EP 142 – Andrew Wong – Koba Insurance – We Jumped in the Big Kids’ Game

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Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His AsiaTechPodcast.com show has listeners in more than 130 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Guest
Andrew Wong

Senior executive with substantial history in digital and commercial marketing strategy. Digitally launched Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands for corporate environments and start-ups in global markets (US, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, China, and UK).

The Asia InsurTech Podcast spoke to Andrew Wong, the founder of Koba Insurance, about the insurance market in Australia and the potential of pay-per-mile usage-based insurance. 

Michael Waitze  

Okay, we’re on. Hi, this is Michael Waitze, and welcome back to the Asia InsurTech Podcast. This is the only podcast in Asia focused on insurance that gives entrepreneurs, thought leaders and investors a platform to discuss how technology is reshaping the insurance industry globally. Today, we are excited to have Andrew Wong on the show. Andrew is the founder of Koba Insurance. Andrew, it’s great to have you here. How are you doing, man?

Andrew Wong  

Yeah, pretty good. Thanks for having me.

Michael Waitze  

It’s my pleasure. Before we get into the main part of the conversation, what do you think is the biggest trend and InsurTech in Australia? And by extension, the rest of this region?

Andrew Wong  

Yeah, it’s an interesting question. I think the biggest change, the biggest factors here are actually external factors. Australia as a country is relatively small anyways, is 20-25 million people. There are not a lot of international companies coming here, because it’s just easier to open up in another small market in the rest of APAC or the rest of North America, Europe. And so in fact, I think the biggest changes that are going to come to Australia are external factors, external forces, like an Apple, a Google, a car manufacturer seeking change, or wanting to drive change within the insurance space. There are a lot of businesses that are adjacent to insurance, that will start to force the change in how insurance operates as data, digital, technology drives their industries harder, it’s going to make their requirements to move faster and to move easier and to share data and to be more accessible in the insurance market.

Michael Waitze  

That’s a killer answer by the way. Before we go even further, can we get a little bit of your background just so people can understand, you’re in Australia, right? But you don’t sound Australian to me.

Andrew Wong  

I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world. Many years ago, I was born in New Zealand, I grew up in California. So I actually call Santa Monica or Los Angeles home. It’s where my parents live. But in 2000, I moved to New Zealand to go to university, did 10 years in Australia after that, couple years in Asia, couple years in London, couple of years in silicon, silicon valley. And now that I have kids, my wife is Australian, and therefore my kids are now Australian. Grandma told us it was time to return home to Australia for grandma daycare. So we’ve come back to Australia in the last 12 months, and we’ve launched this business,

Michael Waitze  

Did you launch this business actually after coming back to Australia for grandma?

Andrew Wong  

Yeah, so grandma said about two years ago, she literally said it’s time to bring the grandbabies back to Australia. And at that time, my wife and I said, Okay, if we are going back to Australia, Australia is a phenomenal market to launch a new business and it’s just a phenomenal market to be a startup in. But it’s probably too small of a market to invent something. So what we actually did is we went and scout the world for a couple of really interesting finance or insurance or technology solutions to ultimately bring it back to Australia. And that’s where we found pay per kilometer insurance. You know, when we were living in San Francisco, I really liked the Metro Mile model, had some friends and partners that were working out of the UK and did the by miles model, and realized that that was a really big opportunity and changing and evolving industry that would be really applicable in Australia.

Michael Waitze  

So you, you said something actually quite interesting. You said, I mean, obviously this stuff about not being invented but bringing something in fits into your sort of big trend of, we’re not going to invent something here, but stuff is going to come here and that’s what’s going to drive change. I’m curious why you were focused on FinTech, InsurTech. The technology part makes sense to me, right? The whole world is becoming just the technology world. But why InsurTech and Fintech? Because that doesn’t kind of drive with your background, does it?

