EP 169 – Matthias de Ferrieres – CEO at Wellnex – People Don’t Care About the Plan, They Care About the Advisor


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 170 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

In Asia-Pacific since 2000, Dr. Matthias de Ferrieres, leaves AXA as their Regional CMO in 2014 to create Stark Group that delivers disruptive, customer centric yet easy to operate digital insurance-based solutions. Over the course of 2 years, he sells 2 profitable B2C focused platforms to insurance incumbents. In 2017, he launches My-insurer, a CRM platform dedicated to Financial Advisors. In 2019, he deploys Wellnex an Healthtech that provides affordable Healthcare and Fitness Services to all Singaporean. In early 2020, he merges both solutions to lead the first and unique ecosystem dedicated to Financial Advisors that reduces significantly operational cost and help collect smart and compliant data while offering value added services to their leads and clients. Matthias holds a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurial economics and a MBA from Chicago Booth.

The Asia InsurTech Podcast spoke with Matthias de Ferrieres, the CEO at Wellnex, about the current InsurTech hype and what academic research says about it. Matthias holds a PhD in Entrepreneurial economics and published a disertation with the title: “The Rise of the Digital Economy: Estimating the Impact of a New Generation of Entrepreneurs as Disruptive Entrants in the Insurance Industry in Singapore”.

Make sure to listen to our other episode with Matthias where we talked about InsurTech sustainability together with Gordon Tay and Nicolas Faquet.

Find the transcript of our conversation below:

Michael Waitze 0:00
Okay, we are on Hi, this is Michael Waitze and welcome back to the Asia InsurTech Podcast. Today we are joined by Matthias de Ferrieres. I always give him my best shot dude, the founder and CEO of Wellnex, which is easier to pronounce for me. Matthias. it’s great to have you on the show. How are you doing?

Matthias de Ferrieres 0:23
Okay, great, great to have you on to be invited, kind of privileged to be able to share my thoughts with you guys. Hopefully, we will have some fun.

Michael Waitze 0:35
I noticed that the last time we recorded that Theresa was calling you, Matt, is that what you just put up with from people?

Matthias de Ferrieres 0:42
Is just easier because Matthias from an English way, seems to be difficult to pronounce. And de Ferrieres is even worse.

Michael Waitze 0:51
It’s not that hard. It’s not that hard. Anyway, um, I was a little bit of a Francophile when I was in high school, so I like to at least try one of my colleagues and one of my other shows makes fun of me. He says, every time I try to say something in French, I sound like a five year old. I’m like, well, at least I’m five, not four. So fair enough. Anyway, before we get into the main part of this conversation, how would you describe the state of insurance and InsurTech innovation in Asia and actually just go global?

Matthias de Ferrieres 1:21
Alright. If I look at Asia, I will say dead, right, simply dead. And focusing on trying to survive by raising money raising funds, they have been incapable of creating real value through a real value proposition to consumer that they are trying to stay put, and to stay afloat by by raising money. And that’s their main activity. So you can monitor them on on LinkedIn and other social networks. Being happy feeling priveledge self by raising money. But in fact, when you look at it from a business case standpoint, it’s there’s nothing, nothing, just just just one thing, one example I give to the, to your to the guy listening, they just go to SFA Singapore FinTech Association, then they will look at it, they click on InsurTech. They have already now there 102 websites or companies that pretends to claim more to define themselves as InsurTech. Half of them do not exist anymore. There have been dead. They don’t practice any things. And I’ve been lucky enough to study that very, very carefully, very seriously at a PhD specialized in insurance and economics. And you look at it, there’s maybe four or five InsurTech left in Singapore, and of those one, maybe one or two are making money.

Michael Waitze 3:05
I want to get back to these. I want to get back to this conversation in a second. But just so we can get some context. Can we get a bit of your background as well. And then I want to come back to these points that you’re making. Yeah.

Matthias de Ferrieres 3:15
Well, yeah. Okay. So my background is to sum it up, is 20 years in Asia, 20 years in insurance, with 14 years in the major incumbents called AXA. I’ve studied as an actuary and I finished as Chief Marketing Officer for Asia.

