GoBear has opened a website designed for Filipino consumers to help them discover the best deals in travel insurance, credit cards and personal loans.
GoBear, Asia’s first metasearch engine for financial products, was started by Dutch Andre Hesselink in Singapore in March 2015. GoBear is also present in Thailand and Malaysia and plans to open in Hong Kong and Vietnam later this year.
On why GoBear expanded to the Philippines, Hesselink says: “We see the biggest growth opportunities here, particularly in Southeast Asia. If you see the growth, especially online and e-commerce, I think it’s been a good choice.”
GoBear Philippines country director Rommel Torres, celebrity brand influencer Iya Villania-Arellano, co-founder Marnix Zwart and founder and chief executive Andre Hesselink
GoBear Philippines country director Rommel Torres says in a news briefing at White Space Manila in Makati City that the company aims to make a difference among Filipino clients of financial products.
“Especially in the Philippines, it would really help Filipinos to have better choice and understanding on loans and insurance and how these financial services can help them in their everyday use,” says Torres.
Hesselink says GoBear was conceived based on an idea of a “totally transparent online search platform to compare insurance.” This was after he encountered difficulties in purchasing an insurance plan for his car in Singapore through the traditional route.
Hesselink eventually gathered a team of like-minded individuals who made it their aim to simplify what many people considered complex.
On why they chose the name GoBear, Hesselink says: “That’s the fun part! We wanted a company name that would have a mascot and everyone wanted a bear. And GoBear also means going bare. We are laying it all out for our consumers.”
GoBear offers a three-step process of “search-compare-select” that enables users to have a hassle-free comparison of their preferred travel insurance, personal loans, credit cards, car insurance, car loans, home loans and health insurance. The first three options are the available services at GoBear.com/ph.
Aside from its accessibility feature, GoBear executives believe that they are “democratizing financial shopping experience” with unbiased and custom-made comparison process, because their user-oriented platform “neither aggregates nor sells products.”
“We help customers make well-informed decisions about what to buy and also where to buy because keep in mind, a metasearch engine doesn’t sell anything, so we are completely unbiased,” Hesselink says.
The startup expects to introduce more products in the Philippine website to continue their name as “one of the fastest growing fintechs” in the industry, referring to financial technology.
This article was first published on the online edition of The Manila Standard, a nationally circulated newspaper published daily in the Philippines since February 1987.
Content & Communications Manager