Financial supermarket GoBear announces US$80 million in funding
Country Director of GoBear Vietnam Bao Nguyen has announced funding of US$80 million from Walvis Participaties, a Dutch venture capital fund, and Aegon N.V, a leading financial services provider, to the Asian financial supermarket GoBear.
Recently GoBear announced new funding, could you tell us more about this?
To date, we have made four rounds of funding, each progressively bigger than the last. As of April 2019, the total investment in GoBear from Walvis Participatiesand Aegon N.V had amounted to US$80 million. We are happy to inform that all the fund-raising has been furnished by the same two investors. This ongoing relationship promises a continued confident development between GoBear and its investors in the long run.
What is your priority area to use this funding?
In the near future, wewill focus on several key drivers. GoBear has served more than 40 million users across Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Our partners are leading financial institutions, banks and insurance providers, including Allianz Worldwide Partners, Citibank, FWD Insurance and Standard Chartered Bank. GoBear Vietnam has strong partnerships with 14 financial institutions including Standard Chartered, Citibank, FE Credit, Easy Credit, Manulife and Dai-ichi Life. We will continue expanding our partner network to drive growth through product and technology enhancements.
Improvements to the platform’s search and match functionality will also include two strategic approaches which undertake the partnerships with, and investments into other technology companies, to acquire access to additional key technology and human resources.
Is there an opportunity for growth in Vietnam and Southeast Asia through this strategy?
Opportunity in Southeast Asia is being driven by several large, interconnected developments such as world-beating economic growth, rapid urbanization, a fast-growing middle class and mobile everywhere. ASEAN’s digital economy is estimated to reach S$270 billion by 2025. At the same time, many consumer products and services remain ill-suited to this mobile generation.
At the moment, the prevalence of cash economics still limits consumers’ financial access, because they are unable to provide proof of employment, salaries and other types of data that creates a financial profile, allowing banks and others to evaluate product suitability. The opportunity is for us to create the infrastructure and ecosystem to improve financial literacy, financial inclusion, and financial security for hundreds of millions across Asia. GoBear believes that technology and data will be key enablers in assessing risk, helping to better understand consumer preferences based on their digital personas and journeys, matching them to the best product.
Where does GoBear stand among the larger financial institutions who have already occupied the market?
The comparison space in Asia does not completely solve the market’s true issues. Comparison models started in developed markets like the UK, but Asia is a mix of growth economies. So for a lot of consumers, it’s not even about financial product comparison, it is about financial access.
This is why GoBear is evolving away from comparison and shifting our focus to fill the supply gap. As a financial supermarket, we want to ensure that we are properly stocked with a broad range of products, and able to connect consumers in Asia to these products.
We enable consumers to make informed choices across 10 personal financial product areas, including insurance, personal loans, and credit cards, in a simple and transparent way. Our product, technology and financial partners allow users to search for financial products, find the best match for their personal objectives, and make seamless transactions on the GoBear platform.
What's next? GoBear as an investor?
We enable consumers to make informed choices across 10 personal financial product areas, travel insurance, personal loans, and credit cards, in a simple and transparent way. Our product, technology and financial partners allow users to search for financial products, find the best match for their personal objectives, and make seamless transactions on the GoBear platform.