Indonesia’s Qoala raises US$13.5mil Series A led by Centauri Fund
By Digital News Asia April 28, 2020
- Largest amount raised by Insurtech from Indonesia - led by US$150mil Centauri Fund
- Processed 2 mil policies per month, up from 7k per month at launch in March 2019
Qoala, a Southeast Asian Insurtech startup founded by Harshet Lunani and Tommy Martin in Indonesia, today announced its successful US$13.5 million Series A.
The round was led by Centauri Fund - a JV between funds from South Korea’s Kookmin Bank and Telkom Indonesia. New investors in the round included Sequoia India, Flourish Ventures, Kookmin Bank Investments, Mirae Asset Venture Investment and Mirae Asset Sekuritas, with participation from existing investors, MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia, MDI Ventures, Surge, SeedPlus and Bank Central Asia’s Central Capital Ventura.
Harshet Lunani, Founder and CEO at Qoala, said: “As a relatively new entrant in the space we are delighted to partner with leading global investors whose thought leadership as well as operational experience will allow us to maintain our innovative edge. This truly demonstrates the ecosystem’s belief in what Qoala is trying to achieve – humanizing insurance and making it accessible and affordable to all.”
Kenneth Li, Managing Partner, Centauri Fund, said: “Our investment into Qoala was led by our conviction of the company’s multi-channel approach to Indonesia’s untapped insurance industry. Our thesis identified that Indonesia has a considerably low gross written premium (GWP) to GDP ratio in comparison to other emerging countries, coupled with the large growing middle class in need of more security in their financial planning which allows immense potential for the insurance sector to take off in Indonesia through innovative propositions.
“Qoala is a prime example of our thesis on the sector, which is why we decided to lead the Series A round through the Centauri Fund (KB-MDI partnership fund) as the fund’s first investment.”
Sharing his thoughts on the investment, Pieter Kemps, Principal, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore, says, “We have been lucky to partner with Qoala, witnessing their rapid growth from the early days. The strength of their team and technology has enabled them to rapidly launch new products, insurance integrations and distribution partnerships. All geared towards lowering the barrier to insurance adoption in Indonesia with simple, affordable solutions that can be accessed with little to no friction – something that was missing in Indonesia so far. We believe this funding will help Qoala further establish itself as a leading insurtech player in Indonesia and beyond.”
Headquartered out of Jakarta, Indonesia, Qoala’s founding vision is to provide customers with a multi-channel insurance solution. The startup has two business models:
- Working with large scale platform partners to drive awareness about insurance with consumers due to low penetration of insurance in Indonesia.
- Supporting the traditional offline insurance channels, which currently contributes 99% of insurance premiums, to become digitally enabled through Qoala’s app for agents/brokers; and supporting creation of new intermediaries in the future.
Just over a year after launch, Qoala has processes over 2 million policies per month, up from 7,000 policies in March 2019, and has diversified its partnership portfolio to serve five core industries: travel, fintech, consumables, logistics, and employee benefits.
“The funding will allow us to invest further into technology, people and brand to fuel our multi-channel strategy, enabling us to better serve our customers, platform partners, and insurers,” said Tommy Martin, cofounder of Qoala.
Tommy notes that the present pandemic crisis has resulted in increased demand for innovative and scalable services to support the industry as physical contact restrictions are impacting traditional offline sales of insurance.
“We have also accelerated our new Covid-19 offerings for consumers and MSMEs across Indonesia to provide pay-outs to those affected by the pandemic, including those who have had their treatment partially or fully subsidised by the government and are hence ineligible per usual insurance plans. We will roll this out on a larger scale within the next 4 weeks,” he adds.
Qoala is hiring across teams as the business looks to build on its exponential growth, with plans to double its head count to 300 over the next year.
The startup has a number of partnerships with prominent brands across Indonesia, including GrabKios, JD.ID, Shopee and Tokopedia. Qoala’s customers also include other industry leading digital platforms such as Investree, PegiPegi and RedBus, as well as traditional giants such as MAP Group. Their unique go-to-market approach is supported by over 20 insurers including global players such as AXA Mandiri, Tokio Marine, Great Eastern as well as local insurers like ACA, Adira and BRI Life.
One of those partners, Edwin Sugianto, COO & CMO of Mandiri AXA General Insurance (MAGI), says it has been good working with Qoala. “The team has been at the forefront in partnering with us to provide customers with innovative insurance solutions, supported with seamless experience through their tech platform and customer support.”