The Asia InsurTech Podcast spoke with Chris Borrett, the Chief “Everything” Officer at flip, about how flip is targeting younger demographics with new insurance products and how to build a fun but trusted brand.
Michael Waitze 0:04
Okay, we’re on. Hi, this is Michael Waitze. And welcome back to the Asia InsurTech Podcast. You can’t do that to me. Today we are joined by Chris Borrett, whose kid is not outside in the rain by the way, the chief, I don’t know what would you say, everything officer at flip insurance, and also the co-founder and director of Leaders for Climate Action in Australia. Chris, it’s great to have you on the show. And sorry to keep you waiting, as you know, nobody else will know what that means. But you know what it means. Anyway, I really appreciate your patients, how are you doing?
Chris Borrett 0:34
Good. Yeah. Thanks, Michael. Yeah, looking forward to having a chat.
Michael Waitze 0:39
Before we get into the main part of this conversation, how would you describe the state of insurance and InsurTech innovation globally?
Chris Borrett 0:51
I’d say in an interesting spot, to think about just generally, you know, the kind of the question earlier on today. And the way I was kind of thinking about it was that you have a lot of the intermediary style insurance InsurTech companies out there. And then you have a few insurer tech companies that are trying to also play in the risk carrier space. And we’re coming off this, you know, unbelievable high of, of capital moving into startups over the last 5, 10, 15 years. And we’re starting to see that market cool off, economic uncertainty. And I think we’re in an interesting place where there’s going to be advantages to the slightly quicker to market, quicker to profitability, intermediaries. And some potentially interesting, tougher times ahead for those trying to eat more of the risk, I suppose.
Michael Waitze 1:54
Do you think that do you think that should have always been that way? In other words, when you started your company, did you think you know what, there’s just so much capital sloshing around out there, we’ll just take some of that and take our, you know, take our time building stuff? Or did you also think, look, the kind of insurance you write, or the kind of insurance you you’re building, right, is risk related, like super risk related? If I do this activity? I know there’s risk involved? So you must be a risk taking person yourself as well? No.
Chris Borrett 2:21
Yeah, I mean, we didn’t start the we’re in a strange but fortunate position where we have a kind of a corporate backer, and therefore, it’s not quite the same in terms of us, you know, having to have gone to the VC markets in the first place, and basically taking advantage of that, you know, large amount of capital floating around. So yeah, slightly unique situation for flip, which I’m sure we’ll get into.
Michael Waitze 2:46
Can you do that, just give you that just so people can know. But go ahead. Yeah.
Chris Borrett 2:49
Yeah, well, I mean, to give it a little bit of background in terms of our structure, so we were actually born out of an innovation program that that HCF and BCG essentially kind of started on. And they started on that journey, and essentially ended up with creating the company of flip created it as a separate, but wholly owned entity within the HCF group. So our kind of main and sole backers are HCF. We haven’t gone to the public markets for any kind of funding as of yet. And, you know, that kind of has has obviously advantages and disadvantages, but I think more advantages and disadvantages at the moment.
Michael Waitze 3:26
Yeah, I can’t think of a disadvantage, be fair. And when you just want to make sure that I understand when you say BCG, you’re talking about the Boston Consulting Group, right? This actually fits into their thesis, right. So if you talk to, at least BCG in Singapore, so the BCG ventures team, they’ll posit that most innovation is going to come from corporates or big entities, right? And then if they can do it properly, so this fits into that thesis. No?
Chris Borrett 3:51
Exactly. Yeah, that’s, that’s it’s almost a perfect case study for that. So you know, the, the idea here is that you, you take a large company, like HCF, which is one of the largest health insurers in Australia, and the biggest not for profit health insurance, Australia. And you combine their assets that don’t just include capital, but they include, you know, customer base, and, you know, networks and relationships and all the rest of it. Then you combine that kind of bunch of assets with a separate startup culture entity brand that is built from the ground up. You can combine those two things, and you kind of get the speed and the innovation that comes out of startup world. But you get the kind of the core assets that come out of the corporate world. And, and the hypothesis is that’s a good thing.