Andrew Wong  

Well, yes and no. My background is is consumer packaged goods or fast moving consumer goods, if you want to look at it that way. For the most part, insurance as a commodity product, same thing as soap, right? All car insurance products, more or less are similar. It was ready for disruption. It was ready for change. It was a market that hadn’t changed in many years. And as we can see, with the global investing that’s happening in the InsurTech space, it’s been the right time to come into the business, right. I think we all saw the Willis Tower Watson report from a couple of months ago, saying that the investment in InsurTech was, you know, equal to last year and equal to the year before. And, you know, with my own personal career, we’ve kind of taken the same journey, investing in the InsurTech space. Because we all know let’s be honest, the biggest change the biggest two biggest changes in car insurance in the last 50 years was you can now buy it online. And before that was the invention of the seatbelt. Right? Nothing else has changed in car insurance. And so we’re really excited to kind of bring a new model and our new and offer to the Australian market.

Michael Waitze  

I’ll throw airbags at you, but I don’t disagree with you. And actually, I have this conversation often it’s like, it’s hard to get an engineer, like coming out of MIT to focus on the windshield wipers. It just doesn’t feel that sexy, does it?

Andrew Wong  

No, no. And look, everyone looks at the car data anyways, like the when you talk, car intelligence, car smarts, everyone goes to Tesla, right? And really their battery company that is in the car industry. And that’s the sexy stuff you’ve got. And if you start to look at it at a consumer style, good if you’re the data, the car driving information, like there is some interesting things in here. It’s about packaging it up together to get the engineers and to get the industry changing and thinking a different way.

Michael Waitze  

Yes. So I would submit to you that actually Tesla is more than just a battery company. I like the way you said that though. To me, like almost all car companies. Tesla is a FinTech and an InsurTech company. And if you go look at even Toyota, General Motors, Ford, they all made more money off their credit businesses than they made off selling cars. In particular, the car was just the thing where that FinTech business manifested itself. I’m really curious what you think about Tesla actually getting into not just the car insurance business, but even the general insurance business as well.

Andrew Wong  

I think it’s a perfect example of my, what I was saying earlier on how its external forces and factors in the industry that are going to drive the change, right? It’s the same way that you know, the camera companies in the film and photo companies didn’t realize that the digital tech was going to come over and take over their space. It’s the same thing that I think insurance is just, they’ve had a great for a long time. And there are so many other channels, so many other opportunities where you need to buy a product and then get insurance, that the other the external markets are going to start to kind of change this space very fast.

Michael Waitze  

Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of bummed Kodak out since they invented the digital camera. And Cisco, I believe, actually had a product called the iPhone. And you see what’s going on? Because the iPhone really should just change its name to iCamera, since that’s where most of the innovation is. 

Andrew Wong  

But I think that’s the thing is like, yeah, the iPhone or the camera or anything like that. It wasn’t brand new. Right? You weren’t they weren’t, they weren’t inventing anything. Which is why I think, again, it’s the external markets that are bringing in their tech their products, their customers, to the solution, and you’re they’re making it more popular. Because at the end of the day, that’s the difference. It’s the scalability is the ability to convince people to use your solution,

Michael Waitze  

Right. Look you worked at Nike as well, you’re actually wearing a Nike sweatshirt, which I think is kind of cool. And you’re lucky because you live in a country where there are seasons, I live in a country where like buying a sweatshirt would just be like lighting money on fire, because there’s no time to wear it. And average temperature of 33 degrees every day. That’s celsius for those of you scoring at home. What was it like working at Nike? And what do you think you learned there? From a branding perspective? I’m really interested in this. That actually translates into what you’re doing at Koba?

Andrew Wong  

Um, look, I think Nike does it best in terms of the coolness factor and building and creating communities. Right? Again, anyone can sell a shoe, anyone can sell a t shirt, because at the end of the day, it’s something that everyone needs. But it’s the ability to create a community, a need, a want, the ability to make your product, I guess, cool, in a sense, right? There’s something that is desirable. Right? And Lord knows that car insurance and insurance is not that industry yet. It can be, it definitely can be, right. 

