Assurly is a company that belongs to the insurtech sphere, the meeting point between the insurance sector and technology. It brings an innovative vision to the real estate credit insurance market, and its recent fundraising (€6m) is a testament to its potential. We had the pleasure to welcome Toufik Gozim, its CEO, in our Podcast. He explained his recipes for testing his market-fit and disrupting the customer experience in a very non-agile sector. Find Toufik also in the video on our YouTube channel.
- Chapter 1: Your entrepreneurial experience in 1 point
- Chapter 2: The genesis of the business idea
- Chapter 3: Confirmation of the business idea
- Chapter 4: Getting started
- Chapter 5: Take Off
- Chapter 6: The future
- IntoTheMinds podcasts
The marketing idea to be retained absolutely
Some sectors are not very innovative and are a source of frustration and dissatisfaction. By identifying customer pain points and providing a solution, you are sure to hit the nail on the head.
Insurance and banking are two highly productive sectors today because they are sources of extreme frustration (see this example). Their lack of customer orientation and immobility explain why innovative start-ups have developed solutions that cut them to the bone. These solutions, most of the time digital, tackle the switching costs. These are all the barriers that stand in the way of the bank or insurance customer when he wants to change establishments.
Chapter 1: Assurly, 1 key figure
1000. That’s the number of early adopters who signed up with Assurly when the product wasn’t even finalized. This number is also precious because, for each pre-registration, we had pledged to donate €1 to the association Petit cœur de beurre, which supports people with heart disease.
Assurly is an assurtech created in 2017 by Toufik Gozim and Mickael Benhassen. It aims to offer consumers fair-priced, simple, straightforward and fast loan insurance from their smartphones. Labelled Finance Innovation in November 2020 and ranked by Sifted as “start-ups to watch in 2021”, Assurly is also a founding member of the Insurtech France group and has just joined Apcade.
The landing page: a good idea to test your market
Those who can’t realize complete market research before launching could be inspired by Assurly? The 1,000 early adopters signed up on a dedicated landing page that tested market traction and customer interest. This landing page proved to be a valuable asset for Toufik and Mickael as it crystallized the consumers’ expectations. This confirmed the relevance of the business model.
These “early adopters” are so many benevolent beta-testers who will allow you to improve your product at a lower cost. This is phase 2 of our market research methodology.
Chapter 2: The genesis of the business idea
The project was born from a friendship that started around a coffee machine in a big bank. That’s where Toufik met Mickael Benhassen. Each of them was struggling to advance their ideas of digital transformation and innovation. The immobility of this immense structure and its lack of agility were the sparks that gave the necessary impetus to undertake. To transform this market, what better way than to do it yourself? Toufik has this very telling phrase to sum up, this adventure: “We launched ourselves into the void together!”
Senator Bourquin was annoyed about the need to change loan insurance. Eighteen months later, Assurly was presented to him at the Senate.
If they desired to undertake together, the idea was still missing. As is often the case in entrepreneurial stories, the trigger came by chance. One evening, Toufik and Mickael heard Senator Bourquin on a primary news channel. “We have to change the loan insurance,” he said. They discovered the project, and 18 months later, the two entrepreneurs presented the product Assurly to the Senate. Today he is the president of our Ethics Committee. A beautiful story.
PESTEL analysis: useful to discover business opportunities
The idea that would “hit the nail on the head” was based on a change in the law that too few clients were taking advantage of. The law changes often, and so does case law. Yet, too few people take advantage of the opportunities that these changes can represent: either because of ignorance or because of difficulties.
A PESTEL analysis can help you identify these changes and propose innovative models.
Chapter 3: Confirmation of the business idea
Once they found the idea, the two entrepreneurs enlisted the help of a market research company. The goal was to understand why the loan insurance market was still so concentrated on bancassurance companies despite the laws opening it to competition since 2010.
A quantitative survey (poll) was launched, which provided three conclusions:
- the French did not understand anything; it was a product too complex.
- the French did not want to deal with it because of the time-consuming administrative procedures and a tedious process.
- the French, although aware of the possibility of paying less elsewhere, did not understand the variable pricing models often proposed by the competition
The need was there; the solution did not yet exist. Therefore, they created the Assurly product from scratch. The two founders were assisted by effective risk management and an actuarial firm that worked on the calculation and pricing engine.
Work on a compelling value proposition
To convince customers in a field as closed as insurance, you need solid arguments.
For Assurly, the value proposition was based on 4 points:
Pour Assurly, la proposition de valeur s’articulait autour de 4 points :
- as simple as possible
- no more comparison of the guarantees offered in terms of coverage (all-inclusive)
- no paperwork (we take care of everything)
- transparent and ultra-competitive pricing
And you, what is your value proposition?
Chapter 4: Getting started
For Toufik, the most challenging part of the start-up phase is awareness. It isn’t easy to prove that you can propose the best product on the market at a very competitive price, but without the understanding that goes with it. The classic reaction is to say, “it’s too good to be true.” This lack of “credibility” is complicated to overcome in the insurance sector, which is a product that requires reflection, a product that “engages”. Between historical players and a start-up not sufficiently known by the general public, doubt settles in.
During the start-up phase, the two founders worked daily on informing prospects on the image and credibility of Assurly. This involved national marketing campaigns, sometimes costly but essential to building awareness. This allowed them to make themselves known, to reassure customers! Assurly deployed advertisements on television, in the subway, on the Internet…
Chapter 5: Take off
Assurly’s take-off was possible thanks to 2 secret ingredients: good human resources management and financial anticipation.
In just a few months, the Assurly team went from 5 to 25 employees. That’s massive and fast! But just because we’re growing doesn’t mean we should forget to manage our people. Toufik has set up internal processes, the company has gone into an agile mode, and the time spent on different tasks has been carefully monitored to focus efforts in the right place. Above all, Toufik has his feet on the ground, and the teams are moving forward in sound understanding. You have to anticipate to be able to accelerate or decrease at the right moment.
Above all, you have to support the talent you recruit.
At the same time, the golden rule is to manage finance while accelerating.
Chapter 6: The future
Assurly’s objective is to become the reference in real estate credit insurance and later in all types of credit-related insurance. From student loans to second homes, via car loans and consumer credit, Assurly wants to cover all insurance products to offer a simple model: “one-click insurance”.
International development is also in the works, starting with Southern Europe (Spain, Italy).
A podcast to help you develop your start-up
The “Entrepreneurship and Marketing” podcast traces the different stages in the life of a promising start-up. By identifying the critical elements of success at each phase of the start-up’s development, we help you find solutions for your company.
The podcast is divided into chapters of 4 to 6 minutes. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific theme or development phase. You can listen to the entire podcast or choose to listen to only a part of it by directly selecting the one that interests you the most. You can also find the video version of the interview on our YouTube channel.
Illustration images: shutterstock
Posted in Entrepreneurship.