In this edition of our Guest Interview series, we have the pleasure of speaking to Frédéric Gauthier, CEO and Co-Founder of BLACAZ., a fast-growing Insurtech company that offers Insurance as a Service for SMEs & Startups while providing unmatched customer support.
Hi there, Frédéric. Thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Could you begin by telling us a little about BLACAZ.?
Hello there. Thanks for having us.
BLACAZ. is an insurtech (insurance technology) startup offering online insurance that is easy and quick to customise and buy. In other words, our mission is to make business insurance accessible and affordable for SMEs and startups. We distribute corporate health and financial lines (professional indemnity, public liability, cyber risks, WICA, essential packages, etc.). We are currently helping more than 300 businesses (and their 4,000+ employees) in Singapore and Hong Kong, across more than 20 industries.
How was BLACAZ. conceived? Was it from trying to solve a problem that you saw in the industry?
We noticed that 70% of startups and SMEs in Singapore & Hong Kong are either underinsured or uninsured, leaving those highly exposed to financial loss. Our research showed that the key reason is that choosing and buying corporate insurance was extremely complicated, time-consuming, and frustrating if you are not familiar with this industry. Examples include time-consuming paperwork, back and forth with agents, traditional processes to get the quote, exhausting buying process, and unavailability of tailored solutions for SMEs and startups.
How and when was BLACAZ. set up?
BLACAZ. Insurtech started in 2021 with the aim to tackle the problems that business owners and HRs face in their corporate insurance journey. We wanted to use our expertise, in addition to technology, to make this journey simple and seamless.
So, would you say you do things differently than most corporate insurance companies?
Yes absolutely, we offer an easy and efficient 360 digital customer journey. Thus, we digitalise all the processes from selecting the right policy to signing the contract electronically. We want our members to rely on our expertise as it our mission to assist, advise and support them, so they can focus on their businesses.
What kind of challenges or setbacks did you encounter at the beginning?
Singapore is a small and incredibly competitive market when it comes to insurance products. The challenge is to find the right way to stand out from the rest of the industry. You cannot really leverage on pricing but you can enhanced the customer journey, the customer experience. At BLACAZ., we have decided to go fully digital to make it simple and quick to purchase business insurances while providing an unmatched customer experience all along.
Who benefits the most from using BLACAZ.’s solutions, and what advantages does Blacaz offer them?
We offer businesses a SAAS platform called “Insurance as a Service”. As we focus on startups and SMEs, most of them have limited resources and no fulltime dedicated HR department. With our SAAS platform they can managed their insurances all year along, access HR dedicated services such as payroll and leave application, accounting software and many more useful integrations. We also recently developed a 12 months payment scheme to support their cashflow.
What do you think is the future of BLACAZ.? And what kind of role will BLACAZ. play in that future?
Developing partnership is an important part of our Growth strategy, it is a “win-win”. We have more than 25 partnerships, such as Aspire, Minmed, iCondo, etc. In the meantime, offering free perks to our members is also very key to reward them for their trust and loyalty.
Since October, all our corporate clients can enjoy free health screening for their employees thanks to a strategic partnership with Minmed Group (worth SGD 90 per pax). To date, we are the only insurance intermediary offering this service for free in Singapore.
Very soon, we will enhance our online services and experiences to keep facilitating HR and business owners’ lives. We will share more information about it in the coming weeks.
BLACAZ. seems to have a very capable team! In terms of finding and retaining talent, what are some of the practices that BLACAZ. employs?
The world as changed with the Covid-19 crisis we all went through. As a startup founder, I’m conscious of the work-life balance to attract and retain the right talents. Part-time work from home is essential those days. We also encourage active participation of our employees in Decision Making: Startup talent is usually driven by the desire and opportunity to make an impact. Involving our employees gives them an incentive to stay because they want to contribute to the difference your company is making. Another important point is growing together as a team and to offer learning opportunities as well
It’s important to also offer learning and growth opportunities. Startup enthusiasts appreciate getting a hold of new learning and a chance of exposure to collaborate with new people and companies. We highly encourage our team to participate in trade shows and understand different company dynamics.