Q&A with Eyal Shvartz, Trusty CEO
- Trusty has built a general platform to compare and grade Insurance agents, from all the insurance companies In Israel. What are your plans for markets outside of Israel?
Shvartz: Naturally, as we are based in Israel and know the insurance market, players and regulations very well, we consider the Israeli market as our Beta Site, the first market to test and evaluate our technology, concept, business models and consumer value.
Based on the conclusions from our Beta Site (the Israeli market), our vision and strategy is to go global and use our technology and concept in other countries, starting with European countries that have similar market structures and regulations.
Why did you choose a different busines model?
Shvartz: The insurance market is changing fast and insurance consumers prefer now to search online for insurance policies and are more price sensitive. There is no brand loyalty anymore and the days that consumers agree to pay more for their “home” agents are over.
Due to this disruption in the market, the strong insurance companies and big agencies are investing heavily in online marketing and digitalization, leaving the small/medium businesses without the ability to fight for new clients online.
The same scenario happened 15 years ago in the travel industry, which have a similar market structure.
Trusty was formed exactly to answer this challenge, by providing a simple and cost sensitive marketing platform to the desperate small/medium insurance agencies. Therefore, we created a performance-based business model, which means that insurance SMEs pay according to their marketing activities and based on the last action made by the consumer. They insurance SMEs have nothing to lose. If you will not play an active role in our platform you will not pay anything, but they will not gain new clients either.
What are the benefits for insurers, for agents and for clients that comes with using Trusty’s platform?
Shvartz: Trusty’s platform provides benefits to the entire insurance cycle.
For Insurers – As consumers today are agnostic to the insurer’s brand and looking for the best offer out there, Trusty’s platform provides a new and strong online marketing tool allowing them to compete directly or act as a content provider that sell more through their insurance agents that are active in Trusty.
By collaborating with Trusty, we will be able to offer new insurance products, progress to full online purchasing and provide better prices to our visitors.
For Agents – Due to the online disruption in the insurance market and the race for digital transformation by the big players, marketing costs has rose dramatically leaving insurance SMEs without the ability to compete online. Agents that are using Trusty’s platform do not need to invest in sophisticated websites nor in inefficient and costly paid search, thus providing them a business lifeline.
Trusty’s platform provides agents with various admin tools in order to control their sales and price strategy, such as policy discounts, adding special offers, etc. and provides statistical reports to assist them with controlling their marketing activities within the platform.
For Consumers – Like it in the Travel industry, Trusty represent the next phase in online marketing – Meta-Search and Price Comparison. Trusty’s objective, structured and intuitive platform allow consumers to easily compare insurance offers from all available insurers and smartly compare purchasing prices and service grades from multi sellers, the agents. All in one place.
What did you learn from 2 years of activity in the Israeli insurance market?
Shvartz: During the last 2 years developing Trusty’s platform, we learned that there is a huge gap between consumers online level and demand, and the digitalization process within the industry. From one end, we see a fear in the industry from the new era and from the other end a strong realization that online actions must be taken now in order not to lose future clients. Therefore, we still encounter insurers that are reluctant to collaborate with Trusty and provide connectivity and content that will assist us to provide even more sophisticated sales solutions for the insurance SMEs and new insurance products with attractive prices for insurance consumers.
What investment were made in Trusty?
Shvartz: Till today, Trusty is self-funded with over $350K USD invested by me. This means that I completely believe in the company, the product, and our future success.
Now we are looking for a seed round of $1M USD that will assist us to strengthen our R&D team, develop new products such as car insurance, invest in local marketing in order to break even as soon as possible, and explore new territories as the next market to expand to.
Tell me about yourself and other key figures in the company
Shvartz: We are currently a total of 4 people in the company, most of them are developers.
I am 41 years old and lives in Tel Aviv. For the past 10 years I run an insurance agency.
In the years before I worked as an independent insurance agent, I worked in insurance companies and investment houses, and gained a lot of professional experience from one of the manufacturers and probably over the years as a distributor of products as an independent insurance agency, over the years I have seen how the insurance market is changing, and the transition to digitization was also requested on the agents side and today Of the customers, and I recognized that there was a very big market failure that insurance companies understood, but trying to walk a tightrope between the desire to keep its distributors and the desire to adapt their time to the new world, and on the map I realized that there is a huge need for an Aggregator that will provide solutions to agents on the one hand, and to manufacturers and certainly For customers, and this is exactly what has happened in the tourism world in recent years, things that seem very basic to us today such as a picnic or a Skyscanner would make no sense a decade ago.
Nathan Shalva – CTO, with 15 years of experience in software development used by major companies and startups.
Furthermore, I have 2 key advisors that assist and guide me where are the land mines along the way.
Chen Amishay – Founder and former CEO of Travelist, the most successful travel marketplace and price comparison platform in Israel. Chen, brings with him many years of experience in developing a marketplace and operating a price comparison website.
Currently, Chen is acting as COO in Innovel, a corporate open innovation platform for the global travel industry, an adviser to many startups and as a mentor in the Techstars accelerator.
Koby Bendalk – 22 years of experience in insurance. Kobi is the CEO of InsurTech Israel, the leader in investments in technology companies in Israel for the insurance industry