Coherent, which provides digital platforms and data intelligence to insurers, has raised $14 million in a Series A funding round led by global VC fund Cathay Innovation, with participation from Franklin Templeton. 
The funds will allow the Hong Kong-based startup to invest and rapidly expand its operations and capabilities, and grow its presence in Asia, Coherent announced on Tuesday.
Established in 2018, Coherent currently employs 120 people across its four offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Manila. The company said it plans to hire more technology and actuarial talent and build new teams in Japan, U.S. and Thailand. It also plans to expand its customer portfolio, which currently covers large insurers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Mainland China, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil and Myanmar.
«The insurance sector today has a unique opportunity to accelerate growth to new levels but also faces a historic challenge as legacy systems have created a vortex of process pain for insurers which have slowed their potential to innovate and fully harness the vast distribution scale they possess,» John Brisco, Coherent CEO, said in the announcement.
Positive Outlook
Coherent cited multiple challenges insurers face today: the need to accelerate product development to create new products; ongoing legacy system and process issues that hinder progress; and the urgency to supplement the traditional sales experience with digital in the face of changing environments due to COVID-19.  
At the same time, the company noted a positive outlook for the global insurance market, which is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2021. In particular, emerging Asia is expected to see insurance premiums grow 7 percent next year, the announcement said, citing Swiss Re.

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