Michael Waitze 3:36
Being an actuary to going into marketing.

Matthias de Ferrieres 3:40
Yes, yeah. Marketing, technical marketing, I would say okay, so product development, and, and later on digital transformations. And then 2014, I left AXA, they shut down their regional office in Singapore, gave me the opportunity to work with them very closely still. And I set up my company with their support. And since 2000, late 2014 till now, I’ve been running a couple of startup. So that the on the on the on the job itself. And I academically I have, as I said, I’ve done a doctorate in specialized in economy and insurance. Why, why I decided to do that, because I was extremely frustrated, to see heavy communications, positive communications, and in parallel difficulties as an entrepreneur to make my company succeed, profitable and sustainable. So I’ve said am I the only one on it and I needed to do some research and the only way to be motivated to do research to have a kind of results and i enrolled to a PhD to to to to to have credibility, my paper.

Michael Waitze 4:55
So this has actually been more interesting. So are you suggesting that you got your PhD after working in the insurance industry for a bunch of years, or even after starting your own companies, when did you get your PhD?

Matthias de Ferrieres 5:06
I’ve started in 2015 and I got I graduated in 2020, April 2020.

Michael Waitze 5:14
Okay, but that’s only two years ago. So this is actually super interesting. You work in the insurance industry, AXA shuts down their regional office, you still work really closely with them, you starting to start companies, and you’re starting to see just the difficulty in finding the right part of the value chain, not just for yourself, maybe, but for everybody to learn how to build the right business model to make it sustainable. And you say, Wait a second, I just need to figure out if it’s me or not. So you actually go back to school and say, I’m gonna do all this research and write a PhD on that.

Matthias de Ferrieres 5:45
Exactly. I’ve been lucky enough to sell one of my firms and, and I say, Okay, with that, I’m going to pause a bit, keep doing some vendors, but at the same time to try to study to bring my experience and to put it into paper, in order to understand and better

Michael Waitze 6:02
Yeah can you talk about what these early ventures were that you started? So you left AXA, you started a couple of companies, what were they focused on, like what part of the value chain where you’re trying to fix or to, to build into?

Matthias de Ferrieres 6:13
So when I left AXA, I was leading and was taking care of all their, what we call skin, so which was like a kind of a website, where you can buy motor insurance, PA insurance, travel insurance, and health insurance. So, and we are partnering with POSB, we’re partnering with OCBC, we’re partnering with Citibank. And we were providing so we were providing the acquisition through the banks.

Michael Waitze 6:49
And then when it’s called bankassurance?

Matthias de Ferrieres 6:53
Uou can call it bankassurance. It was mainly a distribution channel was mainly bank, except for the post office for POSB. It was a post office. Gotta go ahead. Okay. And at the end, so So when, when we shut down the regional office, there were no experts capable of taking over those things without putting a very heavy governance and compliance around it, and AXA didn’t want that risk. So the firm is your buttons to, to take over that piece on their very interesting contract. And is what I’ve done is say, okay, great. And I work for AXA, to manage all those skins or those website. And with this chunk of products and business, I’ve been able to expand and to invest, and I’ve got DBS, then I’ve got AXA Thailand, and I had, I had a company in France, some broker in France. And the deal was always the same, I developed for you the solution, right? And then after when it’s done, I can either maintain it, or you acquire it. Or you can do both. And when I shut down, I stopped working for you, you acquire it. That is an equivalent of a certain number of gallons of maintenance. So it’s very clear.

Michael Waitze 8:23
I was gonna say so this is something that you agreed with them before you started building. And again, I just want to get the timeline, right, because this is not like the building of a normal and I’m putting it in heavy air quotes, right, startup. In other words, you left AXA and they said, Look, we’re having all these problems with this that the other thing you said, I can build that for you. But if I do, I’ll take X amount of time to build it, get it up and running, create all these partnerships for you. And then it’s yours, you can pay me to maintain it, or you can maintain it internally. And the acquisition price for me building that is some factor of some. Like how did that work?

