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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Financial Supermarket GoBear Announces US$80 Million in Funding

Asian financial supermarket GoBear has announced US$80 million in funding to date. GoBear will use the funds to drive growth through product and technology enhancements, expand its partner network, and fill key roles. Improvements to the platform’s search and match functionality will also include two strategic approaches: partnerships with, and investments into other technology companies, to acquire access to additional key technology. This funding was furnished by Walvis Participaties, a Dutch venture capital fund, and Aegon N.V, a leading financial services provider.

GoBear is a financial supermarket whose purpose is to improve Asia’s financial health by making financial literacy, financial inclusion, and financial security attainable for everyone. GoBear has served more than 40 million users across Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. GoBear’s partners are leading financial institutions, banks and insurance providers, including Citibank, MSIG and Cigna.

Adrian Chng, CEO of GoBear said “Our latest round of funding will be invested in our priority areas of product, technology senior management and technical talent. We are also very interested in partnering with and/or investing in other technology companies who have developed exciting new technologies that will enhance our ecosystem and our ability to improve people’s financial health. Specific areas include customer onboarding and fulfilment solutions, personal financial management, alternative credit scoring, financial education and investment platforms”.

Opportunities in the region are being driven by several large, interconnected developments: world-beating economic growth, rapid urbanisation, a fast-growing middle class and mobile everywhere; the region’s digital economy alone is projected to reach S$270 billion by 2025[1].

At the same time, many consumer products and services remain ill-suited to this mobile generation, and cash transactions are the norm.  The prevalence of a cash-based economy limits consumers’ financial access, because without a financial profile derived from personal information, financial institutions cannot assess and price risk and evaluate product suitability.

“GoBear’s purpose is to improve your financial health.  We enable consumers to make informed choices across 14 personal financial product areas, including insurance, personal loans, deposits, and credit cards, in a simple and transparent way. Our product, technology and financial partners allow users to search for appropriate financial products, find the best match for their personal objectives, and make seamless transactions on the GoBear platform,” said Synn Navamananda, Country Director, GoBear Thailand.

Consumer spending, and demand for financial products is strong. Automotive sales in Thailand surged 19.5% to a five-year high in 2018, and credit card and personal loans increased by 7% and 10% respectively[2].  As the company continues its expansion efforts in Asia’s eighth largest economy, GoBear Thailand remains committed to improving financial literacy by empowering its users to make well-informed financial decisions.

GoBear is excited by the opportunity to create the infrastructure and ecosystem to improve financial health for hundreds of millions of customers across Asia.  It will utilise its product, technology and data capabilities as key enablers in assessing and pricing risk, which will help partners better understand consumer preferences based on digital personas and journeys. It is also on these journeys that consumers undergo a more efficient and superior digital experience whilst being matched to the most relevant products for their needs.

[1] Driving digital into the heart of Asia’s financial services industry, Ernst & Young, 2018

[2] https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1630718/of-debt-cars-and-condos

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