Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin backs Singapore-based health marketplace start-up CXA

 Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook Inc., speaks during a Wall Street Journal Unleashing Innovation event in Singapore.
Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook Inc., speaks during a Wall Street Journal Unleashing Innovation event in Singapore.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's B Capital Group has led a new financing round for a Singapore-based online health insurance service that values the start-up at US$100 million (S$141.7 million).

EDBI, the venture capital arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, jointly led the US$25 million round in CXA Group alongside Mr Saverin's outfit, the start-up said in a statement on Wednesday (Feb 8). New investors Royal Philips and RGAx, a unit of Reinsurance Group of America, and existing backers NSI Ventures and BioVeda Capital also joined the round.

CXA is among a growing crop of start-ups trying to build an online marketplace for health services, from insurance to data management. Founded by chief executive officer Rosaline Koo, daughter of an illegal Chinese immigrant who made his way from Mexico to San Francisco by sea, CXA now has annual revenue of S$10 million and counts 45 Fortune 500 companies among its 500 corporate clients, she said.

Saverin will join the board of CXA, which plans to expand to 10 countries across Asia in addition to its current markets of Singapore and Hong Kong.

Ms Koo, 55, moved to Singapore before starting CXA in 2013 with S$5 million in savings, after a stint overseeing a 14 country-operation for Mercer Marsh Benefits. She grew up in a Los Angeles ghetto during the Watts riots of the 1960s. Like her father, her mother moved to the US from China, leaving two daughters behind when the Communist Party seized her property.

A number of venture capital firms and private equity firms had expressed their interest in funding CXA but B Capital and EDBI were picked for this round because of their focus on health and wellness, Ms Koo said.