Andy Rear was until recently head of the innovative Digital Partners, MunichRe’s London subsidiary which pretty much invented Reinsurance (/Insurance) As A Service (which he covered way back in LFP074). In this episode he rejoins us to present evidence that Insurtech is actually changing an industry.
Andy himself is off to do Non-exec-ing and a PhD in Pensions behaviour and so this might well be his swansong podcast on the topic of Insurtech and as such an industry leading figure it’s a must-listen! Has Insurtech changed an industry – Andy lays out the evidence and you decide…
The alignment of economic interests between buyer and seller is much spoken about but little done. Over two and half years ago when Tobi was first on the show he spoke about the idea of aligning Laka’s interests with their clients. Now we hear this narrative all the time but rarely is it deeply true.
In Laka’s case they do not take payment for the insurance but rather earn money when they pay-out on an insurance claim – the opposite of the insurance industry. Its a “back to the future” approach – back to the origins of insurance as being collectives, co-operatives of say Swiss dairy farmers up an alp bonding together for mutual (sic) support.
Well back then it sounded like a wonderful idea but one that would need careful paramaterisation. As with anything in life one needs to balance compassion for others with compassion for yourself – all too many teachers, doctors et al go into their profession to help people but come out of it decades later bitter and cynical. In the same way you can set up a company tomorrow that is totally focused on client-value (which many say of course but no-one really does) but if you are 100% on client-value then that’s zero value for your business and at some point you go bust.
In this episode we look at truly aligned Insurtech. How has the model gone? Is it widespread? Will it catch on? What does the future hold?
Draper Esprit are one of London’s longer-established VCs and with investments in the likes of Revolut, Transferwise, Thought Machine, Seedrs, Crowdcube and Freetrade might know a thing or two about Fintech. Draper Esprit, like Augmentum who we had on the show last year are also a listed AIM and thus also can offer finance not tied to the cycle of underlying funds – the so-called patient capital model.
Vinoth not only leads Fintech investments at Draper Esprit but has had a long running interest in the sector being at a Zopa Party in around 2007/2008 long before almost every firm now on the scene existed.
In this episode he picks out the key developments in Fintech over the past decade and a half, some of the takeaway lessons that all businesses can implement, some of the challenges and ends with his prospects for the upcoming decade.
One reason that as the Fintech revolution proceeds Fintechs can do more ambitious things is that there an increasing number of back-end service providers that they can plug into. In this episode Joanne Dewar, CEO of back-end payments services provider GPS – who work with 40 issuing banks globally, and operate programmes with 90+ APIs for over 100 clients (including Revolut, Starling Bank and Bo) in 60 countries in 150 currencies – joins us to share her experience of what drives success in this sector for both the B2C front-end companies and the B2B back-end providers. GPS is furthermore a rare example of a profitable Fintech – which are always good to talk to.
Back-end providers have been with us for a long time – Currency Cloud, who executed most of Transferwise’s FX transactions for quite some time were back on the show years ago.
Time moves on though and by now we have plenty of data where partnering/outsourcing worked well and plenty where it did not.
What are the key factors of success? How is it done well and why is it done badly?
The largest financial transaction of your life is also your last – dying! Get it wrong and Boris gets more money for vanity bridges and your relatives are left with a mess on their hands and potentially plenty of squabbles. Get it right and it is smooth for them and you minimise being taxed twice on the same income.
The whole death-related industry – wills, probate (executing wills) and cremations is super-undigitised (98% is still offline). It is into this gap that Dan Garrett co-founder and CEO of Farewill has stepped.
Farewill get 4.9* from >3,000 reviews on Trustpilot so must be doing wills well.
This is a super-important topic – if any of you out there don’t have a will you should get one and now it has been made digitally convenient there is no excuse. You can do it on your phone.
So far Fintech has lionised technologies – APIs, Open Banking, AI/ML and so forth. But from a different perspective these are just glues to connect things that haven’t been connected before to make new propositions not previously possible. Although this has been touched on so far – marketplaces aren’t the best example – after all marketplaces are tens of thousands of years old.
In this episode we are joined by serial entrepreneur Sam O’Connor, CEO of Coconut to discuss convergence – the gluing together of components which were previously seen as different things.
Our smartphones glue together things we would have historically done in different places using different devices – camera, mp3 player, and emails for example, In the same way Coconut are focusing on micro-businesses into which all of us indies seem to need to fold ourselves these days and combining banking, accounting and tax in one place – items which historically would have been seen as different propositions.
Michael conducts the most in-depth analysis of Companies House data on UK Fintechs that I am aware of. That earlier this year he partnered with KPMG and Google on his Fintech Funding and Financing study says a lot. So what can we learn from a decades’s data on UK Fintechs?
Well first that only five are making a profit!
Michael recently updated his study which includes nearly one hundred Fintechs.
In this episode we focus on trends in profitability – which are not all as you might expect – although the report covers many more parameters especially around fund-raisings.
After a decade for the longest running Fintechs we should be able to start to draw conclusions. What are they?
Today Shameer Sachdev founder of Growth Gorilla and I have a wide-ranging conversation about marketing. I’ve done it for over 30yrs and Shameer runs a growth marketing agency who help innovative start-ups, scale-ups & established businesses catalyse growth.. So between us we cover most angles, oldSkool and newSkool 🙂
You may have noticed that “build it and they will come” ain’t how the world works in the 21stC unless you a building a fountain of liquid gold but you’re gonna’ have a hard time making a profit with such a business even if marketing takes care of itself.
However, like everything in life we can all improve in all aspects and so this kick-around conversation is less to give you an A-Z encyclopedia on How To Market than to discuss various ideas and angles and for you to pick out whatever resonates most with you that you might work on in your business tomorrow.
Change creates positive and negatives. The digital world means newer generations will grow up far more tech savvy. On the shadow side as we have touched on in passing a few times the digital world has been a created a nightmare for mental health in the young. But there are many dimensions of challenges – social media and money being but two.
When money was something physical you could put it into kids paws and to spend it they would have to hand some over and end up with less. This gave a good feel for its nature and the limitation of its amount.
How does this work in a virtual world though when literally “no money changes hands”, when “money” is something virtual? GoHenry have an answer to the money education and management piece – a payment card designed for children – digital pocket money if you like and 700,000 clients to date.
Founder Louise Hill and I discuss the challenges kids face in the digital world and hence the challenges their parents have. We don’t have all the answers to all the questions but have had to find some interim answers as parents ourselves.
Britain needs both megabuilds but also a specialised SME property project finance market. Mike Bristow CEO of CrowdProperty a P2P based in Birmingham offers (to both sides) development finance loans and improves risk-returns by disintermediating the SME property finance market. We also debate whether P2P itself is morphing into asset securitisation for institutions (and to an extent retail funds as most folks are too busy/uninformed to second-guess experts by attempting to cherry-pick.)