InsTech London partner Robin Merttens talks to Karl Lawless, VP of Sales at FintechOS, about speeding up digital transformation, new market opportunities, and why Covid-19 has put insurers under pressure.
Robin: For those who haven’t come across FintechOS - what does it do?
Karl: FintechOS has created an end-to-end technology platform for insurance, covering policy administration, claims and digital enablement.
The platform has been created over the past three years and is thoroughly modern, being based on no-code/low-code principles with a microservices architecture.
Robin: What is your role and what does it involve?
Karl: As VP of Sales, I am responsible for managing all insurance-focused sales teams and the go-to-market strategy for our insurance product worldwide.
Robin: FintechOS has expanded rapidly all over Europe, but the UK is a tough market to crack. What are you bringing to the market that will stand you in good stead?
Karl: The UK is indeed a tough market in ways, but at the same time there is an appetite to do things in a different way here.
Our argument is that the era of the large transformation project is over. Carriers can’t afford to sign up to a multi-year programme and wait for the result to eventually be delivered years later. They need to engage in instant digital transformation to remain relevant in what is a rapidly changing market environment.
Our offering has a simple value proposition, deliver value early and regularly, enabling rapid transformation in a cost-effective and low-risk manner, whilst maintaining the agility to pivot strategy in line with new market opportunities.
Robin: What are your differentiators? How is FinTechOS different from other digital insurance solutions?
Karl: The main differentiator for FintechOS is the flexibility of our platform. We can offer either a ‘Digital on Top’ solution, or we can offer deep insurance-specific functions such as policy admin or claims management.
For a greenfield operation, we can act as a core platform, whereas in a larger established insurance carrier we offer a layer of agility or a digital system of engagement.
For business users, FintechOS provides the ability to innovate continuously. Underwriters can bring new forms of coverage to market more quickly than ever before, proactively responding to market conditions without being held back by legacy architecture. For the IT teams, we provide a route to rapidly tackle the issue of technical debt.
Robin: Are you working on any UK projects that you can tell us about?
Karl: Sure, an example that stands out is Howden, where we administer Personal Lines, Commercial Lines and Cyber offerings on our platform.
Having the ability to innovate and quickly get to market with a diverse and everchanging range of products is key to keeping up with market opportunities, especially as we enter a hard market for the first time in a decade.
We have also recently signed a Tier 1 Aggregator in the claims space and will shortly announce a deal with a Tier 1 global specialty carrier centred upon broker channel distribution.
Robin: Where do you think the biggest opportunities for FintechOS lie?
Karl: In the immediate future our focus is on building a strong presence in the UK and across Europe. However, in time we will expand both to the East and the West, and there are three themes that are translating into opportunities for FintechOS.
The first is data, which insurers no longer have a monopoly on. They are competing with new entrants in the race to make sense of new data sources and leverage newly acquired insights in underwriting, particularly for emerging risk exposure.
The second is product relevance. A more connected world means increased monitoring, which improves physical security. Traditional property risk is reducing, but emerging hazards, such as cyber risk continue to increase. At the same time, new lines of business such as parametric insurance are gaining popularity. Insurers need to adapt their strategy, products and technology platforms to cope with this new reality.
The final one is the customer experience, where despite investments in digitising quote and bind / FNOL customer journeys, market progress has been slow, falling behind broker and policyholder expectations. Covid-19 lockdowns have reinforced the need to re-think underwriting and claims to accelerate the pace of digitisation.
In short, the industry is facing unprecedented change and insurers are under pressure to modernise systems, which translates into a massive opportunity for FintechOS.
Robin: Have you got any innovative new technology in the pipeline?
Karl: Absolutely, and we are continuously investing and hiring subject matter experts to embed industry knowledge into our product development teams.
We’re making a significant push to further develop the FintechOS Innovation Studio, where insurers can easily create, update and reconfigure full end-to-end customer journeys (Quote & Bind, Underwriting, First Notification of Loss, Claims) without writing any lines of code.
Robin: Where are you in the fundraising journey?
Karl: We are currently finalising our Series B funding round and will have some exciting announcements to make very shortly.
Robin: We’re delighted to have FintechOS as a corporate member of InsTech London. Why have you decided to join and what kind of companies are you hoping to connect with?
Karl: InsTech London offers a great networking forum. Our main reason for joining was to interact with other people in the market to make them aware of what we are building and to keep informed of what is happening elsewhere.
We’re looking to connect with reinsurers, London and open market carriers, MGAs and brokers. Our offering covers the full insurance value chain, making it relevant to a broad range of stakeholders. We very much want to engage with underwriters, claims managers, distribution channel managers, marketing, innovation teams, IT teams and more.
Robin: If you had one message to give to the members of InsTech London, what would it be?
Karl: I’d like to think we bring a different angle to the topics of digital transformation and innovation in the market. Anyone interested in finding out more can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on FintechOS, go to fintechos.com