Michael Waitze 4:36
Yeah. Because, again, according to their hypothesis, right? The hardest thing for a startup is, you know, not just hiring great people, but going out and getting their first client and getting a testbed for all the tech that they’re building. And if you’re part of one of the biggest insurance companies in any market, to be fair, even in a smaller market, not that Australia is but like I was just trying to think of a small country but don’t want to insult anybody. But I couldn’t, even in Rhode Islnad in the state of Massachusetts, so come at me Rhode Island to bring it on. Is that even if you have that it’s okay. Because you can test stuff, right? And then that’s the bed for building it out to the rest of the world. No.
Chris Borrett 5:14
Yeah. Yeah, testing, testing it. And using that company as potentially a first customer is one way of thinking about it another way is, is also leveraging what that company has, especially in the insurance world of their, you know, their ability to underwrite their capital base.
Michael Waitze 5:31
Can you tell the people more about what flip insurance is? And how the idea actually came about? Like, are you a hiker, biker, skydivers, scuba dived, you know what I mean? Like, do you do all this stuff? When you’re just thinking like, why can’t I insure myself? Or did you just, you know?
Chris Borrett 5:48
Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s a super interesting process, that the starting point was really more of a question or a challenge around trying to build something that would address the the kind of younger, healthier population in Australia and potentially extension extension of Australia. And it says, it’s a target market and a lot of insurance are going after, for obvious reasons, especially in the health space. So that was the kind of broad kind of question that we were trying to answer. And off the back of that, we started to think about what really mattered for that younger demographic, within the realm of health insurance, life insurance, etc. They’re not worried about getting ill. And they’re not worried about dying. But they are worried about injuries, and they do do stupid stuff. So that started to lead us down a road of, you know, how do we design the next, I suppose the next version, or a super interesting product that would really focus on covering people for what they needed when they were doing sports, activities, adventures, just so happens that that I do a lot of those things. And it’s kind of highly applicable, which, which obviously helps me to relate to it. And it’s why I’m kind of passionate about it. But yeah, that’s kind of broadly where we got to.
Michael Waitze 7:02
When you go out and talk to potential customers, right? In other words, whoever your target clients are, pick an age, a 24 year old lady who likes to scuba dive, right, but doesn’t have control over the boat, and maybe she’s renting her equipment. So the equipment’s insured, but she’s not insured if something happens when she’s diving, potentially, right? And even if she is maybe she’s forgot to purchase. So she’s sitting on a boat, but she has access to her cell phone. She’s like, Oh, shucks, I forgot to do that thing. When you talk to them, what’s the response you get at first? And then how does it change over time as you tell them exactly how this thing works? You know what I mean? Because most people if you go, oh, you should have insurance like yeah, later, right? Yeah. But I feel like if you make it part of the thing that they’re doing, it changes. No,
Chris Borrett 7:45
It does. It does. It’s it’s both in a very positive and easy conversation. But it can also be quite confusing. And typically, what happens is, when when people see the offering, and they see our products online, it takes them a while to get it because it’s kind of a new category. It’s not really traditional health insurance. It’s not really traditional life insurance. It’s kind of this, you know, on demand, health protection for injuries, and it doesn’t, it doesn’t really sit within a very well understood box and a lot of people’s minds within this demographic. So so when people tend to kind of go on the website, some of them get it and a lot of people don’t. And there’s a lot of questions and a lot of unclarity. You have a two minute conversation with someone and they get and they are excited. They’re like, wow, this is a no-brainer. So we currently at this kind of interesting part of our journey where we’re trying to translate that in person, understanding that you can get through a very quick conversation. And we’re trying to translate that into a 30 second digital experience that people get, like you say when they’re about to do that activity about two accesses.
