By Gloria Harry Beatty
Photo Caption: Teng says Qoala ventured into Malaysia, its first expansion destination outside Indonesia, as it is an advanced market and there is an opportunity to grow an online business model here. – HAFIZ SOHAIMI/THESUN
KUALA LUMPUR: Qoala, through its Malaysian branch Qoala Technology Sdn Bhd (Qoala Malaysia), aims to become the biggest insurance intermediary in Malaysia within two years, by providing more information, choices and convenience at a competitive price point.
The Indonesia-based insurtech firm, which has presence in Malaysia and Thailand, sells a range of insurance products which are accessible online. Currently, Qoala Malaysia offers motorcycle, car, property, personal accidents and travel insurance online. It will launch its life insurance within the year.
Qoala Malaysia country manager Calvin Teng said Malaysia is Qoala’s first expansion destination outside Indonesia. Its insurance and takaful aggregation business in Malaysia started in April last year.
Teng said Qoala wanted to venture into Malaysia as it is an advanced market and there is an opportunity to grow an online business model here versus an offline business model.
“Malaysia is a sizeable market. The regulators are of a high standard and we think they have been relatively progressive with their policies to introduce things like this, insurance and takaful aggregated licence. We are 100% committed to growing our presence in Malaysia in the coming years,” he told SunBiz in an interview.
Teng explained that Qoala primarily operates digitally. The company provides a platform via its website or through a phone application, where customers can choose from a variety of insurance products offered by different insurance providers. Customers can get a quotation, pay online and their insurance policy will be sent to their email address.
“We provide the basics of an online shopping experience to purchase insurance and in this case, these things are like choice, convenience and value.”
On how it differentiates itself from other agencies, Teng said as an insurance and takaful aggregation business, it is able to offer products from every single insurer on the market and requires it to be unbiased and impartial. The company focuses on sharing information and being transparent with consumers. With that, customers will be well-informed to select the best policies for themselves.
As of now, Qoala is in Bank Negara Malaysia’s regulatory sandbox, which authorises it to interact with or to provide services to the Malaysian public under the current form. Teng declined to disclose customer figures, but said that in Malaysia, its website reaches over 200,000 visitors per month and that Malaysia is the fastest growing country within the Qoala group.
Teng believes that most Malaysians do not make very informed decisions on the financial services which they consume. Most said it takes too much effort to figure out and their choice is based on a limited amount of options made known to them.
“On that basis, we (Malaysia) are definitely not saturated (with insurers) because there is this massive blue ocean where we can add value to people. The main question I’m trying to solve for people is – are you sure you are getting the best deal on your financial services that you are paying for? If (and) when people can answer that question then I would have said that my industry has a done a good job in the country.”
Last month, Qoala raised Series B funding of US$65 million (RM286.13 million), which quadrupled from the company’s Series A round in April 2020 of US$13.5 million (RM59.42 million).