Wrisk Appetite: Why we started Wrisk

Understand what gave our founding team the appetite for Wrisk.
Sep 10, 2019
Wrisk Appetite

Elon Musk famously commented in 2010 that “being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death…. ”. 

With that rather daunting backdrop, what on earth gave us the appetite to set up Wrisk?

None of us could fail to spot the spectacular emergence of the challenger banks and the transformative effect they were having in delighting their customers with a radically different mobile banking experience. To that we said “where was the insurance equivalent?” With fintech moving so fast and with pressure on insurers to digitalise, we felt now was the time to push change in the insurance sector. 

Overlay onto this the knock-on effects of AI and the continued power of the FAANGs, and we could see that the incumbents’ insurance products and delivery channels were overdue a major redesign. Or frankly a total reboot. 

On the other hand, despite this tidal wave of change providing a glaring commercial opportunity, we could sense that the willingness of those in the insurance industry to jump from well-paid jobs into this nascent insurtech scene would be limited.

This all sounded like a perfect set of conditions in which to build Wrisk, but we agreed we’d only do it if we could build deep foundations for the business – build a high calibre team (engineers, design, insurance, marketing etc), and be supported by high quality investors and distribution partners.

That was the backdrop for the founders, but for the other early joiners, what was the reasoning behind their own Wrisk Appetite?

  • Our software engineers saw the chance to innovate and build Wrisk from the ground up without any legacy infrastructure or legacy thinking. 
  • The insurance experts could see the opportunity to put customer needs at the heart of the Wrisk proposition as opposed to just putting an insurer’s products at the heart of the proposition. The implications of this seemingly subtle change have been huge.

  • For our UX designers, it’s given them the chance to shape a radically different user experience for the insurance customer journey, with no boundaries to their creativity. 
  • For our data scientists, a greenfield site is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, the chance to think radically in designing the right data architecture for a 21st century insurance business. But on the minus side on day one, Wrisk has no data. (Mercifully, it was the lure of the former that attracted our fabulous data team). 
  • For our marketing team, what bigger opportunity than to create a whole new perception of insurance for our end customers. No mean challenge, but you only have to go to the Wrisk page on the App Store and read the amazing reviews the product has received, the marketing team have made great progress already.

Roll forward to today and the Wrisk Appetite within the whole team is perhaps even stronger than when each person joined. In a later article called Wrisk Tolerance, I’ll pick up on some of the subsequent challenges they’ve faced and had to manage.

A photo of Niall Barton
Niall Barton

Insurance guy with digital experience. Part-time DJ, recently changed his name from Nigel.

Insurance made so simple it’s almost unrecognisable.

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