Michael Waitze 8:57
So what’s the result here? And maybe it’s not finalized yet. But as you can imagine, I’m super curious about how you get these quick messages out there. Right? And maybe you maybe it’s not, maybe there’s no final answer to this right. But what’s the process to go and try to figure out how do we get this in 30 seconds for people to figure out you’re gonna go hiking, like I went for a run this morning. Okay, but I’m running in a city and it’s funny because I wouldn’t have been thinking about it in this context, but I will now and that means that like, there are cars every I’m serious, right? There are cars everywhere. They’re driving faster, driving slow. And in Bangkok, motorcycles are weaving in and out of traffic. I’ve got a cross streets, right and nobody like I always say like traffic lights and Bangkok. Optional kind of thing. Not kidding you could love for anyone, but like you got to figure out. I hate to talk so much about this, but like one of my favorite investors used to say to me the best investors are those people that anticipate other people’s anticipations so I’m trying to figure out how insane is this driver? And can I really make it across to the street. But sometimes I walk behind them, right? Because when I was a little kid, my parents had walked behind the car, because it’s less likely to go backwards and forwards. I’m just thinking, What do I do if this guy backs up? No insurance. And I was thinking about that this morning, and I’m like, What do I do? Now? I know the home, right?
Chris Borrett 10:14
Perfect, perfect example. Yeah, no, no, it’s a really, it’s a challenge that we’re currently working on. And it’s one that we’ve done a lot of work on in the last year. We’re only about a year and a bit, you know, year, year and a bit old. And that’s one of the big focus points is how do we communicate the products in a really simple way? And the actual answer so far is that you don’t communicate it all at once in one 30 second burst. You communicate it in lots of different ways over time. And then when people get to that point where they’re about to activate, or they’re about to do an event, or they’re about to do a sport, they’ve already kind of built up a basic understanding of it. And then it’s more getting them past that last hurdle. And we’ve actually introduced some new thinking within the insurance space, which isn’t very typical, which is treating these customers like, we have leads, we have registered users who are completely free, they come onto our platform, they get our emails, they get our newsletters, we give them value in return, we just gave away, you know, 50 tickets to venture film festivals around Australia to our registered user base. So they come in through that kind of high level funnel, and we build that relationship with them over time. And then when they are ready to switch it on, when they do go for that run, or when they do go for that ski holiday, whatever it is, they kind of have that basic understanding already. And that’s, I think, the answer that we’re starting to get to.
Michael Waitze 11:41
So I was going to ask you, right, because for me, engagement is everything. Right? I like to make dating analogies, right? Because it’s something that people understand. But I mean, even marriage or parenting, you can use it any way you want. Right. But if you only parented is your young child, a son or a daughter, just so I know. Beautiful. But if you only parented your daughter seriously, like once a month, then you’re not really parenting, and you can’t really expect her to react to the things that you’re doing. But if you’re, if you’re interacting with her every day, right on a regular basis, then she becomes the things you want her to become over time, because you’re there all the time. And by the time she’s 17, you don’t have to tell her what to do. She just knows. Is that fair? You know what I mean? And I’m not trying to be funny, so much. But I feel like it’s the same thing with everything. You can’t interact every now and then and expect to have impact. Is that fair?
Chris Borrett 12:38
Yeah, no, no, that’s exactly kind of where we’re trying to get to is it just lots of different channels, lots of different touch points, just generally getting our brand and our messaging and the education on the product out there. And, and then slowly, slowly, getting to that point where that awareness tips over into action, whenever people, you know, are doing those activities that we do, we want to insure.
