PHILIPPINES-BASED Maria Health, a digital platform for distributing health insurance products, has raised US$1 million in a seed round led by Gobi Ventures. Other notable investors include tryb Group, Wavemaker Partners, Hustle Fund and Grand Metro Holdings.
Maria will use the funds to expand in its home market. Its platform aggregates small and medium enterprises (SMEs), individual and family health plans. It provides education and comparison shopping from 20 of the top health insurance providers, primary-care clinics and ambulatory service providers in the Philippines.
Jason Strimpel, principal at tryb, said Maria's platform builds trust through education, and that the market for health insurance in the Philippines is "an incredible opportunity for a technology company".
"Maria's digital acquisition and distribution strategy creates measurable unit economics. Filipinos spend more time online than any other country and are comfortable making important purchases online," he said.
Spending on health expenditures in the Philippines has grown at almost 12 per cent compound annual growth rate over the last 10 years, said tryb in a press statement. The firm expects the trend to accelerate as wellness becomes a more important part of daily life in the Philippines.
Vincent Lau, Maria Health co-founder and CEO, said Filipino SMEs want to offer group health insurance coverage to their employees, but the process to do so is cumbersome.
"Our mission is to provide simple, easy to access health insurance online for the Philippines. Our platform offers the right mix of education and convenience, backed by technology," he said.