Jakarta, Indonesia / Zurich, Switzerland, 28 March 2023 — responsAbility AG, the Swiss asset manager focused on impact investing in emerging markets, announces an equity investment by one of the investment vehicles it manages in Qoala, the leading multi-channel digital insurance distributor in Southeast Asia. Through diverse digital distribution channels, Qoala provides motor, property, health, and life policies to 8M+ customers in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. The proceeds from this Series B extension will enable Qoala to boost product and geographical expansion, and to widen its reach to more underserved geographies and populations to increase insurance penetration in Southeast Asia.
Emerging markets have an estimated insurance protection gap of $800bn, defined as the difference between total economic losses and insured losses, with emerging Asia representing around 60% of this figure, or $500bn. Many countries in Southeast Asia have insurance penetration below 3% of GDP (Indonesia 1.6%, The Philippines 2.0%), which is 3x lower than developed markets, and significantly below many other emerging markets. The proliferation of insurance so far has been limited by several factors, such as affordability, lack of suitable products, and low level of financial literacy on the demand side; as well as, high transaction costs, outdated distribution mechanisms, and data scarcity on the supply side.
Through its innovative business model, Qoala is working to close the insurance gap for underserved retail customers in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Qoala equips a network of more than 50’000 independent insurance advisors with a mobile app, expanding their customer offerings to a broad range of health, life, property, and motor insurance products from more than 50 different insurance partners. The sale and after-sale processes are entirely digital, improving the time to issue a policy from a previously estimated 2 weeks to only a few hours. Given the low level of awareness and availability of insurance in Qoala’s markets, the combination of complete digital underwriting experience and human touch offered by Qoala’s agents can increase insurance adoption in geographies and demographic brackets where insurance was historically hard to distribute or entirely unavailable.
The management team of Qoala is committed to develop and distribute innovative insurance products, tailored to parts of the population that so far have been excluded from insurance due to expensive and complicated policies. Coupled with Qoala’s wide distribution network, such innovative products will significantly improve households’ financial health and resiliency. Following the investment, Qoala committed to further enhance its internal and external ESG practices and transparency in dealing with consumers, agents, and employees.
Harshet Lunani, CEO and Co-Founder of Qoala, said: “Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia are amongst the top 10 fastest-growing global markets for insurance in the coming decade. With most consumers just beginning to understand the value of insurance, we see ourselves playing a huge role in both community and country. We will continue to invest towards scaling up Qoala’s reach in our core markets and focus on enhancing our technology and product experience to significantly reduce the hurdles to accessing insurance, and in doing so, improving lives”.
Ruzgar Barisik, on behalf of responsAbility's financial inclusion private equity practice, said: “As a firm with two decades of experience in financial inclusion investing, responsAbility is excited to join Qoala’s journey of democratizing affordable insurance in Southeast Asia. Qoala’s network of agents, supported by digital technology tools, can distribute insurance and support parts of the population that are currently not served by incumbents or have not previously been insured at all. Qoala’s insurtech business model promotes local employment, enabling thousands of insurance agents to start their business with little investment, offering initial licensing and continuous training.”
About responsAbility Investments AG responsAbility Investments AG is a leading impact asset manager specializing in private market investments across three investment themes to directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Financial Inclusion, to finance the growth of Micro & SMEs; Climate Finance, to contribute to a net zero pathway; and Sustainable Food, to sustainably feed an ever-growing population. All responsAbility investment solutions target specific measurable impact alongside market returns. Since its inception in 2003, responsAbility has deployed over USD 14 billion in impact investments. With over 270 employees collaborating across eight offices, as of 1 October 2023 the company manages USD 4.7 billion in assets across approximately 270 portfolio companies in 72 countries. Since 2022 responsAbility is part of M&G plc, the international savings, and investments business, and contributes to enhancing M&G’s capabilities in impact investing.
About Qoala Qoala is an insurance technology company with a purpose to democratize, empower and redefine insurance for customers. Qoala operates in three countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand offering various insurance protections, ranging from health, motor vehicle, property, personal accident, and other needs that can be accessed conveniently and transparently through the Qoala application or website.
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