3 min read

Daily Markup #315: YAS launches BUS RYDE, world’s first embedded bus passenger microinsurance; How a car comparison site became Malaysia’s first tech unicorn in 6 years; Ohmni Robot at the office, a charmer that completes all its tasks

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: YAS MicroInsurance

 A ticket to the future

  • 500-backed insurtech startup YAS MicroInsurance, has entered a strategic partnership with insurance company Generali and Kowloon Motor Bus Company (KMB), Hong Kong’s largest bus company. Through this arrangement, YAS has launched ‘BUS RYDE’, claimed to be the world’s first embedded bus passenger microinsurance.
  • Catering to 4 million Hong Kong daily public bus commuters, registration can be done on the YAS app. Additional coverage can be purchased to protect personal belongings and cover accidental medical expense.
  • William Lee, co-founder of YAS said, “We believe the launch of BUS RYDE fulfills one of our visions to make our city smarter and safer. As a microinsurance, “BUS RYDE” protection is affordable to all and enables us to be financially inclusive because every moment and every person matters!”
  • Samson Fong, the Head of Marketing and Partnership at the startup added, “After Hong Kong, the team is set to embark on a new venture in Southeast Asia and beyond. The experience from partnering with Generali and KMB solidifies our foundation before we bring other microinsurance protection to the region.”
  • Read the full press release on Business Insider here.

Credit: Prestige

The entrepreneurial streak

  • “The whole entrepreneurial mindset has always been embedded in me and is reflected in my day-to-day approach to life. No matter what, it seems I always circled back towards starting my own venture,” said Eric Cheng, co-founder and CEO of 500-backed Carsome to Prestige.
  • From starting a magazine to playing World of Warcraft as a source of revenue, Eric devoted himself to a full-time job at a digital media agency. He rose the ranks to become account director within eight years.
  • In 2015, with co-founder Jiun Ee Teoh, they launched Carsome. Within six months, what started out as a car comparison website, transformed into an e-commerce platform specializing in selling and buying used cars.
  • The rest is history. In 2016, Carsome launched in Singapore and the following year saw it expand to Thailand and Indonesia. Last month, the startup became Malaysia’s first tech unicorn.
  • Read the full interview on Prestige here.

Credit: OhmniLabs

Redefining work from home

  • What does the future of working from home look like? The Yahoo! Sports team gave 500-backed OhmniLabs’ robot a test run at their New York office.
  • Described as a “walking Zoom call”, the team wrote that controlling the robot at work or at school from home gives the user the ability to interact and move around in real-time. “The robot even has a clothing rack so that you can dress it up like a real person,” the review said.
  • The team tested the Ohmni Robot on three main factors: versatility, ease of use, and personability. It scored full marks for versatility as it completed all five tasks assigned, including leading a meeting and heading off to a coffee bar for small talk.
  • For ease of use, the controls are “basically like a simple video game”. The review team also called the robot a “charmer” as it waved hello to everyone in the morning and even helped celebrate a birthday.
  • Read the full review, including a video of the test run, on Yahoo! Sports here.

Ching Yee Ho