Start@SG: News from Prudential, Jungle Ventures and Cocoon Capital

Prudential launches new start-up scheme

Prudential Singapore has launched the PRU Fintegrate Partnership, which seeks to collaborate with fintech start-ups in Singapore and elsewhere to develop digital services.

PRU Fintegrate focuses on building financial solutions, simple interfaces and seamless experiences for customers. These enhancements will be applied across the entire value chain - from helping customers understand how to bridge their protection gap and to plan better for their financial future to simplifying their insurance purchase and claims process, as well as providing Prudential's financial consultants with the digital tools to serve their customers better.

PRU Fintegrate offers start-ups the opportunity to build and validate prototypes at scale and at speed. The programme also provides a clear end goal as selected start-ups may enter into a commercial engagement with Prudential.

Mr Nic Nicandrou, chief executive of Prudential Corporation Asia, said: "Singapore is an important innovation test bed for the Prudential group and best-in-class solutions developed here could be deployed across the region.

"With its highly skilled workforce, strong digital infrastructure and vibrant start-up scene, Singapore provides a fertile environment for our digital innovation programmes, such as PRU Fintegrate, to flourish and to help transform the insurance industry."

Jungle Ventures beefs up investment team

Jungle Ventures has appointed Ms Grace Xia, former senior director of corporate strategy and development at Tencent, as a principal on its investment team.

At Tencent, Ms Xia focused on identifying strategic opportunities in emerging markets, building the firm's overseas product ecosystem and deploying capital.

"I'm excited to join the Jungle Ventures team at a time of exponential growth of South-east Asia's digital economy and rising middle class in major cities across the region," she said.

Jungle Ventures managing partner Amit Anand said: "Grace brings insights and resources that are invaluable in identifying investment opportunities, as well as in helping our portfolio companies grow. "

New senior adviser for Cocoon Capital

Venture firm Cocoon Capital has appointed business strategist Martin Roll as external senior adviser.

Mr Roll, who is also a senior adviser to McKinsey & Company, will advise the Singapore-based firm and its portfolio companies on strategy, global expansion, branding and marketing.

Cocoon Capital targets early-stage tech investments across South-east Asia. The firm believes in deep, hands-on mentoring and has a cap of six investments a year.

"I am particularly excited to advise young, online growth companies as they have an unprecedented opportunity to disrupt business as usual," Mr Roll said in a statement.

"Asia will create the next frontier of global challenger brands, and I am honoured to help facilitate some of these journeys with Cocoon's managing partners Michael Blakey and Will Klippgen."