Nikolaus Sühr: Kasko Is An Insurtech Business And We Work With Insurance Companies, Helping Them To Digitalise Their Insurance Distribution

August 26, 2022

KASKO is an InsurTech business and we work with insurance companies, helping them to digitalise their insurance distribution. If you don’t know much about insurance the easiest way to explain our platform is “like shopify for insurance companies”.

When my co-founder, Matt, and I got together we wanted to create a workplace that provides meaningful work, a great environment and fair compensation.

Given our backgrounds we did this by focusing on a big mission where our respective skills could contribute.

Insurance is super important but it’s also very opaque and not always easily accessible or affordable, so our mission is to ensure everyone can get the right insurance, at the right price just when they need it.

Tell us about yourself?

Matt and I knew we wanted to start a business together and decided it would make most sense to focus on our respective strengths and experience though.

Matt studied computer science and had worked as a developer and lead at startups and Accenture. I am insurance to the bone.

My dad started an insurance business years ago and turned it into the DACH region’s most successful classic car insurer, so insurance was dinner table chat when I was growing up.

After graduation I also worked at an insurance broker and then a consultancy with focus on insurers. So the industry really was inevitable.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

With perfect clairvoyance there are a bunch of things you could do better, from focusing on delivering platform innovation quicker, to paying attention to the shift in customer profile (from more innovative to more mainstream customers) and the related expectations.

We would have possibly pursued a different hiring strategy, growing less quickly during COVID and maybe not in the same departments as we did.

But these things are always easier with hindsight and overall we got through a tough few years with COVID and are on a good trajectory again, so I’m also happy with how we did.

What problem does your business solve?

There is real FOMO within the market due to Corona, the unique embedded insurance opportunity, InsurTechs gaining market share and digital transformation not delivering.

Pressure to be able to deliver growth, digitalise and improve new and existing products and win new distribution partners is growing. For most insurance businesses it isn’t easy or clear how to take advantage of the opportunities and to defend their current business and grow it. We help them do it.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Insurance is a social good. It protects families and individuals from financial shock and allows companies and entrepreneurs to take risks and thereby create value.

However it is also a heavily intermediated and very opaque business so it’s not always easy to get the right cover, at the right time and sometimes it’s not affordable.

Technology and disruption in other industries is having a knock on effect on insurance as well though, so we knew there is an opportunity to improve the insurance experience for consumers and the desire within the insurance industry to innovate and take advantage of these opportunities.

What is your magic sauce?

There isn’t just one thing that sets us apart from the competition. But usually insurers buy us for our flexibility and market knowledge.

We understand that we need to bridge whatever gap an insurer has when launching or upgrading a new product.

So we start with identifying and challenging use-cases, providing several options on augmenting or replacing their internal services, offering to do implementation and maintenance or training them to do it themselves.

Having 7 years of experience working with >30 insurers in >6 countries on more than a 100 products also ensures that we have the experience to substantiate our claim whilst maintaining our curiosity to continue to learn and co-create.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Our vision ultimately is to play a little part in solving some of the big problems of our day. We believe moving to an ecologically sustainable model is the core challenge of our generation.

Moreover, we believe that it won’t just be policy makers or startups but incumbent players to play a role.

Having developed a position of access and trust towards decision makers within the insurance industry on how to launch new products, we want to help insurers, to create products and services that help their clients to become more sustainable.

This is not the something we started out to achieve 7 years ago but the world has changed and we need to change with it.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Over the years there are many challenges that have come up and required us to adjust course.

We started with a different business model, focusing on selling to websites and platforms that might want to cross or up-sell insurance to their clients, before realising that focusing on helping the insurers makes more sense. When the profile of our customers changed we also needed to adapt.

The innovative early adopters wanted to move fast and were fine with things working 80-90%. However, later the traditional technology buyers expected everything to be worked out 100% at the outset and were willing to sacrifice time. That required us to adjust as well.

In the future, we will have to adapt yet again from tech provider to growth partner and ecosystem initiator.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We want to help all insurers, MGAs and businesses like banks, who are looking to create new insurance products and services, to digitalise their existing offering or to reach new distribution channels but are struggling to do so quickly and cost effectively.

Within specific areas such as sustainability or embedded insurance we also providfe knowledge and ready-made partnerships. If this is you please reach out and we can help you from strategy formation to making it a reality.

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