Matthias de Ferrieres 8:57
I know not based on the success, because I knew that what people are saying that going direct making bank insurance partnering with having a website doesn’t work. So I want a fixed amount per month to maintain to take care plus the profit. And if you want to acquire it after, then you give me a multiple coefficients of that number of months.

Michael Waitze 9:23
That’s what I want to know. Super interesting though,

Matthias de Ferrieres 9:28
Yeah, I didn’t make money on whether if you succeed, I take a piece of this because I knew that no, it doesn’t work this way. Didn’t succeed.

Michael Waitze 9:37
What but even if it does succeed, the interesting concept here is that what’s the amount of agency or impact that the developer of that technology has on the success of the person that’s using it right, in other words, I could buy you a Ferrari. But that’s not going to make you an F1 racer.

Matthias de Ferrieres 9:56
You’re spot on on this one. Exactly. So you know again, while back to the same thing about what’s going on in InsurTech. We have plenty of people that create a website, create an acquisition journey, and define that website plus acquisition journey as an InsurTech. The reality is, are they able to drive business, are they able to drive contents? Are they able to sell their product? Did they create the right product? Are they able to create a value proposition to a consumer? And if they do? The second question, is easier business model profitable, meaning that acquiring a customer, is it profitable? And to those two questions, the answer is no, is not profitable, one. Secondly, they have not been able to create the right value proposition for customers to be interested in.

Michael Waitze 10:54
So this is the question for me is why right. In other words, if I open up a hamburger stand and all the inputs and all the time, and all of the people that it cost to make an individual hamburger, let’s say cost me 75 cents, and I sell it for 50 cents, I mean, I’ll be able to sell as many hamburgers as I want, I can sell a million hamburgers probably in like, six months. But I’m gonna lose $250,000 doing that. And it’s not sustainable over time, because I haven’t found the right value prop. Now it’s easy to figure out how to do that you take the inputs, and then you put a multiple on top of it, and then you sell it for that multiple. But what’s happening from your perspective in the insurance and insurtech space where the companies that aren’t finding the right place in the value prop? What are they missing? What should they be doing?

Matthias de Ferrieres 11:44
What they should be doing? I think it’s kind of complicated to answer, okay, as always, I will be doing it myself. So, however, what they are currently doing and where they are missing the point is the fact that the first pillar, the first pillar in insurance is like no one care about insurance. In whatever you’re trying to do. They don’t care. So don’t try to say, I’m going to create something that people will that will be appealing enough for people to get interested in. No, you don’t buy insurance because you want to is because you have to, either, because it’s compulsory, because you you are mature enough to realize that you need to protect your family, your loved one and your assets, okay? Or because you have been pushed to, but it’s not, you can do whatever website with a cartoon with Mickey Mouse and or to facilitate your customer journey, at the end of the day, people will not go to you because the purchasing behavior is drastically different from a purchasing behavior to go to a hotel, to go to a restaurant, to buy some things that you are attracted to, that are hidden by the brands, or treated by the product itself. In insurance you don’t give a shit. If you heard me say that.

Michael Waitze 13:02
So wait, let me ask you this, though. First of all, one does that ever change? And two, how do you account for because one of the answers that we have had over the past they’ll say nine to 12 months when we ask people what is the biggest trend in insurance is embedded right? You know what this is? Where insurance is a product that then gets put into other products, right? So you buy a cell phone from Lazada and its insurance is included there, right? Or you go to the gym and because you’re more healthy, there’s insurance included in there somehow. What’s going to have to change or can something changed to make insurance a product that people want to buy?

Matthias de Ferrieres 13:40
I don’t believe that we will have any, you know, the the way we are conceived as a human beings, you are convinced that the future will be brighter. And you don’t put yourself as potentially endangered. And, and to the need of protections. Even when you have the need of protections you need to feel the products that will protect you. Okay, and airbags, seatbelts. But as soon as you get an insurance first, the lack of trust you have towards the company is huge. Secondly, if you have nothing tangible to smell, to feel, to test, you don’t have it. So you are right some say embedded that because it’s embedded download making money, those insurance companies, okay, because as soon as they will be making money, you start to make money when your commercial price is higher than your technical price, meaning that you will pay the same amount of claims. Plus, if the perfect people are smart enough. The willingness to pay versus the value per se for insurance is zero.

