Podcast: From insurtech to incumbent- How Aviva Singlife came to life

Walter de Oude, Founder and Deputy Chairman of Aviva Singlife shared insights on his journey to fund and grow an insurtech start-up in Singapore.


He started the Singlife journey in 2014, when it became apparent to him that there was an opportunity to build a new way of executing the business model. While the business was formally licensed in 2017, it did take three years to raise the required amount of capital, get the regulatory licenses in place, build the tech, build the team, and get going. 


“From a technological perspective, the insurance industry seemed to lag behind other financial-services industries. The payments industry was the first to really adopt the streamlining of tech, and banks were much quicker to follow. The Singlife proposition was to take the best technology and turn that into real efficiency for our customers.” 


“But the real secret sauce of Singlife was our ability to present ourselves as a challenger brand. That gave us massive support from the community, the general public, and investors. It’s not just about the product; the product is just one of the ingredients. Positioning ourselves as new, fresh, exciting, consumer-driven—that was really what pushed us over the line.” 


On the key challenges ahead, Walter said, “I think that distribution is key and that advice is key to distribution—but you’re not going to get the maximum benefit of that advice unless the product capability or the experience of the relationship is first-rate. Gone are the days when people were happy to just be sold a product and then forget it. People want a better level of engagement with their financial providers and access to them in real time.”


Listen to the full podcast here.