Michael Waitze 12:58
So I want to ask you this, I’ve been thinking about this a little bit. If you can get big enough. And frankly, even before you get big enough, can you grow two things at once? Or have these two ideas at once? Tell me what you think. If Shopee, right or Lazada, or all these other platform companies can become insurance distributors. Yeah, they want they’re out there, they’ve got an even Grab, right? They’ve got 100 million people on their platform, with some kind of payment system. And they say, What else? Can we offer people? Because we’re already taking payments from them? Let’s offer the micro insurance let’s, let’s use that as an upsell to bigger pieces of insurance. Is there a way for flip, a company that I feel like has kind of an attitude? If you don’t mind me saying, which is good? That’s a good thing. Why can’t or could you move into the E commerce space? Or the event space? Do you know what I mean? So like, Hey, we’re not sponsoring, but we’re organizing a 10k run, we’re organizing a hike, we’re organizing something to go to whatever, I’m just making stuff up, and then get those people to sign up for your thing and then offer them insurance. Because now you have them on your thing. Sorry.
Chris Borrett 14:07
Yeah. No, no, it’s it’s a super interesting space. And it’s one that we are, I suppose flirting with at the moment. We that there is regulation in Australia, that is, you know, it’s a very highly regulated space within Australia, the insurance. And there is, you know, the add on insurance and ability to kind of integrate insurance into offerings, especially within the sector that we play in is difficult. So, so it is something we’re kind of exploring if we can do it in a way that’s best, genuinely best for the customer. But, um, but it’s tricky.
Michael Waitze 14:43
It is but and again, it’s just me asking, right, because I look at things and I think you can test anything in any particular market. But like you could test that in Singapore, right? You could test it in Thailand, you could test it anywhere where there’s a regulatory sandbox where it’s not as unlikely or was not as difficult to test like that integration. And where people are super active as well. Again, I’m not telling you what to do, I’m just thinking about like, how that can work, because it’s such a great idea. And I told you, I was thinking about it before. And to be fair, I hadn’t even thought about this. But I was mentoring a team of kids a year ago, and said, Look, what a kids do. You’re mucking around all the time, you’re shooting hoops, like at the last moment, you’re just thinking, like, Hey, let’s go to the park and shoot hoops. None of you are insured. Why not build that? And you’re like, No one’s gonna do it. I’m thinking, Well, wait, there’s flip and they are doing it now. So I’ve thought about this a lot. And I mean,
Chris Borrett 15:41
It’s something else that I mean, one of the things we’ve chatted about as a team is that we’re not just building up a space, we’re building up the asset and the knowledge that goes with the actual underlying insurance product, it’s genuinely a new type of underlying insurance products. But we’ve also spent a lot of time working on the brand, the big growth funnel and getting people through the website and signing people up on the spot within, you know, 30 seconds, 40 seconds pay out claims within 24 hours, like we’ve done a lot of work on that experience side. And yeah, one of the kind of longer term questions for us is, is, you know, how do you leverage both of those, and on the experiential and growth funnel side? How might we leverage that in, you know, new spaces, just just the experience and the brand and the, you know, the funnel?
Michael Waitze 16:26
So what do you want the people to think about when they think about the brand, and I’ll give you an example. I had the CEO and the founder of Tonic Bank on, okay. And their whole website is, so it’s so tongue in cheek, like, it’s so funny. It’s almost like a parody of itself. And it says, like, you know, you know, like, you can rate things, one to 10. And you can say to somebody, you are four, right? And it just means bad, in whatever situation, I’m not making value judgments. But one of the things they said is, We think you’re a six, but that six is like 6% interest that you get on the money that you deposit with tonic bank. Right? So it’s kind of a little bit whimsical. What do you think about when you think about your brand, because the name flip as well as kind of whimsical too, in a way, and you seem like a dude with a great sense of humor? So I’m just curious, what do you think about you think about the brand?
Chris Borrett 17:18
Yeah, I mean, we’ve had the brand, and I suppose the brand new logo has been set for, you know, year and a half, two years now. And it’s something that we’re we’re kind of just moving a little bit at a time. So if you looked at the website, you know, six months or nine months ago, it would look and feel quite different, but it would have the same kind of foundational elements within it. We want things just to be super simple, we want it to imply or relate to kind of that younger demographic, it would be a little bit more playful and fun. But we also want to have, like the trust element in there. I think early days, we actually probably overly rotated to that fun, kind of a younger demographic vibe. And it actually started to get a little bit undermine the trust a little bit. Yeah.
