InsurTech theme: From in-house tech to SaaS

Author
Rahul Mathur

Rahul is the Startup lead at Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab in London. Prior to joining Accenture, he was an Insurance Product Manager at Laka Insurance, a London headquartered early stage InsurTech start-up which recently won at the British Insurance Awards 2019.  Rahul holds a master’s degree in Statistics from the University of Warwick. He is an Ambassador at the Asia InsurTech podcast.

As consumer focused InsurTech start-ups begin to scale, offering in-house technology via a SaaS business model becomes a viable strategy to generate additional revenue! In this blog I present prominent examples from OneConnect & ZhongAn Technology and emerging examples from Trov & Policybazaar.

What is the “From in-house tech to SaaS” theme?

A D2C InsurTech builds bespoke technology solutions to cater to its customers which it subsequently offers to other financial institutions through a SaaS model.

This is a growing theme; two examples have emerged this year – Trov (by way of a pivot) and Zphin by Policybazaar (organically).

The approach serves as an additional revenue stream for the parent; monetization of pre-built technology.

Example #1: Ping An OneConnect

Founded 2015 as a unit to house Ping An Group’s in-house financial technology products.

  • Expected raise $1bn through IPO in NYC at $8bn valuation [i]
  • Services 460 banks and 1800 financial institutions in China, Thailand and SE Asia.
  • Launched eTradeConnect blockchain based supply chain platform for HKMA in October ‘18 [ii]
  • Acquired virtual bank license from HKMA in March ‘19 [iii]
  • OneConnect JV with FinTech venture builder Finleap in EU – August ‘19 [iv]

Example #2: ZhongAn Technology

Founded November 2017 as a JV between ZhongAn Insurance – ZA (51%) and Sinolink Worldwide (49%) to sell ZA’s in-house technology to external clients.

  • Raised $285M in additional funding in July ‘19 [i]

Focus on blockchain deployment:

  • Shanghai Blockchain Enterprise Development Promotion Alliance [i]
  • vLaunched a reinsurance blockchain consortia with Hannover Re, Gen Re and China Re [ii]

Launched “Intelligent Open Platform” (insurance data SaaS) in China;

  • prominent client – AXA Tianping [iv]

Emerging example – Zphin by Policybazaar

Launched 26th Sept ‘19 to offer Policybazaar’s in-house via a SaaS model. [i]

  • Revenue target = $20M (2021)
  • Regions – India, Singapore, MENA and Australia.

Products

  • Digital distribution of insurance & lending products
  • Performance marketing

Will leverage its parent’s experience in insurance & financial products.

Emerging example – Powered by Trov

Founded in 2012 as a D2C on-demand InsurTech (the “OG”), pivoted to a B2B2C model in 2019 [i]

  • Trov used its time as a D2C InsurTech to fine tune its offering before moving to a B2B2C SaaS platform called “Powered by Trov”

Notable partnerships:

  • InsurTech Chassis: Lloyds Banking Group (August ‘19) [ii]
  • Project Pilgrim: Suncorp Australia (October ‘19) [iii]

Who’s likely to be next?

I believe Lemonade might be the next InsurTech to offer its in-house tech through a SaaS business model.

Reasons why:

  • Lemonade might double down on USA and EU whilst it prepares for its IPO (scope to offer its AI-based claims engine & chatbot within SE Asia where it’s unlikely to expand into for a long time).
  • Pressure from investors & public markets to reach profitability ASAP; FinTech SaaS is an additional revenue stream.

The caveat here is that the NLP models underpinning the Chatbot will only be useful for predominantly English speaking nations.

Some questions for you to think about

Which D2C InsurTech do you think will offer its in-house technology through a SaaS business model in the near future? And, why?

Will we see more D2C InsurTechs pivot to the B2B2C (SaaS model)? – Similar to what Trov has done

Is this diversification of revenue streams or is this diversion of resources from core competencies?

About the author

Rahul is the Cohort & Communications lead at Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab in London.

Prior to joining Accenture, he was an Insurance Product Manager at Laka Insurance, a London headquartered early stage InsurTech start-up which recently won at the British Insurance Awards 2019.

Rahul holds a master’s degree in Statistics from the University of Warwick.

He is an Ambassador at the Asia InsurTech podcast; reach out via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Disclaimer

Views expressed in this article are my own and do not represent those of Accenture, its management, its employees or its affiliates.

This article does not constitute investment or any other form advice. The author bears no responsibility in the event of financial or other loss arising from actions taken by the reader or any related party on the basis of information represented in this article. The author does have any financial interest in any firm mentioned in the article above; this article is produced for educational purposes.

For any further queries or complaints, kindly email me at rahul.j.mathur@gmail.com

Author
Rahul Mathur

Rahul is the Startup lead at Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab in London. Prior to joining Accenture, he was an Insurance Product Manager at Laka Insurance, a London headquartered early stage InsurTech start-up which recently won at the British Insurance Awards 2019.  Rahul holds a master’s degree in Statistics from the University of Warwick. He is an Ambassador at the Asia InsurTech podcast.

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