Hong Kong-based insurance company FWD Group has partnered with Malaysia-based firm Artem Ventures to launch an RM45 million venture capital (VC) fund, announced in a press release today.
The fund, named TIM Ventures, will invest in emerging startups in the insurtech and Islamic fintech space in Malaysia.
“By launching TIM Ventures, we hope to support early-stage entrepreneurs in Malaysia by not just providing them with financing, but also helping to connect them with the networks and expertise they need to succeed,” said Sim Preston, FWD Managing Director and Group Chief Operating Officer.
Founded in 2013, FWD is the insurance arm of investment group Pacific Century Group and has been present in Malaysia since 2019.
It’s already funded four startups
The fund has already invested in four Malaysian startups, including winners from the FWD Group’s 2021 pre-accelerator, FWD Start-Up Studio. The funding amount for each investment is undisclosed.
Namely, the four startups are Senang, Pewarisan, Du-It, and Blueduck.
Senang is an on-demand subscription-based insurance company that we’ve featured in the past. A B2B startup, it aims to allow corporations and SMEs to get one-off insurance coverages.
In 2019, it made headlines for collaborating with maid-booking platform Maideasy and providing cleaners with daily on-demand personal accident insurance for only RM1 per day.
Pewarisan, referring to the Malay word that means inheritance, is an online platform providing digital solutions for Islamic inheritance planning. Specifically, it gives users access to succession planning and estate management.
Malaysian Buy Now, Pay Later fintech startup Du-It is also on the roster of startups. According to its website, Du-It covers both B2C and B2B solutions that leverage its team’s collective experience of more than 20 years serving the fintech industry.
Last but not least is Blueduck, a zero-deposit insurance agency serving landlords and tenants in Malaysia. Essentially, this startup replaces the traditional security deposit system.
According to iBilik, which has partnered with Blueduck since 2020, the system works by allowing a tenant to rent a property by only paying the equivalent of one week’s rental along with an advance rental for the first month.
Something that is often discussed when it comes to growing and fostering Malaysia’s startup ecosystem is participation from private companies.
Thus, funds such as FWD Group and Artem Ventures’ TIM Ventures should be regarded as a great initiative for our local insurtech scene and, by extension, the entire startup ecosystem in Malaysia.
Image Credit: Pewarisan / Senang / Blueduck / Du-it