Michael Waitze 14:45
So let’s do this. So you wrote a PhD right? What was the title or what was the subject of the PhD that you wrote?

Matthias de Ferrieres 14:51
Oh, I don’t know. It’s a very it’s a very long one.

Michael Waitze 14:57
What was the topic? What were you trying to figure out what was The research you do because like, because I don’t think you can disconnect that from these opinions that you have, because you feel strongly about it, which must mean that you were sitting there thinking, look, I’m a smart dude, what what am I not figuring out? I’m gonna go do research. And for people that don’t understand, like, what a PhD is, it’s heavily research based, right? In other words, it’s not like writing a master’s thesis, which is also hard. But writing a PhD is different. Yeah.

Matthias de Ferrieres 15:23
Yeah, I mean, it has been extremely, extremely difficult. So I will not do it again. So I have the data, the data and was the rise of the digital economy, estimating the impact of a new generation of entrepreneurs, as disruptive entrants in the insurance industry in Singapore.

Michael Waitze 15:44
Okay. But that’s why you have these opinions. I think it’s important to note that right, I’ll link to it, if you don’t mind in the show notes if we can. But my point is that you did this entire study on saying, it feels like nothing’s changing. And I want to study the reasons why can you tell me what the like, Are you already stating all the conclusions that you made, or the things that you learned? In the conversation that we’re having?

Matthias de Ferrieres 16:08
You have, I mean, when you do a PhD, you, you have first you have two years to learn the method, what you can validate and validate what your assumptions the fact that you are driven already by preconceptions. So you would always have those preconceptions in order to stay as neutral as possible. So as I said, I’ve done that exercise because I didn’t understand why the power of the social network communications newspaper, were over positive, versus the realities, the economics. And the economics are very clear. Yeah, there is no InsurTech, which is successful. And insurance companies are not making money, they are making much less money than bank or any, any other industry. So why the belief is different, why we pretend that it’s a positive, and I give it to you from the consumer perspective, I can give it to you from incumbent organizations, which is also a mess. It’s complicated. So innovations cannot come through this kind of organization.

Michael Waitze 17:17
But what did you learn about the reason why? Because this is very interesting to me, the reason why the perception of what’s happening, and the possibility for what’s meant to happen is so different than the reality and the economic realities surrounding it. Like, what did you learn? Why so why do you think that? Or is it just natural human emotion.

Matthias de Ferrieres 17:39
insurance is it’s untouchable, you cannot touch it, you cannot feel it, and you have the experience of the products. Once you have an accident, once you’re no problem, otherwise, you don’t have the experience of the product, you your phone is switching on every day, your watch you looking at it, the food, you eat it, so you have perception of that, right. And then you can immediately say you like it, or you don’t like it after purchase. In insurance is not the case, you may or may not experience the product you purchased, or you acquired. And you will say why did I buy this product in the first place? Okay, and if you did experience something about an insurance is because you have a claim. So you you are emotionally attached to something. Most of the time, it’s an accident, sometimes sometimes it’s something that is not good. So it’s a problem. And then you discover that you’ve missed all the footprints because again, insurance cover a statistics and statistic has to be extremely defined. And when you define something, you exclude six, and if you start to you don’t read your insurance cover, you discover suddenly that there is plenty of exclusions and you return on his experience. So you’re unhappy. Yeah. So you the story is done you you’ve been through a journey of buying some things that you may never use in your life. And when you use it you realize that there’s plenty of conditions that you didn’t see, read or understood

Michael Waitze 19:13
When you were doing your research did you find other products out there like this with similar? I would say consumer opinions and similar growth patterns as well if you know what I mean.

Matthias de Ferrieres 19:25
No, the the two other industry which are not tangible, you have educations. For education you’re paying a product to learn something you don’t you don’t touch it. You don’t feel it, but the reward can be immediate. Okay. And then the banking industry, right the printing industry is always always trying the the digitalize themselves quite easily with an app and you use it regularly and use the credit cards at entry to touch something, but that they are two industries similar to you Insurance, again, non tangible products. But unlike those two, insurance, it’s, it’s all about footprints. And it’s all about experience that you may or may not have in your life.

