EP 98 – Nicolo Robba – COO at Lifepal – Trust Is Built Online


Michael Waitze has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective. Michael worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo. Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia while building the biggest and fastest-growing listener base in the region. His flagship website, AsiaTechPodcast.com, has listeners in over 130 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.

Nicolo Robba

Ex-Alibaba & Lazada VP. After 4+ years spent in the local and regional sales, operations and product teams of Lazada and Alibaba, I joined forces with great entrepreneurs and launched Lifepal, the #1 marketplace for insurance in Indonesia. Lifepal uses a mixed strategy of e-commerce technology and content to create solutions that will protect 260+ millions of Indonesian people who don't have yet the right insurance solutions.

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Asia InsurTech Podcast spoke with Nicolo Robba, the Co-founder and COO of Indonesian InsurTech Lifepal. Nicolo first came to Southeast Asia with Lifepal co-founder Giacomo Ficari when both of them were working for startup studio and venture builder Rocket Internet and helped build e-commerce giant Lazada. Seeing the massive opportunities for insurance in Indonesia with low insurance penetration rates and an ever-increasing adoption of mobile and internet, Nicolo and Giacomo founded Lifepal together with their two Indonesian co-founders Benny Fajarai and Reza Muhammad

Indonesia presents huge potential but comes with its own challenges. Financial literacy is low and large parts of the population is unbanked. Many people purchase financial products for the first time and trust is slowly built. Often digital business models are the first access point such as Gojek’s mobile wallet GoPay. The challenge is customer stickiness, as we are seeing very little brand loyalty and customers with highly opportunistic behavior. Lifepal aims to build a strong brand and retain customers over a long period.

The InsurTech is helping customers in choosing and using the right insurance, offering the largest selection of policies in the market. Lifepal has 3 million monthly visitors to its website. Most websales are, however, not completed on the website but at some point transferred to the telesales team. A business model similar to Indian PolicyBazaar (listen to our episode with Yashish Dahiya, CEO of PolicyBazaar here). And similar to PolicyBazaar, Lifepal creates its own content to educate its users in financial products with the help of blog posts, YouTube videos, and social media posts.

Other companies mentioned in the episode: Y Combinator, Grab, HaloDoc, Shopee, Frank.co.th

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