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Ex-Meituan executive lands USD 7 M for his insurance startup

Shen Peng, the co-founder of group-buying site Meituan’s food delivery arm Meituan Waimai, founded a startup this month aiming to help patients with serious diseases. On Monday, he announced that they have completed a RMB 50 million (USD 7.7 million) round of angel financing from Tencent, Meituan-Dianping, IDG, Banyan Capital and Zhen Fund.

Shuidihuzhu, which means “waterdrop aid” in English, is an insurance platform that plans to solve the problem of high medical fees faced by most patients, especially those with a critical illness. When a user is diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer, the platform will crowdfund the medical fees from all of its users. For example, if every user contributes three RMB, a patient will be able to get up to RMB 300,000 from the platform.

Shen said every user’s contribution is like a water drop, small and insignificant. But when pooled together, they are like an oasis in the desert for the patient.

Screenshot from Shuidihuzhu’s official website.

Shen explained why he launched this platform in a letter written after he resigned from Meituan in April.

He said in the fourth quarter of last year, two of his colleges in the newly-merged Meituan-Dianping company were diagnosed with critical diseases. They both passed away because they didn’t get timely treatment due to insufficient funds, despite the company’s HR department raising money for them. Afterwards, he found that fundraising for colleagues is very common within companies but usually aren’t very effective.

In addition, he said, although China has already built a social security system, most of the medical programs and specific drugs for critical diseases are not covered by the system. And as for commercial insurance for critical diseases, many low and middle income people, who are also are more likely to fall ill, cannot afford the high insurance premiums that need to be paid every year.

“So giving people a highly efficient, easy-to-access insurance has become our goal,” said Shen.

The company has launched an insurance plan for cancer. Users need to pay a RMB 9 membership fee and wait 180 days for an approval. After they are approved, users can get the payout if they are diagnosed with cancer.

The company has divided people into three groups according to their age: 30 days to 17 years, ages 18-50, and ages 51-65. Each group gets a different payout, ranging from RMB 20,000 to RMB 300,000.

The newly-founded company has set up its website and WeChat official account.

(Top photo from Baidu Images.)

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