PayPal backs Indonesian insurance startup Qoala in $47M funding

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PayPal Ventures’ latest investment is in an Indonesian startup that provides personal insurance products covering a variety of risks, including accidents, phone screen damage, and ticket cancellations.

Qoala has secured $47 million in a new round co-led by PayPal Ventures and MassMutual Ventures, the five-year-old startup said Wednesday. MUFG Innovation Partners, Omidyar Network as well as existing backers Flourish Ventures, Eurazeo and AppWorks also participated in the Series C funding, which brings Qoala’s total funding to more than $130 million since its inception.

Qoala, headquartered in Jakarta, is an insurance broker that works with top local insurers and e-commerce firms to offer customers personalized and affordable products. It sells the insurance coverage through both its website and app as well as via offline engagements.

The startup – which also relies on a network of over 60,000 human workforce that it refers to as “agents” or marketers to sell insurance – simplifies the claims process through image uploads and uses machine learning to detect fraud, benefiting both customers and insurers by expanding access to convenient, cost-effective insurance solutions.

It processed over 115,000 claims and reached 45,000 new customers last year, the startup said. Qoala also operates in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Qoala revealed that its gross written premiums have surged by 2.5 times since 2022, and the startup now handles up to 60% of all claims internally, though it did not disclose exact numbers.

Qoala co-founder and chief executive Harshet Lunani said the new funding “demonstrates market confidence” in the startup’s strategy. “Our mission to democratize insurance remains steadfast, and with this new infusion of funds, we are better equipped than ever to drive innovation and impact lives and livelihoods,” he said in a prepared statement.

Qoala plans to deploy the fresh funds to explore strategic acquisitions and partnerships as well as in sprinkling AI across its channels.

“It is commendable to see what Qoala has achieved in a short period of time,” said Alexandros Bottenbruch, Principal at PayPal Ventures in a statement. “By positioning itself as the solution of choice for both consumer-facing platforms and traditional agents, Qoala is providing consumers across Southeast Asia with much-needed tools to address the persistent protection gap.”

PayPal Ventures is no stranger to Indonesia. It backed Gojek in 2020.

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