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Taking a Pulse of InsurTech and Insurance in India

The year 2019 was an action-packed year for InsurTech in India: about $183 million flowed into the ecosystem, the IRDAI announced its InsurTech sandbox program, the mainstream press acknowledged that InsurTech isn’t insurance FinTech but a standalone ecosystem.

I last wrote on InsurTech in India in August 2019; since then, the ecosystem has evolved rather rapidly. If you're hearing about InsurTech in India for the first time, you may want to review some material I’ve published in the past in this order – the regulator’s view, ecosystem introduction (January 2019), and update (June 2019).

In this article, I will explore the following topics:

  1. Pivots to success
  2. Regulation as an enabler
  3. Alternative insurance distribution

Pivots to success

The word “pivot” from ‘Lean Startup’ is often viewed in a negative sense; however, it should not be. There are a few startups that begin with a strategy in mind and pursue it unchanged to a liquidity event!

Since my previous InsurTech in India update in August 2019, two InsurTech startups have pivoted into new business models which piqued my interest:

  1. Riskcovry
  2. Ask Arvi 

Riskcovry

“They’re building the Stripe for Insurance” – Amit Goel, Founder of MEDICI, in conversation with me.

 

I discovered Riskcovry when they were part of the Apollo Munich Inspire Next program in March 2019. At the time, they were building a commercial insurance marketplace but have since shifted to building a layer of APIs to support product innovation and distribution via digital channels for insurance companies and platform economy players.

The phrase used by my colleagues for such solutions is “InsurTech-as-a-service.” Its international contemporaries would be:

  1. Kasko
    • Kasko was an early mover in InsurTech-as-a-service; their website has several case studies. Most notably, they’ve got a strong partnership with Baloise Group.
  2. Slice Labs
    • ICS (Insurance Cloud Services) is Slice Lab’s platform for launching digital insurance products.
  3. Trov 
    • Previously, Trov was a D2C play, but following a pivot into the B2B2C model and the launch of the “Trov InsurTech Chassis” platform, I believe Trov now falls within the InsurTech-as-a-service umbrella.
    • Trov’s recent partnership with Halifax for their renter’s insurance product is one for everyone to review.
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