Insurance, through Crowdfunding

14 Sep 2020

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With the emergence of Uber and AirBnB, ‘Sharing Economy’ has proven to be beneficial on a real-time basis across multiple industries, including transportation, real estate and hospitality.  

Even in the Insurance sector, numerous InsureTech start-ups are enabling P2P or crowd-based models that leverage  crowdfunding. It allows for more people to be insured by aiding underserved markets. Collective purchasing yields preferential pricing to those subscribed to peer-based insurance programs. 

Acknowledging  this innovative approach, insurance, financial services and e-commerce sites around the world have begun to offer crowdfunding approaches to covering expenses. For instance, Love Upgrading is a crowd-funded insurance service offered on WeChat, China’s voice and text messaging app. Clients on the platform can pay an initial premium of US16 for one year of insurance with USD 8,000 of coverage. By sharing the link on WeChat and invite friends, the insurance amount can be raised upto USD 15,000.  

Similarly, China’s second-biggest e-commerce player JD has launched a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding platform, Coufenzi, which allows participants to invest in a movie of their choice, with deposits as low as ~USD 20. These deposits are then bundled into the company’s wealth management and insurance products that pay a fixed interest rate. 

On the other hand, Friendsurance follows similar method to offer cheaper insurance to customers using an innovative peer-to-peer method. Customers can connect online and create their own insurance pool. Small claims are paid out of this pool, with bigger claims covered by traditional insurance.  

To leverage the power of crowdfunding, number of insurance companies are partnering with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Wishberry to raise funds. On the other hand, some insurers like TIAACREF are hosting campaigns on a dedicated social network called the Communities, on which members can discuss their financial health, exchange ideas and host campaigns.  

In today’s age of technology-enabled collaboration, crowdfunding has a great potential to make inroads in insurance focussing on under-served population. Given the ever-growing proportion of non- or under-insured individuals, crowdfunding could be a lucrative way of addressing mass market needs, especially individual disability benefits, retirements and pensions, as well as group plans. 

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HR Tech

Every organization needs to onboard good talent, retain, engage them and work with them to increase efficiency and productivity. Huge amount of time and money is spent to search, select, interview and hire the perfect candidate. Artificial Intelligence (AI)/ Machine Learning (ML) integration into human resources (HR) practices make organizations better as AI applications helps the HR Team to analyze, predict and diagnose for better decisions. According to a report published by Grand View Research in February 2020, the human resource management market is anticipated to reach $38.17 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 11.7 % from 2020 to 2027.
Delhi based startup, ReferHire, has created a peer-to-peer (P2P) networking platform to bring together organisations and those seeking newer career opportunities. Jobseekers have to identify the companies they are interested in and then ReferHire introduces them to peers in those organizations. These peers help job seekers in placing their application internally in the organisation and assist during the recruitment process.
Culturro, Gurugram-based startup has developed an Artificial Intelligence-based NLP bot platform Agnya which helps companies to build the right workplace experience and identify the drivers. It recommends actionable insights for HR heads and also influences behaviour modification in individuals to create the desired workplace experience. Post action, it constantly monitors the progress.
Bengaluru-based Equiv.in launched AI tool which aims to solve talent assessment and hiring while keeping diversity in mind. Equiv.in is exclusive for women, differently-abled individuals, members of the LGBTQ community and army veterans where the jobseeker can sign up with AI Equiv tool. Some of its clients include Indeed, ThoughtWorks, Infosys, Societe Generale, Microsoft and Blackrock.
Similarly, 19th Mile has developed Analytics-driven automated sales coaching system that provides personalized, data-driven coaching to sales representative. The app tracks individuals’ daily sales activities using data from its inbuilt mobile CRM or from the organization’s CRM and uses it to intelligently coach users towards meeting their specific sales targets.
On the other hand, HireSure.ai uses blockchain technology to store employment-related records. Its predictive tools use AI to offer insights related to employee compensation and offer acceptance behaviour, which helps companies increase their offer-to-join ratio. This brings down hiring costs by up to 50 %.
Hiring is a challenging process in any organization and if not addressed efficiently they end up losing good candidates. There is also rapid evolution in business dynamics and therefore several startups are using new age technologies to fill up these gaps.

Micro-services

In the current dynamic universe, companies are finding ad-hoc approach of running continuous upgrades to large monolithic platforms increasingly tedious and inefficient. Progressive organizations can no longer count on the rigid systems that require weeks of rework to support a new business process. Enter Micro-services! It is a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple APIs.
In recent years, adoption of micro-services architecture is becoming a proven success strategy in the software development industry. According to the report by Red Hat, organizations are using micro-services to re-architect their existing applications; as much as the technology being used for brand new applications.
Micro-services offer numerous benefits for application architects and development teams. These include flexibility around implementation technology, scalability and cloud readiness. These benefits align well with the growing demand of a new system that can adapt to the demands of digital business in highly competitive ecosystems. For instance, early adopters like Airbnb, Disney, Dropbox, GE, Goldman Sachs and Twitter have seen development lead times cut by as much as 75 percent, thanks to the adoption of micro-services.
This trend is increasingly being adopted by Bigtechs as well. For example, Microsoft has opened up its Service Fabric platform which is a distributed systems platform to package, deploy and manage scalable and reliable micro-services. Similarly, IBM, Google and Lyft have teamed up to form Istio, an open technology that provides a way for developers to connect, manage and secure networks of different micro-services, regardless of platform, source or vendor. Apart from this, California based Nginx which supports the operation of around 450 million global websites including those of Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest, has set up shop in Australia to support companies embracing micro-services.
Recognizing the need to deliver value to customers faster, many banks are seizing the opportunity to implement micro-services architecture. By implementing such innovative architecture, Ubank created Australia's first home loan application chatbot, innovating and improving customer experience. Similarly, UK based digital bank Monzo is also using cloud and micro-services architecture to develop back end structure.
Micro-services can deliver better agility and scalability advantages than any other archetype. Several vendors are developing frameworks and platforms that simplify adoption of the micro-services architecture. However, we believe it will take some time for micro-services to evolve into complete and robust mainstream platform
Credits : Akhil Handa

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