Kobi Bendelak is the CEO of Insurtech Israel, an early-stage investment fund that provides funding for insurtech startups.
He is also a mentor working with startups through Startupbootcamp. Kobi has been a part of the insurance industry for 22 years. Before Insurtech Israel, he was the founder and CEO of Reshef Insurance Brokers, subsequently part of a subsidiary of Generali International, until late 2015.
Within a few months after selling his stake in the company, Kobi realized he was not ready to retire, and was more interested in the active hi-tech eco-system in Israel. So he got together a group of investors, and formed Insurtech Israel to invest in early-stage startups. To-date, they have invested in four startups, and Kobi is on the board of Comroads. The other three are Kovrr, Lending Express, and the most recently announced Yous.
Interview with Insurtech Israel CEO Kobi Bendelak
1. You have over 22 years of experience in the insurance industry, in Israel and elsewhere around the world. What are the biggest regional differences that you see – how should insurance companies approach different markets?
Ans: Each area has its own approach into the market. In countries with low per capita income, the world of insurance will enter the world of insurance by means of micro-insurance, and in countries where technology is advanced and per capita income will be increased by means of advanced insurance coverage based on location and familiarity with the customer.
2. Insurtech Israel is an early stage investment fund, which has invested in four wonderful startups. How do you pick these startups? What is the criteria, and who should apply?
Ans: We are looking for technologies that affect the world of insurance when the impact is only for the core activity and technology is intended for the insurance world only. After a preliminary examination, we check whether the idea that the entrepreneurs presented is indeed a solution to a real insurance problem.
3. Expanding on that, can you share with us a set of factors that would help investors pick the right insurtech startups.
Ans: a) Does the idea solves a real problem in the insurance world?
b) Can the solution operate in the world of insurance – regulation insurance coverage, etc.
c) Is it suitable for a particular region of the world or global?
d) Is it B2B or B2C?
4. Your tips or advice for insurtechs and tech startups interested in the insurance industry? What should they target?
Ans: In the short term, the change in the insurance world will begin to digitize the processes, and in the long run, the change will continue and will penetrate into extensive insurance areas. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare well in terms of the scope of recruitment and the construction of a quality work team, and especially to build the process of go to market because now access to customers will still be done using common tools such as insurance companies and agents but in the long term contact with customers will be done directly
6. Anything else you would like to share with our audience?
Ans: This is a complex and lengthy process that requires patience and the ability to cope with complex difficulties and realities.
Twitter – @kbendelak
Website – http://insurtechil.com/