A couple of weeks ago Shân Millie, co-editor of The Insurtech Book, dropped me a note about Winward, the marine data analytics business.
For me it’s a really interesting case study. Here is a business that is not an Insurtech yet it has the perfect application to the insurance market.
As a quick intro, Winward’s data platform analyses, organises and vets hundreds of millions of data points per day, creating a proprietary layer of data on ship and cargo movements worldwide. Alright, it’s pretty niche but stay with it.
This data is invaluable to any industry touching the maritime domain - from security agencies who need to identify threats at sea to fishing authorities combatting illegal fishing to players in the financial sector who need to know the reality of the world’s seaborne commodity flows. And yep, you guessed it, insurers.
The first thing I did was made sure we were tracking Winward. We were. And not only that I was pleased that we also featured them as #3 in our 2016 Disrupt 100. As a side note, a couple of days after Shân’s intro we noted they raised $16.5m Series C from XL Innovate.
It’s a good reminder for all of us who are religiously attending the echo chamber of insurtech/instech/insuretech events that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to look outside insurance and get closer to the innovation taking place in the adjacent markets.
The good news is we at Tällt track around 5 million ventures across all sectors worldwide and can help you with that. Just drop me a line and I’ll run you through how.
Trust me and we can grow together
Continuing the adjacency theme above, a new addition to our Spøtlight series is an interview with Sara Green Brodersen, Founder & CEO of deemly.
Sara talks about deemly not as an insurtech but rather a technology which can add value to insurers.
Already in bed with Airbnb (I know, sorry), deemly has built verification technology which collates users’ social profiles and social scoring across different platforms (from the likes of eBay and airbnb) and combines this data to build an individual’s trust score for participation within sharing economy communities. And this trust, in turn, increases activity across the site.
With the value of sharing economy transactions set to grow to £140bn by 2025, it should make for an exciting time for deemly. Oh and they’re currently fundraising…in case you were interested.
Keeping an eye on Excel “We track about 500 startups using an excel spreadsheet. We’ve met with them all. I couldn’t tell you what they’re up to or if the information we have on them is still relevant.”
That was the from the person with the central responsibility of tracking the startup landscape from one of the (if not, the) biggest and most active insurers in the Insurtech space. And it wasn’t the first time we’ve heard it.
Within the platform we’ve created a scoring system called the Sønr Index™ which rates a company’s propensity for success.
Behind the scenes we employ an army of robots – I think that’s how it works – to analyse data and insight on the people behind each startup, its product (from a tech and customer perspective) and the opportunity potential it has within its operational marketplace.
This means you can carefully target the startups which most relate to your strategy. It also means you should never need to track anything close to 500 startups, no matter your size.
Also within the core platform we’ve built a watchlist functionality which notifies you of any changes to those businesses you’re tracking and if that wasn’t brilliant enough, we’re exploring the creation of a CRM:
Drop me a line if you’d like to have a tour around Sønr. There’s nothing like it out there.
We’ve met with your company already. They told us ‘no’.
You know those people in the other parts of the company; those without a mandate on innovation or new technologies? Yup, those.
They too have an interest in all things that are new and shiny. It’s human nature.
It’s therefore no wonder that, from time to time, they’ll say yes to a meeting with a startup. Maybe they were approached by an ambitious sales person. Or they sat next to a founder at an event. Or, one of their neighbours friends waxed lyrical about his/her new business.
Whatever and however, you need to tap into the value these connections bring. You get it right and it can be super powerful. Get it wrong and you’ll burn bridges and look the fool.
Sadly for some companies it’s the latter.
By the time you’ve got your new ventures strategy together, have identified the themes you’d like to track, scanned the markets for prospective startups and made that initial contact for a coffee, it’s quite possible someone in your team has met with them, not followed up and said they don’t want to work with them, often because of their myopic, short-term view of business need.
So, how do you successfully coordinate your market scanning activity?
The steps are pretty simple. First, build internal visibility of what you’re up to within the new ventures function – get your team up to speed with the strategy and vision of what you’re looking to achieve. Then encourage those with interests and connections into the startup world to come forward and participate in the work you’re doing.
Finally create a central repository where all connections must be collated, owners of the relationships labelled and notes of any meetings captured. Empower and encourage and you’ll build valuable and lasting connections.
Just don’t do this using an Excel spreadsheet.
Easy right? You’re welcome.
Right, it’s nearly the weekend. For those who love their football, enjoy the final. For those who love their tennis, enjoy Wimbledon. For all others, have a great weekend whatever you’re up to.