Val Yap (Singapore Entrepreneur)

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Val Yap
Val Yap.jpg
EducationBachelor of Media Communications (Digital Media), Master of Science (Business Management)
Alma materUniversity of the Arts London, Imperial College London

Val Jihsuan Yap (born 1988) is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PolicyPal, an insurance technology start-up.[1] To date, PolicyPal has over 50,000 users and manages over $70 million worth of insurance premiums.[2] In 2017, Val Yap appeared on Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30 - Finance & Venture Capital’ list for Asia.[3][4] In 2019, she received the Great Women of Our Time Award (Finance & Commerce) from Women’s Weekly.[2] Most recently in 2020, the entrepreneur was featured in Fortune’s ‘40 Under 40 - Finance’ list for her influence in the financial technology (fintech) industry.[5][6]



Val Yap was born in 1988. She has two sisters.[7]


Val Yap was formerly a student of University of the Arts London (UAL), where she graduated with first class honours for her Bachelor of Media Communications (Digital Media) degree.[8][9] She is also an alumna of the Imperial College London, where she graduated with a Masters in Business Management in 2012.[8][10] Speaking about her time at Imperial, she said:

"The course gave me a broad experience of how businesses are run, covering finance, marketing and organisational behaviour. It helped show me how to run businesses."[11]

Early career

Between 2010 and 2013, Val Yap held positions at various finance and insurance companies such as Allianz Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).[8][12] She joined the banking industry in 2014 as a post-graduate management associate at OCBC Bank.[8] At OCBC, Val Yap helped to launch digital initiatives such as the OCBC OneTouch campaign in March 2015.[12][13] In April 2016, she left the corporate world to establish her start-up, PolicyPal.[14]

CEO of PolicyPal (2016 - current)

Val Yap pictured with her two co-founders in 2016. Photo credit to Gin Tay/ The Straits Times.


Val Yap first conceptualised PolicyPal after facing difficulties in managing her parents' insurance policies.[7] Speaking to Human Asia in a February 2019 interview, she shared more about how PolicyPal came to fruition:

“My mother was diagnosed with cancer and the insurance company rejected our application for a claim, as the policy had lapsed for a short while. In that same year, my father had a sudden heart attack and unfortunately passed away. We were unaware of how much insurance he had and had to personally visit all the insurers to find out. The experience made me realise the importance of having a well-organised folder of all my insurance policies.”[12]

Due to having no background in technology and startups, Val Yap enrolled herself in Founder’s Institute, an entrepreneurship program where she took courses relating to entrepreneurship and startup companies.[7][8] In June 2016, she launched PolicyPal alongside her two co-founders, Rick Wong and Ng Jun Wei who were also the start-up's first programmers.[14]

Growth & recognition

Val Yap at an interview with CNA Luxury in 2020. Photo credit to Samsung/ CNA Luxury.

In 2016, PolicyPal was accepted into the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Sandbox, a government-sponsored program for high-potential financial technology (fintech) startups.[7][15] PolicyPal became the first startup to graduate from the programme in August 2017.[16] In a 2020 interview with Vulcan Post, Val Yap spoke about how graduating from MAS’ Sandbox program changed the public perception of PolicyPal:

“Insurance companies work on a relationship basis (but) I had zero relationship with them. Our growth during the MAS Sandbox program changed how the industry looked at us.”[7]

When the AMTD Group’s digital arm, AMTD Digital acquired PolicyPal in June 2020, Val Yap remained as CEO of the company.[17][18] Besides expanding into the Hong Kong market through AMTD Digital, Val Yap plans to create insurance products that fulfil end-to-end insurance support for PolicyPal’s consumers. Elaborating on her plans, she was quoted to have said the following:

“You can’t digitalise something that is built for face-to-face advisory, so the next step is product creation. How do we change the mindset of how people think about insurance? You want them to think of digital insurance as convenient, as investing in peace of mind instead of feeling like they are being sold to.”[7]

According to an article published by CNA Luxury in 2020, PolicyPal has achieved over 100,000 organic downloads at the time of writing.[19]

Public speaking

Val Yap speaking at RISE. Photo from source.

Over the years, Val Yap has been engaged by various organisers to speak about her experiences in entrepreneurship and fintech. The following is a non-exhaustive list of her appearances.

