Motor insurance sales growth could help online insurer Roojai post a profit from its Thai operations this fiscal year, ending in March 2024, as it aims to become a top 10 player in the segment next year, says chief executive and founder Nicolas Faquet.
"There were some challenges the last two years from Covid-19, but we are seeing a very good dynamic today in the car insurance market. To me the immediate future looks bright and positive," said Mr Faquet.
At the end of its fiscal 2023 in March this year, Roojai added 149,248 customers, up 15% from the previous year, which he deemed a decent pace, although slower than in the past.
Insurance premiums tallied 133 billion baht for the period, growth of 20%, with 95% of premiums from motor insurance and the remainder from accident and health products.
In July, Roojai acquired FWD General Insurance (FWD GI) for an undisclosed amount. The transaction bolstered its portfolio in Thailand with a combined portfolio of more than US$50 million (1.74 billion baht) in annual premiums.
The acquisition allows Roojai to become a "full-stack insurtech", with a licence to underwrite its own general insurance products with new distribution channels such as brokers and agents, said Mr Faquet.
Through more traditional distribution, the company aims to acquire new customers from regions outside Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Phuket, as those major markets contribute about 70% of total sales. Revenue from other provinces account for 30% of sales.
Next year the company plans to launch new products apart from motor insurance and personal accident coverage, such as telematics and home insurance.
Personal medical and small and medium-sized enterprise insurance is scheduled for 2025, he said.
Mr Faquet said Roojai expects to close fiscal 2024 with 40% growth, as it already posted 35% growth in policies over five months before the FWD GI acquisition and opening of a new distribution channel.
Roojai expects to discontinue several products under FWD GI because they do not match its business strategy, he said. These include phone device insurance and commercial risk insurance, involving marine or factory fires.
Mr Faquet said Roojai hopes to become a top 10 Thai motor insurer by next fiscal year, and reach the top three within five years.
The company's Series B fundraising of $42 million in March was used for the FWD GI acquisition and organic expansion for Roojai Indonesia, as well as new opportunities among four other Southeast Asian markets and Taiwan.
He said there would be an opportunity for raising Series C funding in the future, as it takes at least five years to be profitable in Indonesia. Roojai plans to buy insurance companies to enter other markets quickly, said Mr Faquet.