Impressions from Insurtech Insights: Succeeding as an Insurtech Startup in 2024

Insurtech Insights conference in London, UK.

Two weeks ago, we attended the Insurtech Insights conference in London. We had the usual genuine experience of the event, with many interesting presentations, panel discussions, and business meetings. Adam and I represented Insurwiz, and we tried to make the best use of our time among the many opportunities. 

We thought we would carry this sharing of tasks forward into our reports, so Adam already posted a detailed article on the event last week, which should be very useful for those who have not yet attended but are planning to in the future, while I am sharing my experiences related to the presentations to summarize all the wisdom I heard for everyone in the same boat.

It was not an easy task to choose from the many presentations and panel discussions during our two days at the conference, so I tried to focus mainly on the challenges insurtech companies face – may those challenges be connected to innovation, safety, or fundraising?

Below I would like to summarize two specific panel discussions along the topics of fundraising and strategy, both of them being essential parts of long-term success in the Insurtech world.

Please note that what is written here was said collectively by the participants indicated below, so for the sake of readability this is not an exact transcript, but rather a summary. For the individual opinions of the panelists, I recommend listening to the discussions.

The secrets to effective capital raising in 2024 and beyond


Romaney O’Malley

Group CFO, Bolttech

Varun Dua

Founder & CEO, Acko

Amit Nayyar

EMEA Head of Fintech and Payments, JP Morgan

Oshir Kaplan

Managing Director, Munich Re Ventures


Gilad Shai

Managing Director, BMI Capital International 

Since we are also in fundraising mode at Insurwiz, with a previous seed investment in the past, I was quite eager to listen to this one. I was right to do so, as I received not only a lot of useful tips but many reassuring thoughts as well.

This panel discussion mainly addressed the issues of raising capital, focusing on the situation of insurtech startups. For those working in the sector, the guests helped put the current state of the insurtech market into perspective, as we have not had the easiest of years - not to deny the difficulties of other sectors of course.

It is a very different world now than it was around 2020 when there was a lot of “free money” flowing in for insurtech startups that could raise capital at much higher valuations. The sector was quite different back then, with much hope in purely technological solutions. It is probably better to put those valuations aside now for those planning to raise capital. If you want to focus on sustainable growth, an honest conversation with current investors and even accepting a lower valuation may be more rewarding. Some kind of compromise could help you raise additional capital and protect your existing investors at the same time.

Although attracting new investors can be more difficult nowadays, it is not impossible. Make it clear why you, why now (what the opportunity is), and what the protection is for you. Also, clearly describe where you are now. The insurtech sector - like many niche sectors - is a very specific and nascent market. The insurance sector is less disrupted as it is highly centralized and regulated, dominated by large and slow-moving players. Thus, insurtech companies have relatively low market and shareholder value at the moment. It is also important to acknowledge the specificities of insurtech products, as they do not necessarily work in the same way as other technology products. They make a small part of users' lives easier, but it is difficult to build on the feeling of gratification, and users probably won’t be too enthusiastic about your products. Regardless, these solutions have their place in the supply chain, but the take-off, or even the take-off of the whole sector, has its special curve.

According to some people, it might be possible you need to even rebuild your company during the current challenging times. Apart from the technology insurtechs can bring, you need to understand what drives customers to buy insurance, the different types of purchases relevant customers make, and how insurance is currently traded. If you focus solely on the tech, it may be time to bring in some classic insurance talent. With that thought, let’s go to the next discussion I’d like to mention.

What does it take to be a high-impact Insurtech?


Tom Allebone-Webb

Head of Strategy & Innovation, Lloyds of London

Arslan Hannani

VP of Innovation, Travelers

Florian Graillot

Founding Partner, astoryaVC

Elizabeth Powell

Head of Differentiated Underwriting, Aegis Energy Syndicate


Emilio Figueroa

Chief Executive Officer, Indemnity Lab

This panel discussion combined wisdom from different areas, such as product development or even safety aspects.

When it comes to product development, it's important to stop sometimes and see if your customers even need the technology you're offering. The technology itself is worthless if it doesn't have the right use case. As in many other presentations, the much-debated area of parametric solutions - which is also what we provide at Insurwiz - came up. After the backlash that followed the hype, it is important to see that there is still a reason to apply parametric technology if the right use case exists and there may be huge potential as few companies are currently selling these solutions on a mass scale. Although end users are not the most excited about tech solutions in insurance, it is worth paying attention to macro trends. With a serious labor shortage expected in the coming years, solutions that respond to this could have a significant advantage.

The discussion also focused on what insurtech companies can do in the slowly changing insurance market, especially when technology is not everything. They have to do things differently from the current players of course. The easiest way may be to look at what the incumbents are doing wrong and do it better. It's easy to say of course. For this and other reasons, it may be a good idea to bring in insurance talent besides the tech – a recurring thought of the previous panel discussion and probably many others.

During this discussion, there was a special emphasis on the security aspect of insurtech companies and innovations, and there were also some presentations that focused almost exclusively on this topic. Security issues play an important role in the decisions of insurance companies, so it is important for an insurtech company in the role of supplier to know what security standards it has to comply with, what 3rd party suppliers it works with, how transparent its solutions are to the end-user and what it does to ensure that the end-user data is secure.

Wrapping up

Over two days, from morning to evening, there were many other interesting presentations and panel discussions at the conference. For example, I listened to Christian B. Westermann’s (Zurich Insurance) presentation on generative AI and to the Leadership in Insurance Podcast with Alex Bond (FinPro) and V8 (Resilience) on the security aspects of insurtech.

Both are quite broad topics, but after listening to the speakers, I can say that gen AI does have a place in the industry, at least in terms of large language models, and that risk management is not necessarily just about underwriting so you might want to look further to be innovative.

A nice touch was Dr Els van der Helm’s presentation on sleep, which may be directly related to a sub-segment of insurtech, but it affects us all in the same way. I highly recommend her talks to find out how you might be able to sleep yourself to the top instead of cutting back on sleep for work.

Thanks for reading and hopefully see you at the next event,