Michael Waitze  

I mean, if you look at the mathematics around insurance, right, I mean, becoming an actuary is actually quite difficult. It’s probably, you know, it’s very difficult mathematics. And when we first started doing this podcast over two years ago, in May 2019, a lot of the incumbents would say to us, and even the InsurTech would say to us, insurance isn’t sexy, but I mean, you reference the Willis Towers. I can remember the last name Martin survey, right? Like, if it ain’t sexy, a lot of people are throwing a lot of money at something that’s not so sexy, I would submit to you that it’s actually quite sexy now, and that actually hiring people into insurance and InsurTech businesses has become a lot easier. No?

Andrew Wong  

So yeah, I think there’s two sides of it. Right? There’s the consumer side, which is may or may not be sexy, right? Like, you can definitely make it interesting with the data and what types of cars you have. And, you know, we all know that a car is a great consumer product that everyone has huge love for. Right. But then the other side, as you touched on, which was recruitment. I agree. I think insurance and InsurTech has the ability to be the type of product that everyone wants to be part of. Right. It touches on data, tech, fast moving, it’s big money, great teams, right? You can build a phenomenal culture. There’s lots of different roles. There’s huge progression. There’s both big enormous corporate businesses that you can move into if you want to go up the ladder, and there’s great small InsurTech if you want to work on the ground, making change. I think insurance really does have one of those true kind of all rounder style industries that just just relevant for everyone.

Michael Waitze  

Yeah, I mean look, the one of the one of the guys was on another one of my shows this guy, Steven DuPont Han, who’s the head of insurance products at a company in Europe called Koala which basically does everything on a parametric basis, which again, is interesting. He said, when he was graduating from university in India, he looked around and insurance was the only industry that touched every other industry.

Andrew Wong  

Yeah, I completely agree. And, and it’s one of those things, one of those industries as well, that you that isn’t front of mind, until someone points it out, until someone tells you a little bit about it, until someone teaches you about what’s involved, you then start to realize how much of insurance is actually, you know, trying to make the world a better place, right. Making things safer, making things easier, you know, covering people from disaster, and I think it’s the type of product that everyone would ultimately want to be part of.

Michael Waitze  

Protection at some level, right? Do people really want to take a device and install it in their car? And to be fair, I haven’t owned a car in 10 years, right. I mean, I owned it, but it wasn’t mine. Let me let me tell you a funny story. When my daughter was really little, I took her to a mall, right? And I drove over there and my wife was actually somewhere else at the time. And I said to her, when we were when it’s time to go home, I said, Hey, Kyla, where did I park my car? And she said to me, your car? That’s Mommy’s car. Okay? I’m not kidding, that really happened. But anyway, so I haven’t own my own car actually in a while, but two people install really want to install that thing in their car. It’s not hard, right? Because that pin thing is right there. The what does it OBD?

Andrew Wong  

Yes, correct. I don’t know if the question is, do people want to plug something in? I think the question is more. Do people want to have a connected relationship with their car? Yeah, like I think because if people are willing to have a connected refrigerator, or I, the other day, I saw connected rice pot, right? Like, if you want a digital enabled life, where you can get smarter solutions, we can get convenience. The car is is an obvious first or second choice right outside of your house, the car is generally someone’s second or third largest investment in their lifetime. So why wouldn’t you want a product that helps you care for it better, service it better, maintain it better, find it, as you as you said, you have a problem with. And at the end of the day that the plug really is predominately for cars that are older than 2020. One year. Going forward, it’s less about plugging the device in, and more that the car manufacturers are building a connected relationship with the car for themselves. Right, the car manufacturer for the first time ever will have a data connection that passes between the car and them, which helps them kind of increase two things. One being, they’ve never had a connection to the end consumer. So that drives loyalty for them. And the other one is that they have fundamentally the ability to make the car safer. And so that car manufacturer, again, external factors will really drive the change in the industry. And so if we can position ourselves with the device right now. So everyone who has a car older than brand new, right? Can you get on board with this connectivity? And everyone going forward who buys a new car can again, similarly take advantage of the services. I think we’re in a really good place in order for us to kind of grow fast.