Michael Waitze 18:05
So that’s why I was mentioning this other website. Like, I think what the guys at Tonic are doing a great, but at some point, it’s not funny.
Chris Borrett 18:11
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Like we had like these little, you know, these little confetti bits where those everywhere, we didn’t have that by HCF on there, we, you know, if we had a few more emojis and things playing through and, and it just didn’t quite come across with it with the seriousness that I think you need to still have, you know, insurance in your title, essentially, as a company. So. So I think we’re starting to try and play with that balance. And we’re starting to get to a point where we’re happy. But we’ll continue to kind of iterate it.
Michael Waitze 18:41
What were you doing before you were doing this? Like, what’s your background anyway?
Chris Borrett 18:45
So I was with BCG. So I actually worked within their venture building arm. And we we built ventures. So I was one of the guys, you know, leading the bean ventures and part of that model, is you, you kind of build these companies, and then you potentially can go and leave for them and had them up if there’s something you’re really interested in doing. So I was, I was there before.
Michael Waitze 19:09
For how long were you doing that?
Chris Borrett 19:11
Just over four years. So just over four years at BCG, and then before that in, you know, general corporate innovation and strategy consulting with Accenture. I was in data science and analytics before that. And there was technical back in the day with with data analytics and physics.
Michael Waitze 19:30
But did you see yourself as a founder ever? Was this something that you kind of just saw and said, I have to do this because this just looks like a massive opportunity and somebody has to do it. And I understand this sort of venture building part of this and I’ve been sort of proselytizing about this for a while and I need to go try this. Do you know what I mean?
Chris Borrett 19:47
Yeah, I mean, I was always in the mindset of wanting to be an entrepreneur wanting to go and, you know, run companies or wanting to go and get involved in building something. And that’s what pushed me away from pure corporate strategy consulting and into the kind of venture building arm with BCG. And and yeah, when I was there, I constantly was thinking about what’s the business I would leave for, you know, what have I got going on outside of work, and, and this ticked the boxes, it was something I was passionate about something I was kind of very much instrumental in building from day one. And it was a great opportunity to move into it.
Michael Waitze 20:28
When you look at some of these big companies, right? And when I think about risks I can’t ever forget about and I wish I could remember this dude’s name, who jumped out of the capsule and tried to fall to Earth and actually did it right. I read this. But it was interesting on a bunch of different levels, right? Not just because it was sponsored by Red Bull, but because that dude almost gave up a bunch of different times. Right? Because taking that kind of risk is just hard. Like, it’s scary as shit, right? Excuse mileage is really scary. But bomb garden, I think was his name. I can’t remember. Yeah. But during all the testing, he was like, I’m done. Like, I can’t do that. But there are certain things right, that just you have to partner with other people to get stuff done. And when you look at other cohorts, big companies that are taking big risks, right? You do have, you don’t have, like you said the same limitations of some other startups. Who do you look at? When you go out into the world and say, I want to be kind of like them, but for this market? Do you know what I mean?
Chris Borrett 21:27
Yeah, yeah, I mean, initially, we actually had the likes of, you know, Red Bull, we always were looking at kind of a Red Bull slash lemonade slash, you know, we had a couple of other different companies within and outside the insurance space that we looked at. And when we want kind of elements of that, we kind of wanted the, the association and to play in the same kind of aspirational, and just fun spaces as like a Red Bull and, and GoPro and those kind of areas, those kind of companies. But we also wanted to have like, like, our main back as a nonprofit. So we also wanted to have an element of, you know, how do we do this in a, in a way, that’s not just it’s not got the evil Insurance Corporation, you know, subliminal stuff in the background, and it’s got more of a, hey, we’re here. And, you know, ultimately, we’re part of a nonprofit I had we give back a little bit. And so we brought a lot of that kind of inspiration into the products and the branding when we when we kind of came up with it.
