Khazanah invests in PolicyStreet to enhance protection for Malaysia's underserved market

KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd recently led a Series B fundraising round of a Malaysian home-grown insurance technology (insurtech) company, PolicyStreet, raising a total of US$15.3 million (RM67 million) under its Dana Impak mandate.

PolicyStreet is a full-stack insurtech company that offers digital and customised insurance solutions to consumers and businesses.

The company stands to narrow the protection gap in Malaysia and improve the country’s insurance penetration rate, which at 5.3 per cent, currently lags global peers like Singapore (9.3 per cent) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (9.4 per cent).

"Khazanah’s investment in PolicyStreet complements its Future Malaysia Programme which aims to support the local start-up ecosystem of entrepreneurs, start-ups, venture capital and corporate venture programmes through collaboration with domestic and international partners.

"The Future Malaysia Programme supports investments into companies with sustainable business models that deliver socioeconomic impact to Malaysia, such as PolicyStreet, which requires the injection of risk capital," the sovereign wealth fund said in a statement today.

Khazanah managing director Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said the investment in PolicyStreet aimed to improve insurance penetration within the unserved and underserved segments which advocates inclusivity, providing better financial protection, increasing household resilience and financial well-being.

"We will continue to invest in innovative and impactful solution providers that leverage technology and product innovation to serve the nation.

"This is aligned with our commitment to spur the local start-up ecosystem as part of our strategic imperatives via the Future Malaysia Programme,” he said.

According to Khazanah, as Dana Impak seeks to create socioeconomic impact in all its investments, it has applied its impact assessment framework, the SEMARAK Initiative, to the investment evaluation process.

Khazanah’s impact thesis is premised on how innovative insurance solutions provided by insurtechs like PolicyStreet offer accessible and meaningful coverage to the unserved and underserved which, in turn, enhance financial protection, household resilience and promote financial well-being for Malaysians.

Meanwhile, PolicyStreet chief executive officer and co-founder Yen Ming Lee highlighted that the company is committed to empowering underinsured businesses and consumers by providing accessible insurance solutions.

"With over half a million B40 gig workers and 50,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) already benefiting from our services, we aim to serve 2.5 million gig workers and 300,000 SMEs within the next five years, creating a more financially inclusive future for communities in Malaysia and the region,” he said.

Since its founding in 2017 by Yen Ming Lee, Wilson Beh and Winnie Chua, PolicyStreet has achieved numerous milestones, including becoming the first home-grown insurtech to be awarded Financial Adviser and Islamic Financial Adviser licences by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2019. - Bernama

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