AJ Capital-backed Symbo launches online insurance broking business in S'pore

AJ Capital-backed Symbo launches online insurance broking business in S'pore

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3 -min read
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INSURTECH startup Symbo Platform Holdings has obtained an insurance brokerage licence to bring its digital insurance platform to Singapore consumers, the company told The Business Times (BT) on Friday.

Symbo's platform allows retail and corporate customers to purchase general life and insurance products. The startup will differentiate itself from existing insurance brokers here by featuring innovative and "context-based" policies on the platform, Abhinav Jhunjhunwala, founder and CEO of Symbo's key investor AJ Capital, told BT.

AJ Capital, a Singapore-based family office that manages money for India's affluent Jhunjhunwala family, incubated Symbo as part of its focus on nurturing disruptive startups in healthcare and insurance. Symbo was incorporated in Singapore in 2017 and currently operates an insurance broking business in India through an affiliate.

Venture firm Insignia Ventures and Dymon Asia Ventures, which invest in early-stage tech companies, have also invested in Symbo. The startup declined to reveal the amount of funding it has received from its backers.

Symbo is now in "advanced discussions" with insurers in Singapore to launch products including marathon insurance, fitness insurance, spectacle insurance and female-centric policies such as for breast and cervical cancer, Mr Jhunjhunwala said.

"As a truly digital platform, Symbo differentiates itself by procuring risk appropriately and use case-based protection for its customers, as opposed to selling only traditional insurance," he said.

Symbo is also forming partnerships to "identify and efficiently serve the unique needs of various customer groups digitally and seamlessly across various channels", Mr Jhunjhunwala added. It has already teamed up with automotive marketplace Carro, auto dealer F1 Autocars, preschool chain Little Paddington and co-working community Found8.

The startup next plans to expand to Indonesia, Malaysia and broader South-east Asia. To drive this, it has appointed as its international head and Singapore CEO Laurens Koppelaar, former head of market management for South-east Asia at Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, where he led the regional strategy for non-life insurance products.

Symbo has also appointed a new head of product, Subhajit Mandal, who was formerly a director of the US insurer MetLife's innovation centre in Singapore.

In a media statement, Symbo's board of directors said that the Singapore launch is a milestone in its regional ambition.

"Our established team has strong experience bringing platform solutions to scale across the insurance and reinsurance value chains in Asia and we now look forward to applying their expertise to offer thought-leading solutions in Singapore and the broader Asean region," the board said.