In a fast-moving world, mobile interaction has become an integral part of every business. Be it social media, e-commerce or fintech startups, they are looking for ways
to reach out to people and make things simple for them.
AskArvi is one such interactive platform for insurance buyers with a ‘mobile first’ approach.
“It is AI-powered insurance marketplace that provides personalized recommendations to millennial Indians over a mobile chat. Customers can ask Arvi, our virtual insurance assistant, everything related to policy features, coverage details, insurer claim settlement track record,” says Sushant Reddy, who founded AskArvi last year in June.
Sushant, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Mumbai and an MBA degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Columbia Business School, works with a vision to make insurance agents a thing of past or largely redundant.
“We want to leverage technology to provide a consistent, data-driven and intelligent platform to customers,” Sushant adds.
The company majorly uses AI and data-analytics to help customers based on customer profile, age, and region. Arvi tells them the likely reasons for buying insurance and costs associated with those reasons. “This will allow users to make much more informed choices post the engagement,” he says. At present, AskArvi has a nine-member team.
At present, a majority of the insurance sales happen through call-centres and agents, who are sometimes aggressive and provide limited options to customers.
“Current online platforms have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, whereas we envisioned a ‘mobile chat’ based platform that can understand customer profile and provide a smart, personalized and data-driven buying experience,” explains Sushant.
The platform claims to make much more informed choices post the engagement. It believes in keeping everything simple and engaging without the complex jargons.
Business model and market size
AskArvi works on the commission-based model. The company gets a commission from insurance companies based on sales. Currently, the company sells health and travel insurance plans. It has partnered with 14 insurance companies in the general and life insurance sector.
In last six months, AskArvi has helped 15,000 customers in decision making while buying health insurance.
In India, Insurance penetration is one of the lowest (less than 0.8% of GDP ) in comparison to global average (2.8%). However, the digital channel is set to grow 20 times by 2020.
In this segment, Askarvi competes with Policybazaar, Easypolicy and deep-pocketed Amazon and Flipkart, who are all set to make entry. Talking about competition against these big giants, Sushant said that his platform has a vertical approach, dedicated to the single product, and have more insurance partners than its competitors who have the horizontal approach.
The Mumbai-based firm is looking to expand into motor and life insurance by March this year.
“We see a huge potential of online insurance over next decade and Arvi, using AI and data-analytics, is looking to tap into that growth,” says Sushant.
The company has raised a seed round of investment led by Jang Capital, an early stage fintech-focused investment firm in September last year.
“We aim to sell 10,000 policies by August 2018,” concludes Sushant.