Reinsurance giant Swiss Re, alongside China-based internet firm Tencent Holdings, has led a new $230 million funding round for Chinese online InsurTech firm, Waterdrop Inc.
According to reports, the funding signals Swiss Re’s first investment into an InsurTech startup in China and is part of the reinsurer’s long-term commitment to the country.
A report by Reuters, citing sources with knowledge of the matter, claims that Swiss Re had invested $100 million in the latest funding round for Waterdrop.
Ning Zhou, Head of principal investment and acquisition for Asia at the Switzerland domiciled reinsurer, commented: “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 digitalization of the industry worldwide that we have witnessed during the COVID-19 situation.”
Known in China as Shuidihuzhu, Waterdrop was established in 2016 and distributes insurance solutions online via Waterdrop Insurance Mall, offers illness crowd-funding through its Waterdrop Crowdfunding platform, and also operates mutual funds.
In the first half of 2020, the company’s Insurance Mall platform reported 120 million unique users and written premiums of $865 million, which isn’t too far off the total premiums written in the entirety of last year.
According to Waterdrop, the latest round of funding will be used to expand the platform, as well as to develop partnerships with other entities in the healthcare arena, through the use of artificial intelligence and big data.
Previously, Waterdrop had raised around $252 million and while it has not disclosed its valuation, reports suggest it could be around the $2 billion mark.
Russell Higginbotham, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Reinsurance Asia and Regional President at Swiss Re, said: “We will continue to build on our solid partnership with Waterdrop and together we will support the ongoing development of the insurance industry and promote digital innovation.”