If you googled GoBear Philippines last March, you will find (surprise!) nothing. At about the same time, Rommel, the country manager was on a roll, head hunting for his lean team of 4 to localise the financial technology startup from Singapore. There was one honest to goodness criteria: to accept the challenge of changing the financial mindset of Filipinos through smart comparisons. The platform is there, thanks to the mothership, and all we needed to do was first convince ourselves that this is at least plausible, if not possible.
A month later, the team kicked off gobear.com.ph, but the hustle did not stop there. There was much to do from the beta stages of the website last April to the commercial launch in July. And in a span of 6 short months, GoBear has built a strong foundation in the Philippines with 200,000 active monthly users, and strong partners like Security Bank, Citibank, and Pioneer Insurance who are not afraid to be compared with the rest of the market share.
It wasn't an easy feat, but what's not to love about GoBear? It's free to use, it's easy to navigate, it's unbiased and transparent. We're a package deal that no other comparison website has ever done before. How did we do this? Instead of being a simple comparison website, we created a metasearch engine that doesn't run on ads or quotas. Every result is different, unique, if I may put it.
For users, GoBear Philippines has removed all the pains of comparing online: no sign-up required before getting quotes or information and no broker or agent who will push for products with higher commissions. The brand is all about promoting financial literacy and transparency in a country where most consumers are discouraged to get a loan or credit card because of the long unnerving approval process. The comparison service of GoBear bears all the necessary details, making one’s financial shopping experience more productive.
Currently, some 10% of banks are still traditional in the applications process where people line up for a form and come back for the requirements. This fintech startup has not only touched base with the need of Filipinos to find relevant information online, but it has diligently advocated to work with all major banks in the Philippines to bring their businesses from offline to online. A minority of banks may have the forms online, but they are only available for downloading. With GoBear, users can apply directly after comparing with no additional fees or charges.
By comparing with GoBear, you will realize that company A and company B may offer insurance at the same price, but if you look further into the details, one offers much less benefits than the other. You get the best value for money this way when you compare before you commit. Right now, people can compare loans, credit cards and travel insurance, but soon enough, we can start comparing car insurance, car loans, home loans, even the more complex health and life insurance.
For as long as Filipinos need it, GoBear will be there, breaking barriers one paw at a time.
It's as simple as that. Go bare or go home.
(from left) Country Director Rommel Torres, celebrity influencer Iya Villania, CEO Andre Hesselink, and SVP for
Business Development Marnix Zwart
GoBear visits the Philippine office
Content & Communications Manager Kristine Esperacion and Country Director Rommel Torres in Cebu for a press launch
Booth visitors during the SMX Travel Madness Expo, July 7 through 10.