Michael Waitze 22:33
But I feel like this is kind of an important thing to mention, if you don’t mind me saying, because I do think there’s a structural and kind of generational change taking place, right? Where you know, my daughter, for sure, who’s 21, I want to get this right, yes, 21 this year, and your daughter who’s much younger, but as they get older, they’re going to look around and say I can buy this thing or buy that thing. But these people are actually better actors, for society, and they care way more about it, because they feel like it’s more important to their lives than it was maybe for I mean, I’m probably 15 or 20 years older than you are. But then it was for me, and maybe even for you just a little bit. But how do you build that? Because that’s interesting to me, right? Like, how do you build that into the brand use the word evil? I wouldn’t have used it, but I get it right. So people look at companies like, like Patagonia, for example. And so I’d rather buy their jacket than buy from Land’s End. My words, not yours. Yeah.
Chris Borrett 23:28
Yeah, I think it’s somewhat depends on the industry as well, because I think with something like, let’s say, a Patagonia and a Land’s End, I’d say that there’s there is definitely a brand that Patagonia has built that does does garner that type of thinking, yeah, that that kind of tribe mentality, but, but equally, I wouldn’t say a lot of people look at Land’s End or look at the other option and go, whoo, like, are they necessarily not doing that, whereas there’s other industries, particularly finance and insurance, I would say, where there is a little bit more of a, I suppose, I suppose a negative connotation by the average person on the street, as to you know, that that general industry, you know, we get a lot of in our initial research, and even, you know, the some of the customer interactions we have, today, we get a lot of, I suppose, you know, distrust around the broader insurance industry, particularly kind of when you start looking at the top end of town. And I think that’s, that’s probably a halo effect of just general it’s a grudge purchase, but also it’s associated with the finance world. And yeah, so I think maybe in this industry, it might be more impactful than potentially others.
Michael Waitze 24:39
But do you think part of the reason and I don’t want to say the only but part of the reason why is right, because, you know, let’s buy fire insurance. Yeah. I don’t use it for years, and then my house burns down or there’s a fire in my yard or whatever, and I have to go make an indemnity claim. Yeah. And I feel like I’ve got to argue with an insurance company about what My, what my payment payout is going to be. And I really believe that the moment of truth is really at the claim, right? Because people buy insurance because they feel like they want some protection. But for what you’re doing, the trust should be pretty easy to get right? I go on a hike, I fall down something I don’t know, I’m not sure what you’re covering, but it could be the camera and it could be my knee, but like something. And if I get a pay out in 24 hours, maybe if I didn’t kind of buy it in quotes at the beginning, if I get any kind of payout in a short period of time, I’m like, Oh, this works?
Chris Borrett 25:33
No, yeah. Yeah. And I think there’s something we’re also grappling with, which is the smaller high frequency payouts are both kind of good and bad, I suppose they are, they’re good in that it gives you more chance to interact with the customer, than we were a company that paid out once every five years or something, because it was that style of product, then you get less opportunities to go through that, like say, magical experience of craving, and the fact that we pay out from relatively small accidents and events, it gives us that opportunity to be more frequent with our with our interactions. But the flip side of that, though, is that the the nature of those smaller payouts is actually not as I suppose as as magical as the large payout that is absolutely needed for somebody and is, I suppose a life changing, you know, when your house burns down, and the insurance company come in and save you and give you the hundreds 1000s dollars you need? That is a life changing kind of experience that you’ve had with that insurance company, potentially, when you fall over, twist your ankle and we give you $200. Okay, it’s nice. But it’s a bit you know, it can be it’s nice, but it’s not life changing. So I think that they’re the kind of two lenses I suppose you can you can apply to the yeah, that nature of power,
Michael Waitze 26:59
I guess. I mean, maybe I’m more bullish on this. But I really think that like this morning, if that car had backed into me, and I had insurance, that $200 payout would have made my day, do you know what I mean? It really, oh, shit, like, I can now go get my knee fixed kind of thing, because I was really concerned about it. Remember, I mean, you don’t really care, but I carry weights with me when I’m doing it. So I’m just one way. It doesn’t really matter. I’m trying anyway. No laughing aloud, by the way, particularly while you’re drinking tea, anyway. Yeah. You mentioned you were involved in data science, which I did not know, is there a way that you use data differently? is kind of the first thing I’m curious about? And also, is there a parametric part of this at all?
