INSTANDA is pursuing a multi-pronged expansion plan for its no-code insurance platform, backed by $45 million in new venture funding the UK-based insurtech first disclosed in late June. One strategic element: a greater focus on North America.
Plans call for using the money, in part, to enhance the platform and boost its capabilities in Europe. The financing will also help gear up the platform for a broad US rollout that addresses the country’s unique, state-by-state regulatory needs.
“There are just things in the US that you have to deal with, things like [industry standardization organization] ISO,” explained Greg Murphy (pictured), INSTANDA’s executive vice president for North America. “We [also] have 50 states, so you have to deal with that, and those [individual state regulatory] concepts and speed needs to be added to the platform.”
Also on tap, adding “a significant number of people” to INSTANDA to help propel its growth plans that will double the size of the 114-person company. INSTANDA will also rev up marketing.
“Once you have a good product – once you have enough people to really do the work – then the next bucket of spending is you’ve got to let the market know who you are,” Murphy said. “You’ve got to make sure that you are spending the money on sales.”
Beyond a Europe and US expansion, INSTANDA is also aiming for a growing geographical presence in Japan and the UAE.
Overall, INSTANDA operates in 14 different countries around the world. The company launched about seven years ago.
Toscafund led the new financing round and is one of Europe’s major growth equity investment firms. Existing investor Dale Ventures also participated.
“The funding from Toscafund is a significant milestone and will provide added impetus to aim higher in delivering exceptional client and user interactions,” INSTANDA co-founder and CEO Tim Hardcastle said in prepared remarks as part of the funding announcement.
INSTANDA has now surpassed 75 customers, 80% of which were acquired in the last two years, Murphy said.
Target customers include managing general agents, small and mid-sized insurance companies and carriers. In the carrier space, INSTANDA zeroes in on certain divisions such as specialty insurance units, Murphy said.
INSTANDA bills itself as the world’s first no-code dedicated insurance platform, digitizing the insurance value chain. Low-code enables a user to use software that relies on little to no coding in order to build applications and processes.
Many no-code or low-code platforms are in the marketplace now, but a large number are industry agnostic, Murphy said, allowing users to build a variety of options for multiple systems and quickly develop new applications.
A recent example of this is CoverGo, a no-code startup that helps insurers, banks and MGAs in Asia and elsewhere digitize and automate their insurance processes. There’s also iPipeline, whose SaaS-based products and services are designed to accelerate and simplify insurance sales, compliance, operations and support.
“We have a slightly different take on it,” Murphy said. “We focus specifically on the insurance industry, and specifically on the core insurance value chain. Our version of low-code is you can do anything within the insurance value chain in a low-code fashion, and what comes out of that is really a core system, versus just an application you might build through a typical platform.”
Typical software deployment can take about 12 weeks, a fraction of the time that older core systems have taken, Murphy said.
INSTANDA’s platform lets insurers design their entire core system transaction process and integrate it.
“You can take advantage of these great insurtech technologies. We integrate with chatbots and with AI providers, and we integrate with data scrapers that are out there,” Murphy said. “Telematics has [also] been a huge boon for us, because we have a number of clients who are using telematics to integrate with our platform, price insurance in real time and reprice insurance as … they are evaluating driving patterns.”
A no-code platform such as INSTANDA amounts to the use of building blocks to construct a better customer experience, Murphy explained.
“Just think through an insurance experience as a consumer. You might go shopping for insurance [online] and the first thing you do is you inform people who you are and what you are looking for and then you get rated to get quoted,” Murphy said. “You make a purchasing decision, then you actually purchase and make a payment, and then you have a policy that is enforced, that you can then make changes to – all of those building block transactions. “Those are all what is built through no-code fashion on our platform.”
No-code is a relatively new term, but Murphy said INSTANDA started out that way before the word became commonplace.
“That was when our founders really laid out what the standard was going to be,” Murphy said. “The very first core principle was that we were going to be a completely no-code configuration platform.”
With the rise in inflation, Murphy said, INSTANDA has drawn more industry attention than just six months ago.
“The one thing that never changes is there’s still a lot of work to do,” Murphy said. “Making sure that you are expanding to new markets is still going to be important and doing it in a very economical and flexible way is becoming more of the norm now. It just makes those conversations much more attractive for platforms like ours.”