Socotra: Impact 25 2020 profile
March 11, 2020
This is a summary of the profile which first appeared in the Oxbow Partners InsurTech Impact 25: 2020.
Socotra is a San Francisco head-quartered technology company offering a core platform that helps global insurers to increase their speed to market, lower production costs and easily integrate with external systems.
The platform supports the entire policy lifecycle: policy administration, underwriting, claims, billing and reporting. It is line-of-business agnostic and supports a wide range of P&C and life products in Australia, Germany, the UK and the US. It recently opened its first international office in Australia. Socotra’s solution is ‘cloud-native’ meaning that all clients are always on the same software version and every piece of functionality is available to every client.
Additionally, the company publishes its features, configuration and developer guides on its public website. This documentation explains the platform’s capabilities, allows clients to quickly and inexpensively specify their system requirements and provides developers with the framework to integrate third party apps.
Socotra also offers prospective clients a 30 day evaluation license enabling them to test the system in advance of committing to a long-term contract. The company’s portfolio is centred on digital-first products. For example, AXA chose Socotra to develop and distribute its ‘vehicle interruption cover’ for UK Uber drivers. AXA configured the product and integrated it with Uber’s driver platform using open APIs without any Socotra customisation.
Vouch Insurance, a high-profile client after raising $69m in 2019, has chosen Socotra to power its products for entrepreneurs – this project has only taken five months from conception to production.
“We’re excited to work with a forward-thinking company like Socotra, which is enabling Nationwide to create an insurance platform as innovative as Spire to better serve the next generation of consumers.”
Scott Sanchez, Chief Innovation Officer, Nationwide
Company in action
Socotra publishes detailed documentation on its website allowing clients and their partners to rapidly develop and integrate solutions across the platform’s core modules: policy administration, underwriting, claims, billing and reporting.
Client situation: Nationwide, a Fortune 100 insurer, is designing a digital-first suite of products, services and user experiences to target the next generation of consumers. It wanted to locate a core platform to power its vision with speed-to-market and cost-efficiency as its key selection criteria.
Solution: Nationwide chose to partner with Socotra to build Spire, its new digital insurance platform, across the entire policy life cycle from quote to claim.
Auto insurance was the first product deployed on Spire: a customer can purchase their policy via a mobile device by simply scanning their driving license and answering four questions. The entire process takes less than a minute and does not require the customer to engage with an agent.
Results: Nationwide launched this auto insurance product in Q4 2019. The project to develop and deploy Spire has only taken nine months and cost significantly less than other similar projects at Nationwide.
Spire will now provide the engine for Nationwide to launch more digital-first products and it is notable that Nationwide has been an investor in Socotra since 2018.
The Oxbow Partners View
We have been monitoring Socotra’s progress over the past few years. 2019 has been a transformational year following several product launches with tier-1 insurers. Our tech-focused colleagues like Socotra’s technical architecture – not just their use of APIs but their approach to the overall software build. Socotra have put in place a development framework that understands insurance but gives users the flexibility to configure their products and processes. For example, the data model understands the relationship between policy, cover, risk, peril, endorsement, etc., but does not restrict how to define these.
This contrasts to many other systems which predetermine many of the fields that are associated with a policy, for example car registration for a motor policy, whilst leaving others as free text. The benefit is that insurers have greater flexibility to innovate with the products they offer whilst still building a structured data set.
Socotra announced its Series B round in January 2020 and we expect more positive news this year.