Michael Waitze  

Is there a bit of a worry from a data privacy standpoint, particularly because that like you said, connected car takes you places where you may not want other people to know that you’re going, in other words, like if you’re a bank robber, and you take your car, the getaway car is gonna do you don’t I mean? Yeah, with with that as well. Yeah.

Andrew Wong  

I completely agree with you. Like, look, there, there are going to be people who are concerned about tracking. It’s just the nature of it. Right. But for those who are truly against it and live in analog life, this product just isn’t for them. Right, everyone that has an iPhone, a smartwatch, a Fitbit. You’re already you’re already being tracked anyways. Right. And it’s just understanding the how it’s being used and understanding how the tracking actually adds value to your life, as opposed to uncovers the shadiness that is going on in your life. Like if you’re being shady, and you’re robbing a bank, again, probably not the best product for you. And I’ll be honest, as an insurance company, we don’t want to insure people who are robbing banks, right. But as a company, you know, data privacy is on the forefront of everything we do, right? We really focus on data security, we really focus on data privacy, we have a true believing that the data belongs to the consumer. And that ultimately, it’s the consumers choice on how they would like to use it. We only use the data to track mileage or kilometers traveled and that’s how we kind of set our policy and our premium We don’t do it like a lot of the other companies out there at the moment, do it on behavior based scoring. Behavior based scoring for me is a little bit big brothery. And going well, I was like, good or bad? Or did I drive better or worse than they did last month? You know that, that it starts to kind of go to that space where the insurance company really is looking at everything? 

Michael Waitze  

I was just, there’s a company, it’s kind of between the UK and Singapore, but a company called Jamm and they make a camera, it’s actually a two sided camera that they install in your car, I’ve had them on the show as well. And what they’re trying to do is to actually use your experience just for you to teach you how to drive better. So then you can use that data selectively to show the insurance company that you’re a better driver than they think you are to do the same thing that you’re trying to do, which is lower premiums, right? Again, the data is yours. And they have games that they can play based on what the camera sees you doing on the road, and also the way the camera sees you reacting physically, to your own driving. So it’s kind of interesting, and it’s not big brotherish, in the same way that you were talking about where, you know, some of these companies want to track not just how much you’re driving, but yeah, where you’re going as well.

Andrew Wong  

Yeah, so those, those companies are interesting. And I think they’re extremely valuable for commercial space, right? Where you really need to focus on the driver, their safety, what they’re doing things like that. Telematics has been around for 15 or 20 years. And so this isn’t anything new, I think the problem is, is that as a consumer proposition, it’s been hard to figure out why it’s a value. And so what we’re trying to really focus on is simply on a premium and pricing level by going look, when you’re not driving, you’re actually not at any risk to get in a collision. So why are we charging you for the risk of getting in a collision if you’re not driving. And so simply by charging based on a mileage basis, or a pay per kilometer basis, we put the premium paid back into the drivers hands, and simply during lockdown or a pandemic, if you’re not driving very far. Or if you’re like you who just haven’t had a car in years, and you’re not driving very much, then you’re in control of how much you pay. And in that sense, we only cover you for what you’re using. The small fee that covers you while you’re parked like because obviously someone can crash into you or can be stolen. So there’s a small fee for that. And then everything else is simply pay per kilometer. And that way you’re in charge of what you’re paying.

Michael Waitze  

So talk to me about, you know, one of the things that a lot of people don’t understand external to the insurance industry is getting capacity, right. So that capacity is the underwriting ability. You can have the greatest product in the world. But if someone’s not willing to underwrite it for you, you’re kind of dead in the water. Talk to me about this partnership with Eric, how hard was that to affect? And what does it mean to have that capacity?