Year Event Organiser Refs.
2020 Fast Tracking Your Asian Expansion - webinar Invest Hong Kong [20]
2018 Fintech Finals 2018 Next Money [21]
Faster Future Forum: Unlock Blockchain Digital Ventures Co., Ltd [22]


In December 2019, Val Yap released her first book, Balls Inc.[23] The book chronicles Val's experiences while growing PolicyPal and is aimed at female entrepreneurs who are interested in starting up their own technology business.[24]

Volunteer work

Besides managing PolicyPal, Val Yap has also performed volunteer work over the years. In 2015, she raised S$4,000 to build emergency shelters in Nepal after an earthquake struck the country, destroying almost 600,000 homes.[8][25] In 2017, Val Yap held a fundraiser for the Daughters of Ruth Foundation, an orphanage in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She managed to raise over S$6,000 to aid in the orphanage’s education expenses. Most recently in 2020, Val Yap held a fundraiser with The Boys’ Brigade to raise US$5,000 for construction of a classroom in Cambodia.[8]

References/ Citations

  1. About”. PolicyPal. n.d. Accessed on 18 November 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Molok, Natalya. “How Val Yap Of PolicyPal Disrupted The Insurance Industry With A Bold Idea”. Women’s Weekly. August 17, 2019. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  3. Val Yap”. Forbes. n.d. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  4. 30 Under 30 Asia - Finance & Venture Capital”. Forbes. 2017. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  5. "Val Yap”. Fortune. 2020. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  6. 40 Under 40”. Fortune. 2020. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Chow, Basia. “Cutting Through The Insurance Noise: Val Yap, PolicyPal CEO”. Vulcan Post. August 7, 2020. Accessed on 18 November 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Val Yap. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 18 November 2020. Retrieved from:
  9. BA (Hons) Media Communications”. University of the Arts London. n.d. Accessed on 18 November 2020.
  10. Johns, Stephens. "Singapore Day: Celebrating Imperial’s connections with the Lion City". Imperial College London. March 22, 2018. Accessed on 20 November 2020.
  11. Johns, Stephens. "Imperial alumni: Singapore’s innovative entrepreneurs". Imperial College London. August 21, 2019. Accessed on 20 November 2020.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Val Yap – and the Coming Revolution in Insurance”. Human Asia. February 6, 2019. Accessed on 18 November 2020.
  13. OCBC unveils OCBC OneTouch for fingerprint banking”. Asia Banking & Finance. March 17, 2015. Accessed on 18 November 2020.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Hio, Lester. "App that helps you manage your insurance matters". The Straits Times. August 24, 2016. Accessed on 20 November 2020.
  15. Anisa Menur A. Maulani. "Val Jihsuan Yap of PolicyPal talks the future of fintech, and why collaboration always matters". e27. June 22, 2017. Accessed on 20 November 2020.
  16. Yasmine Yahya. "PolicyPal is first start-up to graduate from MAS programme". The Straits Times. August 30, 2017. Accessed on 20 November 2020.
  17. Choy, Natalie. “AMTD Digital acquires insurtech startup PolicyPal”. The Business Times. June 11, 2020. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  18. AMTD Digital Completes the Acquisition of PolicyPal”. AMTD Group. June 12, 2020. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  19. Brand Studio. "In a time of disruption, connection is key to driving innovation". CNA Luxury. November 2020. Accessed on 20 November 2020.
  20. Invest Hong Kong. “FinTechHK Webinar - Fast Tracking Your Asian Expansion (16 Jun)”. YouTube. June 17, 2020. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  21. Next Money. “FF18 PANEL SESSION Sleeping Dragon”. YouTube. September 11, 2018. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  22. Digital Ventures Co., Ltd. “Faster Future Forum: Unlock Blockchain to Endless Possibilities”. YouTube. May 4, 2018. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  23. Balls Inc.: How to embrace challenges and build a tech startup”. Kinokuniya. n.d. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  24. Review: “Balls Inc.”. DigFin. January 1, 2020. Accessed on 19 November 2020.
  25. Lim, Yi Han. “Village devastated by earthquake in Nepal gets aid from Singapore YMCA volunteers”. The Straits Times. November 20, 2015. Accessed on 19 November 2020.