Hello! The next release of the ‘Inspire Insurtech’ series where we interview inspiring insurtechs to find out who they are, what they do, what we can expect from them in the future, and more is here!
For this feature, we have Galileo Platforms with co-Founder and Chair, Annette King. Enjoy!
Tell us Galileo Platform’s brief pitch
We provide a policy administration system using blockchain technology. We are a B2B business and our clients serve the retail insurance clients who need general, life or health insurance.
The benefits are:
1. cost structures are lower and more flexible, opening up new revenue opportunities by serving new clients
2. product and service innovation is fast and cheap. Experiences can be designed and delivered simply, without being held back by system constraints or time-consuming regression testing
3. service improvements for everyone from the retail client, to the call centre, to their financial advisor or digital broker, the insurer and reinsurer. Everyone deals in real-time, secure information
4. data is captured so that behaviours, marketing results, product proposition and claims outcomes can be analysed (manually or through AI) and optimised.
So how did Galileo Platforms begin?
We started the business in Hong Kong in 2016. The co-founders came together with the idea that there were major improvements needed in the insurance industry, and that created a business opportunity. We had worked together and knew each other from industry.
Good origin story!
How has Galileo Platforms evolved since inception?
We spent the first 3 months strategizing where the biggest business opportunities were and conducting research in a number of markets across Asia-Pac. We have pivoted a few times, to concentrate where we see the greatest demand. For example, we had a B2C proposition but saw more demand/less competition in the B2B space. We also see more agility in decision-making in the P&C and Health Insurance product lines than in Life insurance, and initially we thought it might be the other way around. Things are ever evolving, and it’s great to be able to switch things if we need to, to keep very focussed on our client demand.
That sounds exciting!
What is your team currently working on 2019 or what have you accomplished recently?
We completed our Series A funding in 2H2018, so we completed the build-out of the team and spent most of Q4 in heavy marketing mode. There were a lot of insurtech conferences in Asia-Pac, particularly Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia as well as Insurtech Connect in the US, so we generated a lot of exposure and great client contacts.
We’re finalising the build of the platform and about to commence some more proofs of concept for clients in 3 different countries, which will then move into “go live” production.
Great! We’ll be watching this space!
How does Galileo Platforms ‘give back’?
Firstly, our purpose is to enable better financial inclusion. The cost economics of our platform and the scalability it provides means that we can provide a service that enables insurance to be provided for a few dollars. This can be for low-income people or it can be “incidental” insurance, meaning that the insurance purchased is designed and delivered to easily wrap around a lifestyle or business choice. For example, we can help connect health insurers and medical-providers for real-time claims settlement, weather parametric insurance for crops, connect car repairers or builders to insurers, or improving large scale efficiencies across an entire industry such as insurance in superannuation.
We speak at conferences, of course, and participate heavily in the start-up and fintech communities in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. I also volunteer on the Actuaries Institute Council.
As a team, we have yet to select a cause for volunteering, but that’s on the cards.
What is Galileo Platform’s biggest challenge in today’s markets?
The long decision-making process of financial institutions and change management. Both my co-founder, Mark Wales and I, spent decades working in large insurers so we know the process and a lot of the people… the good news is that because I’ve been a CEO, CFO, CMO and Board Director, and Mark has been a CIO, we can speak knowledgeably with all C-suite and board decision makers. We often assist with ideation, providing helpful information for business cases as well as bringing to life the ideas of our client’s team.
We work with both incumbents and disruptors. They know their retail clients and design the proposition they want to take to market … we make it happen for them fast and economically, and their operating costs are a fraction of what they would be on a legacy system. They focus on designing and iterating their proposition and pricing, and we do the back-end heavy lifting of record-keeping and transactions amongst all parties in real-time.
Anything else you’d like to say?
The insurance industry has been slow to respond to changing consumer lifestyles and consumer expectations. New skills have been brought into most companies to design better outcomes for their retail clients … but it is hard to do given current systems and infrastructure. Blockchain really gives a set of tools to help you bring to life your designed client experience, easily adapt it and focus on your differentiators of brand, proposition, service and human touch, with a backend running everything real-time and automating as much as possible for you. This is a designer’s toolkit as well as significantly reducing operating costs.
I’ve been in the insurance industry 30 years, and I think this is a very exciting time of change! It’s pretty clear which organisations are focussed on the future and able to grab the opportunities. I’m luckily in a position to be working with those organisations that are creating the insurance of the future – it’s energising!
Annette King, Galileo Platform’s co-Founder and Chair
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