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Oyen Raises US$420K in Seed Funding to Turbocharge Growth of Southeast Asia’s Digital Pet Health Insurance Ecosystem

The round was joined by Hustle Fund and angel investors from global technology companies. Oyen is a pioneer digital-first pet insurance provi
  • The round was joined by Hustle Fund and angel investors from global technology companies.
  • Oyen is a pioneer digital-first pet insurance provider based in Malaysia; the funds will be used to enhance the company’s digital platform and cement its market position within the region’s emerging pet healthcare insurance market.

Kevin Hoong and Michelle Chin

Oyen, a digital-first pet healthcare insurance provider based in Malaysia, has raised US$420,000 in a seed round participated by notable backers such as Hustle Fund, alongside angel investors who are former and current executives from Airbnb, Facebook, and Rocket Internet.

The company will use the funds to enhance its proprietary digital insurance platform and reinforce its market position within Malaysia’s pet healthcare insurance ecosystem. To achieve this, the company is aggressively expanding its recruitment in various roles in technology (such as software engineering) and non-technology (such as growth marketing). These efforts will serve as the firm’s springboard to become Southeast Asia’s leading pet healthcare insurer and move towards offering more holistic pet healthcare services to pet owners such as vet medical protection, preventative care, and wellness, among other benefits.

“The number of people who have pets for companionship have increased during one of the world’s biggest recent crises, and our platform was specifically designed to alleviate concerns by pet owners – especially new ones – when managing their pets’ medical needs. With the support from our investors, Oyen is now better positioned to expand and enhance its services across Malaysia, while also exploring how we can extend the benefits of our platform to pet owners at the regional level,” said Kevin Hoong, Founder and CEO of Oyen.

Established in Malaysia, Oyen’s pet insurance platform is aimed at giving pet owners greater peace of mind in managing their pets’ medical needs via seamless insurance purchase and claims experience. The company’s services are integrated with a panel of veterinary clinic partners in Malaysia, making it easier for owners to access Oyen’s growing network of vets for quality vet services and quickly seeking medical attention for their pets – especially in case of emergencies.

Oyen’s objective is to become the region’s category leader in pet healthcare insurance, especially since it is still a greenfield market with untapped potential. The company plans to be the first mover in this space by expanding its pet healthcare network through partnerships with regional insurers and veterinary clinics. This is part of the company’s vision to dominate the pet healthcare space and make it affordable and accessible to all pet owners region wide. The company is driving towards having 100,000 pets insured in Southeast Asia within the next three years – half of which is expected to come from the company’s first market, Malaysia.

"Southeast Asia is an exciting region with a lot of growth ahead of it, driven not just by accelerating technology adoption across industries, but also startups like Oyen who bring a product-led, customer- centered perspective to traditional products like insurance. We are excited by the growth that Kevin and his team have achieved in Malaysia and are keen to see the innovations that they will bring to the pet insurance ecosystem – both as an investor and dog-lover,” said Shiyan Koh, General Partner and Co- Founder at Hustle Fund.

Oyen is currently operating in a fast-growing pet care market in the Asia-Pacific, where the regional market’s CAGR (compounding annual growth rate) is estimated to reach US$132 [1] billion by 2027. According to research [2], the region – including some of Southeast Asia’s largest markets – is witnessing an increase in pet ownership, with nearly 60 percent of people owning a pet at home. This trend escalated even further during the COVID-19 pandemic, with several pet owners noting that their pets are helping them cope with their mental health [3] during the crisis. This subsequently opens up an exciting window of opportunities in the pet healthcare department, mainly insurance, with owners having to deal with pet’s unexpected medical expenses for illness and injury – which can reach up to RM 8,000 [4] (US$1,941) annually.

In Malaysia, Oyen is able to provide the country’s highest veterinary medical coverage, with up to RM 8, 000 (US$1,941) of the amount claimable in vet medical fees, up to RM1,000 in pet burial cost, and up to RM 50, 000 (US$12,132) in third party liability claims. Through these, pet owners will be able to budget their expenses and improve the personalisation of their pets’ medical needs, rather than needing to rely on their savings – especially with the ever-increasing costs of treatments and veterinary expenses. [5]

After weathering the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, Southeast Asia’s insurance ecosystem is projected to rebound [6] with greater resilience. This is particularly since, in the region’s major markets such as Malaysia, the life insurance sector is projected to see a CAGR of 30 percent to reach over US$15 billion by 2025 [7], while the general insurance market is anticipated to witness a CAGR of over 14 percent to reach nearly US$20 billion by 2024. [8]

As such – and amid a growing consumer shift towards digitised insurance offerings [9] – Oyen is looking to work closely with industry players and regulators in the region to expand its services to more markets, with a view to introduce services for other consumer insurance segments for people such as home, life and medical insurance.

[1] https://www.graphicalresearch.com/industry-insights/1631/asia-pacif ic-pet-care-market
[2] https://insight.rakuten.com/pet-ownership-in-asia/
[3] https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56362987
[4] https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/06/28/animal-rescuers-hampered-by-high-medical-costs-animal-ngos-and-independent-rescuers-hope-the-governm
[5] https://www.graphicalresearch.com/industry-insights/1631/asia-pacif ic-pet-care-market
[6] https://anziif.com/~/media/files/pdfs/members%20centre%20pdfs/2020/12/asean_pulse_2020.pdf
[7] https://www.globaldata.com/life-insurance-industry-malaysia-reach-us15-7bn-2025-says-globaldata/
[8] https://www.globaldata.com/general-insurance-business-malaysia-contract-2-2-2020-due-covid-19-says-globaldata/
[9] https://insuranceblog.accenture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Accenture-Navigating-New-Insurance-Asia-Pacif ic.pdf