Reflections from Singapore Immersion Week – June 2022

This month, we reflect on our recent overseas delegation to Singapore and how Singapore is an attractive market for Australian insurtechs looking to scale. We hope you will enjoy reading this article as much as we enjoyed writing it. Happy Reading!

 Simone Dossetor, CEO of Insurtech Australia

It has been over two years since Insurtech Australia ran an international delegation so it was with excitement and great anticipation that we embarked on not only our first trip outside Australia but also our first delegation to Asia. We were delighted with the enthusiasm and warmth that our delegation received and excited for the possibilities that the Asian market presents for our Australian insurtechs looking to scale.

There were 3 key reflections from the trip:

Firstly that Singapore is an attractive market for Australian insurtechs looking to scale into Asia and the world, secondly that being on the ground and in person is irreplaceable and thirdly that Australia is a valuable insurtech ecosystem that can compete globally.

Singapore is an attractive market for Australian insurtechs looking to scale.

There are a number of factors that make Singapore an attractive destination for Australian insurtechs. Despite the small size of the local insurance industry, it can be a market to test and learn and a gateway for expansion to Southeast Asia’s growing consumer market. It is a relatively mature market with highly educated consumers and a pro-business environment and strong support for innovation through regulatory sandboxes.

This was evidenced at ITC Asia with over 100 countries represented including insurtechs from across Asia.

During our Singapore Immersion Week, we encountered a positive venture capital environment with many funds having a mandate for fintech, insurtech and deep tech. It appears to favour propositions aimed at end customers given the potential scale that Asia represents as compared to insurtechs aimed at more sophisticated propositions aimed at insurance as customers. George Wang from AYLA supports this “The best part, we’ve met more than 10 VC investors during the week and have already progressed into deeper discussions with a couple. We have a very positive feeling about landing our next investment there.”

Singapore is also a valuable market to learn about competitor offerings and to fight the war for tech talent.

Bill Angeledis of Day By Day agreed that “We will be investigating setting up a presence in Singapore in the near future to access tech talent and approach new markets.”

Being in person, in the market is essential.

After two years of webinars and virtual conferences, the enthusiasm for an in-person international conference and meetings was felt strongly. As supported by Andy Jamieson from Advisr “There is nothing better than being on the ground, face-to-face, to get a sense for the market and customer appetite. Whilst we may feel close to Asia, we needed to be on the ground and the immersion trip enable us to scale our learnings, relationships and product iterations fast.”

Partnering is critical for Insurtech success and this requires understanding the local environment. Tetiana George of Curium App comments that “Cultural immersion is key to success in any new market. The best way to “become local” is to find great partners. Partnerships with local insurtechs, incumbents or various organisations are a great way to test the market at a relatively low cost and pretty quickly.”

Australia is a valuable insurtech ecosystem that can compete globally.

The tagline from our booth at ITC Asia was highlighted as “The best and brightest in insurtech starts in Australia”. We were pleased to be able to bring eight-strong Australian Insurtechs into the market and received resounding feedback on their quality and readiness throughout the week. The variety and depth represented the varied background of the founders which included senior Insurance executives, award-winning academics and successful fintech entrepreneurs.

The reason for this quality was described by Tetiana George from Curium App “A great thing speaking for Australian insurtechs is the complexity of the domestic market that makes international expansion somewhat easier. It is much easier to adopt our tech and know-how to simpler products and regulatory requirements than the other way round.”

Furthermore, it is important to be aware that Australia is not only an attractive market to export from but we encountered strong interest from Asian insurtechs looking at Australia as a market to expand into. This reinforces the view of Australia as a highly regulated mature insurance market which is an attractive stepping stone for Asian insurtechs to test and adapt their proposition on the way to global expansion. It is important that we recognise and embrace this trend which cannot be simply ignored.

Finally a huge thank you to Austrade and to our Insurtechs (Day By Day, Mapizy, AYLA, Evari Tech, Curium App, Advisr, Reask and Kanopi Cover) that joined us and made it a great success for all. As supported by Andy Jamieson from Advisr Great support from Austrade – 10 out 10 for making this happen.”

Bill Angeledis of Day By Day cemented this by saying “The insights from other delegates and new connections throughout the week are going to be invaluable. We have learnt a lot about the industry and the landscape in Singapore.”

Tetiana George from Curium App “It feels like Australian companies still have a long way to go in terms of building a reputation in the region. So it is so great that Austrade placed the companies so prominently. No one else did that.”

How to become a member of Insurtech Australia.

If you want to find out more about how to become a part of our Insurtech ecosystem you can join the Insurtech Australia Community group on LinkedIn or click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

If you are an insurtech and you are not a member yet, please get in touch for how to join.

Alternatively, if you work for an insurer or service provider and are interested in a corporate partnership, please get in touch for more information.

We are currently planning our next international delegation, which will be to the US to attend the Insuretech Connect event in Las Vegas. We will have complimentary and discounted registrations for our Insurtech members and partners. Register your interest here.

Thank You.

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