Hong Kong Fintech Hub Cyberport Becomes Hotbed for Insurtech Innovation

Hong Kong Fintech Hub Cyberport Becomes Hotbed for Insurtech Innovation

by August 12, 2020

Widely known for its massive fintech community of close to 400 companies, digital tech park Cyberport is now rapidly emerging as a powerhouse for insurance innovation.

More than 30 insurtech companies have chosen Cyberport as their home, including Hong Kong’s four licensed virtual insurance providers Bowtie, Avo Insurance, OneDegree and ZA Insure.

These have brought to the market innovative and affordable insurance products, including voluntary health insurance policies with competitive prices, e-wallet insurance packages, pet insurance policies, and health insurance plans targeting specific illnesses.

Cyberport’s rising insurtech community

In addition to the four virtual insurance providers, there are other startups providing diversified insurance technology solutions that run through the sector’s industry chain. Among the noteworthy startups propelling the industry’s digital transformation are CoverGo and MediConCen.

CoverGo, a resident and an alum of the Cyberport Incubation Programme, told Fintech News Hong Kong that the Cyberport “has been instrumental” in its success.

Insurtech CoverGo Tomas Holub

Tomas Holub, founder and CEO of CoverGo

“Over the last three years, Cyberport has introduced us to a number of prospective insurance clients,”

Tomas Holub, founder and CEO of CoverGo, said.

“Cyberport has [also] given us access to a large network of investors and fintech partners. This was very helpful in particular when we were starting the company but even now after scaling our company and graduating from the incubation program, we are still active in the Cyberport community and see lots of value in the opportunities brought by Cyberport.”

CoverGo, an award-winning insurtech company, provides enterprise software solutions to insurers, banks and brokers. In particular, its end-to-end “insurance-in-a-box platform” is the first fully configurable, modular, no-code, core insurance platform for omni-channel distribution, policy admin and claims, that’s powered by 400+ open insurance APIs.

Recently, the startup set up the CoverGo Studio, a no-code insurance application builder that allows companies to configure any insurance product, any workflow and any frontend user journey, providing flexibility and speed to market to clients.

On the business side, CoverGo has been busy onboarding new clients and expanding across Asia, Holub said.

Kelvin Yeung, co-founder and COO of MediConCen, told Fintech News Hong Kong that the Cyberport Incubation Programme and its extensive community have provided the team with helpful knowledge and learnings, and have allowed them to meet different stakeholders in the insurtech fields.

Insurtech MediConCen, Kelvin Yeung

Kelvin Yeung, co-founder and COO of MediConCen

“Cyberport’s support is especially vital in insurtech as insurance companies are often heavily regulated,”

Yeung said.

“Being inside the Cyberport community has given us an entry ticket to talk to large insurance companies and convince them that together, we could drive positive change to the industry. In fact, some of our clients are among the Cyberport community too and we cannot find better place to start our journey other than Cyberport.”

Founded in 2018, MediConCen is a young insurtech startup that uses blockchain to support insurance companies in their medical claims process. MediConCen is building an insurance medical network that leverages the technology to instill trust and bring onto one platform medical experts from all over the world, cutting out middlemen.

In less than two years after it launched, MediConCen had successfully onboarded two insurers, now serving over 220,000 end-customers. The startup is also partnered with more than 540 medical professionals, including medical doctors, Chinese medicine practitioners, physiotherapists, chiropractors and dentists.

Yeung said it is currently in talks with over 13 insurers to join its network.

Another Cyberport incubatee that is making significant strides in Hong Kong’s booming insurtech landscape is Heycoins, which recently teamed up with Zurich Insurance in Hong Kong to provide sports protection micro-insurance products.

COVID-19 pushing for digital transformation in insurance

Hong Kong’s rapid rise into a global insurtech powerhouse has been fueled by the digitalization push that ensued the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the health crisis forcing people to maintain social distancing, companies from all industries have resorted to remote working.

“This is a dramatic change that brought new challenges for the insurance industry and many companies were not prepared,” said CoverGo’s Holub.

“Traditional distribution channels were put under pressure as they rely on face-to-face contact and wet signatures. The agent and broker distribution collapsed as customers had to purchase insurance from home and insurers were not ready for remote business.”

For Holub, the changes will be long-lasting and insurance companies have no other choice than to transform to the digital world.

“There is a strong trend of moving away from rigid legacy system and inefficient in-house development,” he said. “Companies realize more than ever that custom IT development could be relatively slow and costly while off-the-shelf software packages can’t satisfy changing product requirements and customer needs.”

Echoing Holub, MediConCen’s Yeung noted a surge in demand coming from incumbents, noting that “more insurance companies are eager to adopt new technology to reduce manual process.”

Cyberport, which has been in operation since 2004, has grown into a massive digital technology community of more than 1,500 companies that includes the likes of tech giants Microsoft, Lenovo and Zhongan, but also homegrown fintech ventures such as TNG, Gini, Kristal.ai, Quantifeed and Neat.

Focusing on promoting fintech, smart living, esports and digital entertainment, Cyberport offers startup programs and assists entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas to the next level.

It runs initiatives such as the Cyberport Enterprise Network, the Cyberport Investors Network, and the Cyberport Technology Network, which focuses on facilitating collaboration, as well as the Cyberport Macro Fund, which invests in community startups.


Featured image: Cyberport campus.