Chris Borrett 27:46
The big question is the actual kind of where, where the data actually comes from, because we are not, we are playing in a space that doesn’t actually have much data there in the first place. So when we worked with the actuaries to actually build our underlying insurance products, it was quite a struggle to actually find data, a lot of the data that you can find is somewhat patchy and typically covered accidents that result in an ambulance or a hospital administration. Whereas a lot of the stuff that we cover actually doesn’t need you or require you to go to hospital at all. And that data is quite hard to find. So one of the things that we are having to do, which hopefully will become an asset over time, is actually building up that that database of people getting injured, how they get injured, where they get injured, what are they doing? Because that that is currently pretty difficult to find.
Michael Waitze 28:44
It feels like there’s a perfect model out there for so many different types of partnerships. Right? Like partnering with health clubs, partnering with anybody that does any kind of active activity. That wasn’t the right thing. So elegant today, Michael.
Chris Borrett 29:03
Yeah. And the partnerships are huge like that. The strategy at the moment for us is both it’s two pronged, it’s the b2c to build the brand, build a trust, to get people to kind of almost educate people a little bit on what this kind of insurance is. And then, in addition to that b2b to see and really working with a lot of partners in the space. Events are a massive one. So you know, we’re sponsoring and working with New Zealand Jira, which has just been mountain biking race in Brisbane, you know, we work with a Bondi 1440, which is kind of ultra run along the beach. So we’re doing those kind of events, which is really impactful because you’re getting to people right at that activation point, when they are about to go and do something dangerous. It becomes a no brainer for them. And then we’re also working with more of you’re kind of always on style, better news. So your your ski resorts are perfect example, you know, we’re working with Thredbo and Mount Buller this year in Australian ski resorts. And that’s not just good enough. Winter, they’re actually turning into mountain biking hiking resorts in the summer. So there’s a couple of different styles of partnerships that we’re experimenting with and really excited about that.
Michael Waitze 30:11
Have you been to Japan?
Chris Borrett 30:13
Not skiing. I did most of my skiing in Europe. And then I’ve kind of dabbled in New Zealand and Australia since I’ve been here.
Michael Waitze 30:27
Okay, I feel small now. Um, but nice. Eco is like a it’s like a sub Territory of Australia. That’s why I asked. Yeah. As a town, it was built mostly by like, all these Australian I’ll call them entrepreneurs, right? A bunch of guys and gals from Australia. They went there was like, I can’t believe no one’s built anything really amazing here. I was just thinking about market expansion in Japan seems like a perfect place. Because there are so many Australians that go there for activities. And I know a bunch of people that are there that say the same thing about the mountains there. And that’s what reminded me that in the summertime, the mountains don’t shut down, they actually open up to a whole bunch of other activities that you can do on mountains that were built for skiing. Yeah.
Chris Borrett 31:08
Right. Yeah. Perfect. Yeah. And that’s kind of the perfect use case for us. And, and we recently, so halfway through the year, we extended to New Zealand, so that any Australian traveling to New Zealand could could then buy flip, which is which is great for us. So that obviously is similar. And then we also opened up to travelers, kind of backpackers coming into New Zealand and working for a bit, which is great, because, you know, your typical backpack comes in lightweight budget, you’re doing lots of crazy things. So it’s really a target market for us as well.
