Bowtie, a Hong Kong-based digital life insurer, has raised $22.6m in its Series B1 funding round led by Mitsui.

The round also saw participation from the company’s existing investor Sun Life Hong Kong, which is the local arm of insurance company Sun Life.

Bowtie will use the funding to scale its operations in Hong Kong and across Asia.

It also plans to co-develop value-based healthcare in the region with Mitsui and other healthcare providers.

Notably, Japan’s Mitsui is the largest shareholder in IHH Healthcare, which is a leading private healthcare services network.

Bowtie co-CEO and co-founder Michael Chan said: “We are excited to partner with Mitsui to fundamentally redesign how customers navigate both the insurance and healthcare systems, improving the service quality while making it truly affordable.”

In January 2019, Bowtie obtained the first virtual insurance licence from the Hong Kong Insurance Authority.

The digital insurer claims to have grown ten times over the past year and aims to bridge Hong Kong’s $886bn protection gap.

Sun Life Hong Kong CEO Clement Lam said: “Bowtie has grown tremendously since its inception. We are aligned with Bowtie’s mission and vision in covering the protection gap across Asia, and we are proud to continue our investment into Bowtie on its journey.”

Mitsui subsidiary MBK Healthcare Management CEO Koichiro Sato said: “This is our first investment in a health insurance company, which has long been the missing puzzle in our value-based healthcare ecosystem.

“Bowtie is one of the most promising insurtech start-ups in Asia with the ambition to disrupt health insurance through modern technology.”