"There was a massive need across the whole insurance distribution channel"

Award-winning startup quickly adapts in response to market demand

"There was a massive need across the whole insurance distribution channel"


By Terry Gangcuangco

It’s barely been a year since insurance payment platform Simfuni rolled out its offering for brokers, and already the award-winning startup has expanded to cater to a wider clientele as a result of the market’s response to the company’s proposition.

When Simfuni launched last July, the target was to serve insurance brokers in New Zealand and Australia who were wasting about 23 minutes of their time generating an invoice, pulling up premium funding quotes, and emailing payment information to clients.

The Kiwi firm soon learned, however, that insurers, underwriting agencies, and third-party administrators could just as easily benefit from the Simfuni technology, which combines different payment methodologies and fragmented processes into one platform that is then integrated with insurance companies’ systems. 

Simfuni’s evolution

In an interview with Insurance Business, Simfuni co-founder and chief executive Shaun Quincey (pictured) talked about how they adapted to the industry’s reception following Simfuni’s rollout.

“Where we’ve evolved the system is Simfuni doesn’t just work with brokers,” Quincey said. “What we learned very quickly is there was a massive need across the whole insurance distribution channel to improve the payment experience. So, what we’ve ended up doing is working with a number of third-party administrators, as well as direct insurers and underwriting agencies.

“What’s happened is, where we started in tackling the payment process for a broker, we ended up getting so many more people from the other distribution channels coming in, going, ‘Well, actually, can you come and fix all of our payments as well,’ which has been the most exciting part.”

The CEO went on to highlight Simfuni’s “really good applicability and use cases” across the industry.

“I think it’s because the main use cases are the same – people want really nice and easy ways to pay for their premiums, and back-office staff want really nice, intuitive, simple transparency on those payments coming in,” Quincey said. “And we’d built all of that for the premium funders and for the brokers. Then there was just simple transferability of those solutions into direct [insurer] and into agency.

“There was no customisation needed; the instalment payment systems were the same, and customers wanted self-service and to be able to move and shift their transactions around. That ultimately meant we could serve the four different distribution channels. Our core customer base is 50% brokers, and the rest now fall into the other buckets – direct insurer, underwriting agency, and third-party administrator.”

He added that, with the product set being relatively similar across all four channels, Simfuni is able to serve and upgrade them all at the same time.

Recognition and further expansion

With Simfuni catching the broader industry’s attention, it’s no surprise that the company bagged the 2024 startup of the year award from FinTechNZ.

Commenting on the award, Quincey told Insurance Business: “It’s been a lot of hard work to get to where we are, and it’s great recognition for the team and the customers that have backed us along the way as well.

“We have been working on Simfuni for a good couple of years prior to launch, setting what was the foundation to enable us to go really quickly, so we’d been talking to a lot of our core clients for a long time understanding their problems. When we launched, it was enabling us to start implementing the solutions that we’d been building behind the scenes.

“Like any overnight success, it hasn’t been overnight at all. It’s been years and years of us getting things wrong and fixing things and battling our way through different challenges. So, it’s awesome to get the solution recognised, and our commitment and enthusiasm to adding value to the sector acknowledged as well.”

So, what’s next for Simfuni? According to Quincey, the firm’s Australian expansion is underway.

“We’ve got two key customers going live in Australia in Q4 this year,” he said. “We’ve got to not lose sight of that, of making sure the Australian business goes very well while we continue to deliver on the projects in New Zealand. So, it’s really about client outcomes for the rest of this year – just getting people live, making sure everything works, and delivering the value we said we would.”

What do you think about this story? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!