Michael Waitze 20:13
So why do you think there’s so much cheerleading and capital raising celebration, right? Company A just raised $15 million. Company B just raised 37 and a half million dollars, whatever it is, why is this getting celebrated in the press on a regular basis? And who cares? Really?

Matthias de Ferrieres 20:33
I think who cares? Everyone cares because first is reassuring for all those people that read it since I it may have been it’s all about money. So it’s really you say you’re rich? Or you say, Oh, my God, they are able to raise money those guys well done. I mean, and I don’t blame them when I blame is the fact that we are, we are away we are we’re stepping away from the real business. From what we need to do to change the insurance industry. As for the excitement, yeah, it’s exciting to see that someone raised 10 million, 20 millions. But for an entrepreneur like me, it’s difficult to digest, because you have to explain to your staff that no, you will not raise money. No, you will not splurge, what you in the bank No, your objective is to make it profitable and sustainable. And therefore we all have to make it false. And it’s not easy.

Michael Waitze 21:32
I’m sure it’s not. And at the end of the day, you still keep building stuff.

Matthias de Ferrieres 21:37
Yeah, but I can tell you, I think is a I think is the last one.

Michael Waitze 21:44
That is a killer answer. But wait a second, I want to I really, I’m really interested. Right. I told you one of the reasons why I have these conversations is because I have a genuine interest in this stuff that people are doing right? What is Wellnex, like what is how is it different? What does it meant to do?

Matthias de Ferrieres 21:59
Why? Why Wellnex works?

Michael Waitze 22:04
more more of like the idea because here’s a guy right, who’s been in the insurance industry, you worked at big insurance for a while, you then worked with AXA, a big insurer for a while sold them some of the things you built for them, wrote a PhD on trying to understand why people perceive there to be value in a place where there’s not that much value, right, from a consumers perspective, from an incumbent perspective from an InsurTech perspective. And yet, here you are building another company in the insurance space. I’m just curious as to why and what is different.

Matthias de Ferrieres 22:38
So the gap is not about the insurance per se, but about creating a better value propositions linked to the insurance industry. So what does Wellnex. Wellnex is like a pre-type of concierge on that by invitation only. Financial advisor are paying me to be able to give that free concierge or to their customer, to their leads, to their clients, okay, to their insured to their policyholder. So financial advisor, again, are my clients. They are paying me a fixed summons per year, to be able to generate leads, and they have a reason to create a leads to invite someone for a webinar or seminar, to push them to go for a screening to get home services. Because it will be free for the customer. And they’re able to collect that as a financial adviser. And the insured is happy, because he has a free membership, where he can get health care service, up to 60% discount, he can get access to concierge that will help them to do to fix their garden, their their air conditioning, I mean any service, you name it. And this will be paid by the financial advisor. So the question now is why it works.

Michael Waitze 24:10
Yeah. And it’s seems because you’re not dealing with directly with insurance companies, because you’re kind of like doing an endo round, right? You’re saying I’m not dealing with agents, I’m not dealing with them comments. I’m not dealing with insurtechs. I’m gonna go to financial advisors, which may be selling insurance products and other products. They’ll pay me because I’m gonna do all this stuff that maybe like a 10 person admin staff would do for them or something like that.

Matthias de Ferrieres 24:32
So one way it works. First, it works from a commercial standpoint. So you need works from a economic standpoint. Commercial insurance companies did realize that there is a need for these kind of services. So all of them are creating their own app for claims propose try to plug some concierge services and health care services and own services and to create some content. Yet one is expensive to do. Yeah. Usually in their organizations and their governance, so they are not able to be in the market on time I have been on the market before them. Secondly, financial advisor are free to work with any insurance companies and they don’t want to push an insurance or leads to don’t AXA, Prudential, AIA, Great Eastern, Manulife, you name it, okay? You I’m sure you have an AXA cover for for maybe moto you have maybe a Prudential cover for life, you maybe have a term life with Manulife and so on, you don’t want to have five different apps. Okay, so people don’t download apps, right? Unlike with a financial advisor, you are attached to a financial advisor. So the financial advisors that advise you say, okay, look, you don’t need to order to download any app. Do you don’t mind at least my concern is in and if you have any needs, contact me. Okay, and you can do it through the app.

