Aug 24, 2020

Chinese insurtech Waterdrop raises over US$430m in August

Waterdrop
Swiss Re
Tencent
Insurtech
William Girling
2 min
Waterdrop (aka Shuidihuzhu) has reportedly raised over $430m in August 2020 from two highly successful funding rounds
Waterdrop (aka Shuidihuzhu) has reportedly raised over $430m in August 2020 from two highly successful funding rounds...

Waterdrop (aka Shuidihuzhu) has reportedly raised over $430m in August 2020 from two highly successful funding rounds.

The first, held at the beginning of the month, achieved $200m for the purpose of expanding its healthcare crowdfunding capabilities. It was also speculated at the time that Waterdrop is worth approximately $2bn and that it has been considering an IPO, although this has been subsequently refuted.

This would have been an impressive development for a company founded only four years prior (although not totally unheard of in the insurtech space - see Lemonade’s IPO). Waterdrop’s success was then bolstered on 21 August when it was reported that it had secured a further $230m in a Series D funding round.

Prominent investors included world-leading insurance provider Swiss Re and tech conglomerate Tencent.

Becoming a leading provider

“We are excited about the huge growth potential that lies ahead of us,” said Peng Shen, Founder and CEO of Waterdrop

“Our long-term goal is to become a leading online healthcare platform in China with an ecosystem that includes insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and drug stores, as well as nursing institutions and rehabilitation institutions.

Ning Zhou, Head of Principal Investment and Acquisition for Asia, Swiss Re, commented that Waterdrop’s influential and innovative presence in the market stood it in good stead to spearhead the changes that needed to be made in the insurance industry. 

“As a leading online insurtech company, Waterdrop is well-positioned to tackle the pain points of traditional insurance and pave the way for future breakthroughs in the industry, such as the accelerated technological innovation and digitalisation of the industry worldwide that we have witnessed during the COVID-19 situation.”

Insurtech continues to develop in Asia

Despite slowing under the strain of pandemic-related complications, some evaluations of the Chinese insurance market appear to conclude that positive growth is continuing unabated.

This is reflective of an overall trend in the APAC market that InsurTech Digital recently explored, wherein it was found that insurance companies favouring a digital approach were maintaining a strong position in the market.

Having an investor like Tencent will likely enhance this element of Waterdrop’s development; Yu Haiyang, MD of Tencent Investment, said in a statement:

“Amid the rapid expansion of the Chinese commercial health insurance market, Waterdrop has seized the market opportunity very well and used the power of technological innovation to help tens of millions of families.

“Tencent continues to be a long-term supporter of Waterdrop and will help it build an even better user experience.”

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Jun 18, 2021

TrueMotion insurtech acquired by Cambridge Mobile Telematics

truemotion
cmt
telematics
Insurtech
3 min
US-based TrueMotion and Cambridge Mobile Telematics provide mobile phone telematics technology

Two leading US telematics firms have joined forces as Cambridge Mobile Telematics acquired TrueMotion, another Massachusetts-based insurtech firm. 

One of the world’s leading telematics insurtechs, Cambridge Mobile Telematics, was launched in 2010 and powers 65 enterprise programmes in 28 countries.

Meanwhile, TrueMotion, which launched in 2012, has enjoyed significant success as a telematics operator, raising US$10mn in its seed funding round in 2010, and then partnering with the motor insurtech Noblr in 2019. 

TrueMotion has also entered the European market, collaborating with LB Forsikring to promote safe driving in Denmark.

Telematics expansion

The joining of the companies means TrueMotion’s 150-strong workforce will join Cambridge Mobile Telematic’s already established team, along with their client list, which includes Travelers, Farmers, and Progressive. 

The new company will focus on increased interest in using telematics for crash reconstruction in personal lines claims and more innovation in the telematics space. 

Speaking about the acquisition, William Powers, CEO, and co-founder of Cambridge Mobile Telematics, described the move as an opportunity to explore new markets, expand throughout the US and bring telematics to a much wider customer base.  

"With this acquisition, we will use our world-class talent, technology, and scale to help our partners overcome the complex challenges of global road safety,” he added.

Ryan McMahon, VP of insurance and customer affairs for Cambridge Mobile Telematics, explained that expanding the company with additional talent and customers would help meet the demands of a growing telematics market. He also quoted data from a study by J.D. Power which revealed that personal auto telematics users have doubled in five years to 16% of policyholders.

McMahon told the press, “This market is rapidly expanding, and building more capabilities is more important than ever,” McMahon says. “Both companies follow similar philosophies and grew up in similar ecosystems, and now we’re bringing those cultures together.”

He continued, “Telematics is absolutely the future of commercial auto and rideshare, and it’s kind of a step up beyond the normal telematics."

McMahon added, “We will not only widen our lead in smartphone telematics, but also use our combined talent to invent new products for risk measurement, contextual telematics, and crash mitigation across emerging mobile, IoT, connected-car, video, and sensing technologies.”

Five reasons why telematics is in demand

  1. It reduces fuel costs and increases operational efficiency. This is a consideration for most commercial fleets given the rising costs of fuel
  2. The technology enables fleet managers to plan operations with greater precision by providing exact locations, timescales, and speeds of vehicles. 
  3. It improves driving standards and monitors driver behaviour, reducing detours and ensuring responsible driving. 
  4. It helps fleet health and maintenance by monitoring the health of operational vehicles.
  5. It increases corporate social responsibility in terms of care for the driver, the vehicle, the impact of driving in terms of emissions, and also the security of the vehicle itself.

Image credit: Getty

 

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