Mamils, China and 5 minutes of fame

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Hello *|FNAME|*,
 
What’s that? It’s Friday and you haven’t had your Sø.Nws? That’s okay, here it is.  
 
Thanks to those who got in touch after the last one. I appreciate the love and sorry if I haven’t replied. I will.
 
As I’m sure you’re all aware (he says hopefully) Tällt has been tracking the Insurtech space for a good few years now. Over that time the world of Insurtech has been gently moving through the changing rhetoric of ‘innovate or die’ to ‘death by a thousand paper cuts’. And for the past few months been sitting in the ‘trough of disillusionment’.
 
We’ve seen the rise of a few and the fall of many.
 
One particular trend that’s been getting plenty of press lately, and not in a good way, is ‘peer to peer’.
 
Last year Lemonade, months after launching, dropped the P2P label as it ‘was causing confusion’. More recently we saw the Brighton-based P2P car insurer Guevara close its doors. And not long after Boston’s business insurer Gather followed suit.
 
Can the P2P model work?
Last week we chatted with Tobias from Laka (previously Insure a Thing) as part of our upcoming podcast series. On the basis that we’re not releasing this until April, you’ll have to make do with a Spøtlight write up for now. Sorry about that.
 
A couple of months back Laka created a bicycle insurance product. The difference being this one is ‘powered by the community’.
I’ll leave you to read the interview but a standout fact for me is that to date there have been no claims. As such not one policy holder has had to pay a cent for a fully insured bike that includes race/sportive cover.
 
Nice.
 
Operating within an industry full of mamils (I hold my hand up to being part of the clique) I imagine we’ll see some strong early adoption this year, especially as the monthly payments are capped at market rate. What could possibly go wrong?
 
What interests me most is the business behind the business. I’m looking forward to checking back with Tobi and team after a full year to better understand how the numbers stack up behind the scenes.
 
We’re off to China. Who’s coming?
Trump’s imposing tariffs on $60bn of Chinese imports and limiting US investment into the area; the UK is scrabbling for the ‘same benefits’ as single EU market membership; and meanwhile China is further strengthening its position as a global tech superpower.
 
Where else can you spin up an Insurtech that is able to achieve a $10bn valuation within 4 years of launch? ZhongAn, China's first completely online insurer has to date 460 million clients to date, with 6 billion policies underwritten. Crazy numbers.
 
I know I banged on about India in my last email. This time it’s China. Sit tight, it’s interesting.
 
China has the largest number of ‘unicorns’ (companies valued at £1bn+) outside of the US; a society that is pretty much entirely cashless; and a booming entrepreneurial city.
 
For those who may once have headed to ‘the Valley’ to learn more about innovation and connect with emergent tech, it’s time to shift focus and look East.
 
Who’s up for a trip to China?
 
We’ve got a client trip lined up later in the year. But we're thinking of running another. 
 
We’re planning out a separate mission for 10-15 individuals, who will join us for a 5-day immersion in the new venture ecosystem – meeting with startups, scaleups, VCs, corporate innovators and market influencers.
 
If you’d be open to the idea, drop me a line and we’ll see whether we can make it happen.
 
--
 
Right, I promised myself I’d keep this Sø.Nws a little punchier than last time. So here's the remainder:
 
From Goldman Sachs to mileage tracking
The team caught up with James Blackham, Co-Founder and CEO of UK-based pay-per-mile insurer By Miles to talk shop.
 
Disrupt 100
If you’ve never checked out Disrupt 100, you should. The 2018 index will be published at the end of May and it’s going to be bloody brilliant. Over the past 2 years we’ve had a global audience reach of somewhere around the 3 million people mark (mainly thanks to Reuters TV). And whilst that’s brilliant, we’ve spectacularly failed to commercialise it!

If you’d like to get your brand across Disrupt 100 or get closer to this year’s listing ahead of publication, give us a shout. I’m sure there’s something we can sort out.
 
The Tällt pødcast
As mentioned, next month we’ll be launching our podcast series. I’ve listened to a couple and they’re brilliant. Possibly because I’m not involved in their making.
 
Whilst we’ve recorded interviews with some incredible startups - Laka, AssetVault, Niki.ai and Zasti to name a few, we’re always on the hunt to speak with interesting people doing interesting things.
 
Whether you’re on the new ventures or corporate innovation side, drop me a line if you’re keen to get involved.
 
Sønr beta testers
We’ve been releasing a pile of new Sønr functionality. It’s shaping up to be a pretty epic new venture scanning tool but as with any new product we need feedback. The good and the bad.
 
If you would like a tour around the platform and a couple of weeks’ free subscription, I’d be more than happy to sort that out. My only ask is for a catch up on how you used it, your thoughts and what improvements we can make.
 
Right, that’s it from me. I promise.
 
As always, hit me up if you’d like to say hello. Have a good weekend all.
 
Cheers,
 


MATT CONNOLLY
Founder & CEO 

+44 7788 711 104 
www.tallt.ventures

And the team behind Sønr.global
 
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