Michael Waitze 25:55
So does that mean if I’m a financial advisor, and some other unknown person is a financial advisor, we can both pay you to use the app? Does it look different to the person that’s using it? Like, is it white labeled per se? Or does it it’s Wellnex on it?

Matthias de Ferrieres 26:09
It’s white label. So we have one legs as a mainframe because some financial advisors are on their own? Yep. Okay. And they are not attached to any agency, some belongs to big organizations. And those big organizations wants to have their white label. So behind us generating content, generating the services generating the health care calendar, webinar for them. Okay, behind us in front, it’s the financial advisory firm. So again, from a brand perspective, we are the only one being able to offer that to them. Okay, an insurance company, Prudential is convinced that this brand is more important than the financial advisor, which is not true. Okay. People don’t care about the brand. They care about who advise them. Yeah. And the trust is linked to will advise them more than the product itself. But I would like to come back on the economics why it works from a financial standpoint. Because I’m not interested in the activity, I’m not making a cut. I’m not making money on the transactions from financial advisor, from the doctor, from the consumer, from the plumber, or whatever, which is, again, I’m not the marketplace. I’m making money from a financial advisor he pay, one time a year, and after it’s free flow, free flow for everyone, the doctor who are working with me, I’m not in any payment transactions, I’m not making money from them. Okay. So if you look at it, I don’t want to go into the details, but you fall sick maybe four or five, six times a year, if I start to plan to make money on the transactions, I will not be I will need 1 million, 2million, 3 million people in my app, and I will have to push them to consume in order to make 50,000 70,000 that much. While here you see I have 1150 advisor, that pay me $800 a year., you do the math. And my concierge and my staff, my burning rate is about between 21 to 32,000. There are moments, and it’s profitable. But I’m not. If a VC look at it, it will say no, I need more remember how many times you say go to the app? How many transactions do you do? I don’t care. It’s not my business model, my business model is to to get the financial advisor with me.

Michael Waitze 28:44
So you bring up another point, which we’ve kind of skirted around a little bit, and that is this idea of going out and raising money. Right. So we talked about the fact that people do celebrate raising money, which I think is silly, since it doesn’t really mean much, right? You haven’t won anything, you’ve just put more pressure on yourself. And now you’ve got a bunch of other people breathing down your neck to do something you may or may not want to do. But what’s the idea around not funding and just growing organically, and not caring about the vanity metrics that most investors will tell you to go for? As opposed to getting right back to the beginning of this conversation saying, you know, I can sell a hamburger or 50 cents, but if it cost me 75 cents, I’m gonna lose 25 cents every time I sell a burger, right? And also I have mixed incentives because now maybe I take some meat out of the burger. Maybe I put more water in the Coca Cola, right maybe I have four less fries in the package kind of thing. Yeah. But now all you’re saying is I’m providing a service that you can’t provide yourself meaning the adviser can’t provide themselves but you know you need pay me a reasonable amount of money every month. It’s like a real business. Do you care if it gets funded or not?

Matthias de Ferrieres 30:01
So you get the point. First, not everyone can do what I do, because, you know, I started with the support of AXA, I’ll be able to sell a couple of times. So I’ve been able to have money, not everyone can do that. And for instance, me, I cannot raise money, my attitude, my gag there, that my my personality, it doesn’t fit. So I will, I will not be able to raise money in the first place. So one, not everyone can can start from scratch because you need a minimum investment and try out. But the beauty of one you don’t have funding is you don’t have the same pressure. I don’t have the pressure I have. So I can test and learn, I can adjust extremely fast without justifying to anyone else, why I’m doing something. Okay, unlike when you have a VC that start to put your money, you need to spend a lot of time and energy to explain to justify why you are doing some things this way and not the other way. And most of the times those VCs have the same breed the same way of thinking than, than any other industry or VCs for the industry. And they believe that you have to demonstrate the same thing, which is I need more click on in more member I need more acquisitions, revenue. Even if it doesn’t work. That it’s what’s pleasing for for the investor to do that. So they’re doing it knowing that isn’t working.

