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Insurtech Startup Saphron Bags $1 Million Seed Funding From Sage, Talino Labs The company is making the delivery of insurance radically accessible to make financial inclusion a reality in Southeast Asia

By Nidhi Singh

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Insurtech is a new emerging sector. And many startups are boosting the sector by launching new products that are transforming the delivery of insurance. Along similar lines, Manila-based insurtech startup Saphron is making the delivery of insurance radically accessible, to make financial inclusion a reality. Recently, the company completed a $1 million seed funding round to boost its pursuit of "financial inclusion" in Southeast Asia.

The funding came from Sage, a venture fund that targets fintech startups, and Talino Labs, a venture lab that supports companies engaged in digital transformation.

Sage and Talino Labs, in a joint statement expressed their hopefulness in Saphron's transformative platforms that solves real needs, by the way of intelligent, cutting-edge tech in partnership with established companies.

Saphron founder and chief technology officer, Francisco "Kiko" Reyes, Jr., pointed out a serious need to make financial preparedness radically accessible, especially in a country like the Philippines, which is exposed to numerous calamities, but where large segments of the population remain either uninsured or severely underinsured.

"While inroads have been made, many Filipinos continue to be without protection and access to financial assistance when faced with accidents, hospitalization, climate-driven calamities, diseases, and other emergencies. Moreover, when purchasing financial products, they are often faced with highly technical jargon and laborious processes that discourage them from availing insurance they need," he added.

Insurance Penetration Low In Philippines

According to October 2018 data from Lloyd's, a leading global insurance and reinsurance market, the insurance penetration rate in the Philippines is at "less than one percent," similar to Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Egypt, and Nigeria.

Insurance penetration rate is calculated as a ratio of total insurance premiums to a country's gross domestic product.

"Filipinos often think that securing protection is a sizeable expense, but in reality it costs more to be unprotected when emergencies occur. When a member of the family is in an emergency, it puts a strain on the entire family's finances. In fact, a single episode alone is often enough to put households in debt for long periods," Reyes pointed out.

Making The Delivery Of Insurance Radically Accessible

Reyes built Saphron to help companies drive financial inclusion and change the current reality in the country, by using robust technology to bring to the market financial protection and assistance that's accessible, ultra-convenient, easy to purchase, and simple to claim.

"Our dream is to create a truly digital experience for our clients' users, from searching for a suitable cover, to convenience in payments, to simplicity in claims processing. Our platform will be optimized with artificial intelligence and real-time data analytics for underwriting and customer service," said Reyes.

Saphron will have a multi-platform payment gateway that can accept payments from mobile payment platforms, which is now the payment method of choice in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

"And we will build a blockchain-based know your customer (KYC) system with biometric identity verification for secure payments processing," he concluded.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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