Andrew Wong  

That’s everything right. Without them, we are dead in the water. So Eric has been an absolutely fantastic strategic partner so far. Eric insurance for your listeners are a motor specific car insurer, based here in Australia. They predominantly have products like bike insurance, car insurance, GAP Insurance, warranties, they call themselves the motoring specialist. Right, right. And so they launched their own consumer brand in the last two or three years and are making a very concerted effort to build a consumer offer. And so they have been absolutely fantastic in understanding that innovation is new, understanding that we are trying to change the game, and understanding that there is obviously more risk in creating a new product, because the reality is we don’t know what the answer is always going to be right. And so we’ve really worked hard with them to put in good processes, show them that the people that we have within our organization are all proven insurance people, and that we are dedicated to insurance metrics, not just VC metrics and growth metrics, but that we can actually run a solid insurance business. And so you know, they’ve been fantastic. Like every insurer, you know, you will not like every year like every insurer, every startup, the startup always wants to go faster. But they’ve done a great job in reining us in and making sure that we’ve de risked everything and make sure that we’re going to market smartly.

Michael Waitze  

You know, one of the things I like to ask startups for that for the exact reason that you just mentioned this, because the speed differential could be huge. What is it like building that relationship and actually getting them to commit to capacity? I’ve seen other startups do it. It takes time. Right? Your product should be more obvious to them, because they’re the motor specialists. But it couldn’t have been that obvious. Otherwise, they would have just done it. Right. Like what how was building that relationship? And how has that become so effective?

Andrew Wong  

Um, look, I think I think if they, to their credit, they already understood the innovation and the need for innovation. I think the the hard part of any corporate business is understanding how to run a small business in a big business. You have a lot of you have a lot of corporate VCs, you have a lot of corporate businesses trying to start Innovation doing investment. At the end of the day, the way that you manage a 10 person team in a portfolio of a million dollars is fundamentally different than running a portfolio of a billion dollars in a couple of 100 people. Right. And so understanding that change management, the metric management understanding that you have senior people doing DO IT roles, right, is really something that, in my opinion, no corporate businesses set up for. And it’s just not and, and if they really do want to be part of innovation and change, there’s kind of two ways of doing it. Corporate innovation takes three, four or five years with proven markets and being able to roll it out on a global scale. And mine was part of all of that within within the FMCG world. Likewise, you know, or there’s the partnering with startups who fundamentally have good people in it, who understand how to grow but are also in that do it model and willing to sell five policies or sell them hand to hand combat in order to get to a certain place where you can make three year, five year strategic decisions, right, like, the decisions we make are what’s going to affect us and bring in more sales next week, not in two years time. And and I think, again, to Eric credit, has been done a great job in understanding their role in that and making sure that the barriers and the obstacles for us are knocked down in 12 months time and in 24 months time, rather than nickel and diming us in tying Hey, how are you going to get this policy tomorrow? How you’re going to get these people in tomorrow? They really kind of lead us in with our experience, really let us kind of manage those things ourselves.

Michael Waitze  

Had you ever built your own company before from scratch?

Andrew Wong  

Yeah, like every good startup founder. This is my third startup. Second time I’ve raised money. The other two went up in a blaze of glory. I guess you could say, you could say I learned a lot. Yeah, exactly. And I think as much as people talk about that all the time, I think there is something about learning, obviously, and understanding how to deal with failure. But I think the other one is, I moved my family to San Francisco where we raised some money to run a startup there, we jumped in the big kids game, you know, and there was considerably different rules can considerably different speed. And really understanding how that happened in San Francisco and Silicon Valley has been absolutely essential to me understanding how to run the game here in Australia.