Michael Waitze 31:37
Yeah. But you’ve made this point kind of casually. And I want to dig a little bit deeper, if you don’t mind. And you said not ever because you’ve sold a couple of companies, you have a little bit of cash in reserve. So you have the luxury of being able to build from scratch and Bootstrap because you have some money in the bank basically, is what you’re saying. But can you show me a high profile example of an entrepreneur that you know of that’s been celebrated in the press, who hasn’t already had a large amount of money to be able to build something? Let’s go back all the way to, to Microsoft. I mean, the founders of Microsoft, their families were not poor. Right? When Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, his father was one of the most prominent lawyers in Seattle, he had a ton of money. And if worse, came to worse, he was always just gonna go back to Harvard. Steve Ballmer, who didn’t join the company, until he graduated, didn’t have a ton of money. So he had to graduate from Harvard with an MBA. Right? Because I presume and I don’t know, this, the dropping out for his family was probably a bad idea. And I can give you a whole list, the Facebook founder, the Grab founders family was not exactly struggling for money. Yeah.

Matthias de Ferrieres 32:50
Zuckerberg didn’t struggle for money.

Michael Waitze 32:53
His family was wealthy as well, already. Yeah. But also like the founder of grab, did they struggle for money?

Matthias de Ferrieres 33:00
I don’t know. I don’t know the profile. And that the thing is that we’ll be keen to understand, who are those those guys and behind the scenes that has been able to, to trigger our VC to join in

Michael Waitze 33:12
That’s your next PhD? Come on Matthias, that’s your next PhD, I need someone to do this research.

Matthias de Ferrieres 33:22
I think the investigation will be much, much more difficult than doing investigations in Singapore, but InsurTech.

Michael Waitze 33:30
I don’t think that’s the case. Anyway, I do appreciate the fact though, that if you don’t raise money, you don’t have the pressure of having to go out and deal with other people telling you what to do, right. But also it also means that you don’t have to do this idea of Blitzscaling and listen to guys like Reed Hoffman tell you that if you’re not growing 25% a month that you’re not building a business. It’s a real business. But the reality is, I think what you’re saying is that if you’re measuring click throughs and stuff like that, then you’re not really measuring or building a real business. And I presume Wellnex is not meant to be that type of business. It’s meant to be real. Yeah.

Matthias de Ferrieres 34:03
It means so yeah. Wellnex is a dividend business. Okay, because the two in terms of cost of capital, it’s it’s peanuts now that the tech is credit. So it’s really about labor. I mean, stuffing and the rest is pure dividends. Stark Group who is going to disappear if you have a scoop here? We should not in July because there’s so DBS. It was my last platform wisdom will will cease again. It was it was a it was a dividend stock was a dividend company. There is no value behind it. It’s always a platform generating money, and again, by the amendment discussed and once we decide to seize the contracts, they have to pay me something but it’s not like a 10, 20 $30 million valuation losing a lot of money, but value is very high value zero. Stark group without Matthias is nothing there is no asset is nothing. So it’s pointless to save. You just have to shut it down. Wellnex, if an insurance company is smart enough to look at it and say, oh my god, this is a great concept. I will be more than willing to say to them and I will not sell it from a huge valuations. I would say it as a as a as a big tech platform. And tech that is you have it. It’s credible. It’s certified. It’s working well. You just have to put your own compliance behind it, but it’s ready to be used.

Michael Waitze 35:42
Isn’t that the whole point of building a business from scratch is to build something that has sustainable value.

Matthias de Ferrieres 35:48
Exactly. Exactly. And it’s, it’s, I feel extremely lonely in claiming that a business should be at the first place sustainable.

Michael Waitze 36:02
Let’s let people ponder on that. I really appreciate your time today. Matthias de Ferrieres again, tried to pronounce did the best I could the founder and CEO of Wellnex. And a guy who’s written an incredible PhD as well. I really appreciate your time today.

Matthias de Ferrieres 36:15
Thank you very much. I appreciate it

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