and Aegon N.V. to accelerate its transformation into a full-fledged financial services platform. 

“To truly improve financial health in Asia, we must address the approximately 300 million people in our markets that remain underserved by existing banking and insurance services. GoBear’s transformation is a response to this by tackling important local barriers to financial literacy and inclusion,” GoBear’s chief executive officer Adrian Chng said.

A significant portion of the business’ transformation was completed in 2019, and with this funding GoBear will be well-positioned to continue its expansion of the financial services platform across three growth pillars – an online financial supermarket, digital insurance brokerage and digital lending – all built on a strong foundation of alternative data.   

“Our latest fundraise is validation that our investors continue to see our potential for growth and that we’re on track to build a robust financial services platform that Asia really needs. Built on our strong foundation of alternative data, we can better assess and price risk, co-create better products, and ultimately improve financial inclusion,” Chng added. 

GoBear’s business model has proven to be resilient despite hurdles like COVID-19. Its financial services platform has been gross margin positive since the end of 2019, following growth across the insurance and lending verticals. 

In the last three months, its digital insurance brokerage segment saw a 52% increase in average order value and launched GoBear exclusives to better meet consumer needs – Go Travel, a whitelabel travel insurance product with Chubb, and Travel Buddy in partnership with Allianz. GoBear reinforced its digital lending business with the acquisition of AsiaKredit, an end-to-end digital consumer lender, and has registered a 50% year-on-year revenue growth from loan products. 

In line with the team’s vision for its next stage of growth, GoBear also strengthened its senior management by welcoming Valeriy Gasratov as chief information technology officer, Jinnee Lim as chief strategy officer in March and Mike Singh from AsiaKredit as chief lending officer in May. 

“It’s exciting to be part of a bold mission to improve the financial health of people in Asia. With our data and technology, GoBear is positioned to have a huge impact on the future of financial services in the region,” Valeriy Gasratov, who brings more than two decades of technical fintech and e-commerce expertise to the team, said.

GoBear first launched in 2015 as a metasearch engine. It has since grown to be a financial services platform that offers consumers a one-stop platform to search and buy the product they need. To date, GoBear has served over 55 million users searching for more than 2,000 personal finance products.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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