Michael Waitze 31:38
What is your view on funding and then expansion outside of your home market?
Chris Borrett 31:46
We were not really thinking too much about that at the moment. We have I mean, HCF are an amazing kind of backer. And they have the I suppose that the resources, the support and the assets that we can really use in the next kind of year or two. And if we can, if we can really prove it here in Australia, and you know, potential New Zealand, then it opens up that question of, you know, is there an additional opportunity elsewhere in the world? And should we be expanding into those countries? And if we do, who do we partner with? Or who do we use as backers. HCF aren’t in those other countries and therefore licenses and things start to become questions we need to answer. And, you know, there’s possibilities there where you go and partner with another large insurer, elsewhere, and you white label a similar product, and you stick it in the back, and you still have our front end and our brand new, etc. And you could see that working as well. But it’s definitely further down the line.
Michael Waitze 32:46
Yeah, I mean, in a way, it’s the best of both worlds, right? Because at the end of the day, it’s the probably it would be unlikely, I think, for them not to have some other sort of not sister company, but some money that they know or some other firm that they’ve even been talking to you about this before. And it just as you know, we’re working with flip, and you should be working with flip as well. And it’s just an easier way to expand and for you again, not having to worry about capital, like I sometimes I think that the noose around everything is manufactured so that the news companies have something to talk about, you know, at some level, there’s somewhere in the middle between the extreme thing of like, every venture capitalist is going to commit suicide, and every company is worth $100 billion, somewhere in the middle is probably true. Right? Yeah. I don’t know what I mean, right. But the fact that you don’t have to worry so much about capital infusion allows you to grow in a way that’s much more organic. And frankly, I think we started at the beginning, the way I think most companies should grow.
Chris Borrett 33:41
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think the whole the broader economic view is, is obviously moving away from that super high risk, you know, startup that runs at a loss for 5-10 years and, and just choose money, and it moves more towards those those companies that can generate profits earlier in the game. And I suppose that’s where we’re trying to get to.
Michael Waitze 34:03
Yeah, I mean, in a way, if you explain what you’re doing to your mom and dad, right, you were like, you know, we’re just gonna build this thing for five years take gigantic losses, you definitely wait, wait a second, wait a second. Like that’s, that never happened in my generation. Like I worked for this company, I built this company. But if we didn’t have a profit, we just went out of business. It makes more sense, I think no.
Chris Borrett 34:22
Yeah, no, it’s it’s definitely something that we’re trying to. Yeah, it’s always a challenge when you look at it and you think there’s so many companies out there that have been in the headlines that have got this amazing reputation that have gone down that you know, to hundreds of millions of dollars of, of budget over five or six years before making a profit and it’s hard to then, you know, base your you look at those companies and you learn from them and you go well, does this work now for us? And the answer is probably gonna be no, we can’t be chewing that much money over a time period. It’s not going to work but unfortunately, we’re in that position where the Darling companies of the last five or 10 years have. And therefore, when you start to look at the case studies that people bring out and whether it’s experience or the, you know, hiring or you know how they’ve gone to market a lot of people point to those big customer sorry, those big Ubers, Airbnbs, etc, the world and yeah, yeah.
Michael Waitze 35:25
Where did the rest of your teammates come from? Do they come from the insurance business they come from the consulting business like you like or is it just a mix of that?
Chris Borrett 35:33
Yeah, mix mix is probably probably half team 40% of the team from insurance companies. And they, you know, obviously want to do something super interesting, but still kind of leverage a lot of that deep insurance expertise. And then a few of us are you know, don’t have the deep you know, insurance expertise, but we have done stuff and then a little bit of a broader startup kind of ventured building type sense as well.
Michael Waitze 36:00
Okay. Unless there’s something else you want to cover. This has been awesome for me. I really want to thank you for doing this Chris Borrett the chief everything officer I’m going to call you the chiefs of flip insurance. Hopefully this was as much fun for you as it was for me I really appreciate your time today.
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