Michael Waitze  

Yeah, I mean, I like to say when I used to work at Goldman Sachs, just stuff moved so fast, just so fast. And when I left that environment, and kind of moved into the VC and sort of private equity and startup investing space, like the whole world slowed down. Venture capitalist don’t like when I say that, but that’s just a fact. Sorry, go ahead.

Andrew Wong  

No, no, I agree. And I think you know, understanding that corporate game like yourself a Goldman Sachs like myself, at Reckitt, like you understand a five-year strategy, a three-year studies, you know how to write a plan, you know, I read a p&l by bringing all of those corporates skills to a startup space, where you have to have that same level of strategy and do it in tactical desire and hunger. Like, I think we’ve been in a really good position, launching here in Australia, and with the hope of doing more.

Michael Waitze  

So you mentioned earlier that Australia was a small market, right? 20 something million people 10 million drivers.

Andrew Wong  

20 million drivers.

Michael Waitze  

My numbers are bad. Excuse me. I can’t get everything right. Do you see yourself expanding to the market? So you think there’s enough going on there for expansion in Australia over the next few years?

Andrew Wong  

Look, I want to say yes, to going global to go expansion to come to APAC, it’s every founders dream, right to grow fast. But the reality is that we have to sell policy number one next month, right, we’ve got to sell policy number 10,000 in the first year, and all of our goals and all of our plans are focused on getting the market and growing in Australia. And once we get to there in years, three and year four, if we set up a position and set up a piece of tech and set up the relationships that we can go 100% I’ll pull a pull the trigger and take the opportunity. But that being said, right, with 20 million vehicles on the road $22 billion industry here in Australia, you know, 5%, 2% of that is an enormous business. And you know, we can spend a lifetime focusing on Australia. And if we get lucky enough, sure. 100% I’d love to go international. You know, APAC is a very natural fit. But look, I would be doing myself a disservice if I wasn’t focusing on tomorrow.

Michael Waitze  

You just need a grandmother in Thailand or something. 

Andrew Wong  

Either a grandmother or a rich uncle.

Michael Waitze  

Don’t we all? Um, are there other products that you think about rolling out as well other products on the roadmap or you just want to focus on this one first, get it out there like say get the 10,000 policy sold and then trying to figure that out?

Andrew Wong  

Yeah, I think the answer ultimately is the same. You got to focus on product number one. That being said, you know, we’re writing our kind of two year plan right now submitted our 2020 plan literally this week. We’re submitting it this week. The question is, is what are the other products that we could go to. And we’ve identified there are probably spaces in other car, right? So SMBs are fleet, right? That could be commercial product, motorcycles could be an easy adaptation, right, because you’re using the same tech, the same devices, the same market with the same everything, and you’re rolling out a second second product, those are relatively easy things to adopt to. But I actually think wider whether this is for us to tackle or someone else in the in the rest of the Australian market to tackle, I fundamentally believe that the way all insurance is priced at the moment is going to change. With the addition of new datasets and the ability to bring them in to create different risk models, is a really is going to be a really interesting way to it was going to be a really big challenge for the industry. But at the moment, for the most part, pricing is done on an aggregated level where you’re balancing out your financial portfolio. Whereas if you take the concepts of usage based insurance, where you’re actually looking at a usage or usage based model, there will be other industries, other insurance industries that take up the same, right. And and those prices and those models actually became a more customer centric pricing model. Again, because it’s the customer who’s using it determines how much the premium they should be paying, will ultimately change the way that the rest of the industry is shaped. Which industries that will change. I’m not 100% Sure which will go next. But you know, there’s got to be some pretty pretty obvious ones in the commercial in the business space.

Michael Waitze  

So I’m sure, but if you talk to the wider sort of IoT, people in the startup space, they’re already implementing devices that go inside buildings, airplanes, all these things, for maintenance reasons, right? If they can see the breakdown in any one of the components in the building in the plane and the helicopter, or in the car. Besides just the insurance components of this, it can help them on the maintenance side. And as you said earlier, if it just makes people safer, because they know that something in the car is either wearing out or breaking down or close to it. That can have impact as well. No.

