Singaporean start-up Gigacover has announced its expansion into the Philippines in an effort to cement itself as the pioneering financial health platform for the informal workforce in Southeast Asia.
Over 1.5 million Filipinos are part of the informal workforce, which has boomed since the pandemic. Like its other Southeast Asian counterparts, the Philippines lacks the financial protection from institutionalized mechanisms.
Gigacover offers tailored financial and insurance services to gig workers, freelancers and self-employed persons, who often lack the benefits of regular employment. Among its more notable products is the Freelancer Earnings Protection, which provides informal workers access to paid medical and sick leaves.
Gigacover also provides employers cost-effective group healthcare and insurance. It entered the Philippine market with logistics platform Gogo Xpress of QuadX and freelancing group Filipina Homebased Moms (FHMoms) as its first customers.
"At Gogo Xpress, we pride ourselves in treating our rider partners as our third customer, apart from our sellers and buyers,” said Bea Mantecon, head of customer success at QuadX. “That is why we were so delighted to partner with Gigacover, the first company we’ve worked with that focuses primarily on perks relevant to gig workers."
Operations for Gigacover Philippines will be headed by Sebastian San, country manager for the team of 20 based in Makati City. San will oversee business aspects and work towards doubling the local headcount by the end of 2022.
Amerson Lin, co-founder and chief executive officer of Gigacover, said that Gigacover will expand its product line to include capital and banking services in Q1 2022, especially since the Philippines remains the third-largest unbanked population in the region.
“We are excited to play a leading role in providing inclusive benefits and improving the social security of the Philippines' gig workforce,” Lin said. “Beyond just a typical insurance provider, Gigacover is a financial platform that works with insurance companies and financial institutions to provide [more] benefits.”
Since its expansion, Gigacover has added Etiga and Aventus Medical Care to its growing list of partnerships to offer more healthcare services to those who need it the most.