After the blockchain last week, today we’re diving in the Insurtech industry. Matthias de Ferrières, founder and CEO of the Stark group tell sus how he started his companies and what it means for him to be an entrepreneur.
Matthias, tell us more about yourself?
I founded my first company when I was 16. It was a community of Lego fans and we were organizing events on weekends. It was really fun and I learned a lot! But I sold it after a year to go back to my studies.
After that I worked for Arthur Andersen for about a year and then I wanted to learn english so I decided to move to Australia. I did several jobs there and I finally got a lawyer degree.
I then moved to Singapore to work for Axa. I started as a intern, and I ended-up as their CMO when I left.
What are you doing now?
So in 2013, digital was starting to boom and we had a product to acquire customers online. I decided to take it and built a company around it, this is how Stark Group started. Today the group has 3 businesses:
- Insurance republic
The company is mandated by banks or insurers to design their products, from the customer journey to the pricing, etc.). Most insurers today are focused on compliance, legal and risk, not really the product design itself sor we’re filling this gap.
In partnerships with DBS we’ve built the first price comparison engine for motor insurance
This one works extremely well and takes most of my focus at the moment.
It is a marketing platform for insurance intermediaries.
What does it mean for you to be an entrepreneur?
The challenge is that the insurance business is not interesting or sexy for anybody. To me this is a great opportunity as an entrepreneur.
I’m convinced that you need experience anyways, whatever the business you’re in. Entrepreneurship is really about knowing your industry inside out and understanding its needs and risks. Today my company works because I spent 15 years working like crazy in a company in this domain. You need 3 things:
- Know the industry
- Understand and evaluate the gaps
- Know how to potentially fill them.
By the way, it is probably the next challenge of the entrepreneurs ecosystem in Singapore. The whole environment here is still young. It’s dynamic but it lacks experience and structure.
What are you objectives in the coming months?
Today I’m very focused on MyInsurer. I have always bootstrapped my businesses and Stark Group has invested SGD400K in MyInsurer, but now is the time for us to raise more funds and hire different types of profiles.
I am very pragmatic: I know I am very good at knowing which products to build and how to sell them, but I need the right profiles to help use on other aspects. Our plan is to raise funds in September to be ready to deploy later in the year.