Andrew Wong  

Yeah. 100%. Right. And there are industries that actually need that help. Right. So we’re looking at a product around like micro mobility and scooters, right? The insurance industry is actually a obstacle at the moment because nobody knows how to price for it. Because there isn’t a long legacy amount of dollars and cents in the bank. To cover the industry, there needs to be new models and new ways of understanding how the industry is changing and adopting. And you know, IoT devices usage based, you know, technology is going to drive the change and lots of those different opportunities. 

Michael Waitze  

Have you raised money as well?

Andrew Wong  

We have, we’ve been pretty lucky, we’ve had a pretty amazing group of investors and early adopters that really believed in us. So we raised about 700,000, from angel investors here in Australia, US and New Zealand. And literally a month ago, we finished a crowdfund where we raised a million dollars through the virtual crowdfunding platform here in Australia, which was really exciting for us. Because A it meant that the retail investor was excited for the product. But B, we predominately ran it because it meant we could have some customers, we have over 400 people that have invested in the company that we’re hoping will be our early adopters, will hopefully be our early consumers, will hopefully be the vocal people within our you know, reviews and recommendations helping us drive by telling all their friends about it. And even more importantly, when there’s something wrong being the first to speak up and telling us that it’s broken or that it doesn’t work. So we can take the feedback and make the changes. 

Michael Waitze  

Again, I had, I had the head of marketing from Lifepal, which is obviously at a different stage of development than Koba, but one of the things that they’ve done really well, right is that they have a blog that has 4 million people, 4 million active users every month. And they have an Instagram account that has 500,000 people on it. I’m serious, and it makes me think that like, I mean, my belief anyways, that every every company should have some media aspect to it. Because if you’re not controlling your message somebody else’s and Lifepal has done a pretty incredible job of controlling their message. Do you think about that as well? It may feel to you like it’s a little bit of a lack of focus. But like you said, the crowdfunding is a great idea. And part of the reason why I’m so great it’s like, get all these initial customers. They have a vested interest in not just giving you BS feedback, but real feedback because they own part of it as well, right? But you think about that media strategy and owning your own sort of.

Andrew Wong  

Every day, every day. It’s better than a media strategy, right? If you do this correctly. If you do this correctly, you never have to invest in paid media again, because ever again because your customers and consumers are the one that will carry you through. Every single one of them will bring one friend they’ll bring two friends and then all of a sudden you have an army of people that love your brand and drive what you’re doing. I think someone like Tesla, they boast that they’ve never spent $1 in media marketing, or like everything’s done through their army of loyal fans. And I think there’s an amazing case study in that one of my favorite case studies of all time was one of the original Starbucks ones from the early 2000s, where they had this exact same feedback channel. And that’s how they developed all the unique new flavors of, you know, of ice cream and drinks and all the different things that were sold in the store the different sandwiches and flavors, because all they did was open up a feedback channel that said, Tell us what’s wrong. Tell us what you want. What do you want? What is the craziest flavor of coffee you can think of and we will go and make it and then they just issued it out to a couple of stores. They made it and some of them live, some of them didn’t and they were able to kind of pull these people and grow the super loyalist. 

Michael Waitze  

I love it. Does Koba mean anything.

Andrew Wong  

It’s short for kilometers based insurance. So if you write up the letters in order to be a kilometers based insurance with a branding concept, we either had to go with something very obvious, which we couldn’t think of. So it wasn’t that obvious. Oh, we just had to make up a word and we came up with Koba.

Michael Waitze  

I love making up words. Okay, Andrew, I won’t take up any more of your time. Today was awesome. Andrew Wong, the founder of Koba insurance. Thank you so much for coming on and doing this today, man.

Andrew Wong  

Yeah, thanks for your time. Talk to you soon.

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