The group CEO at InsurTech firm Genasys is confident that his “resilient” business will thrive after the stalling of InsurTech investments amidst realignment of valuations.

André Symes joined the London company, a provider of insurance administration software, in 2012. It remained bootstrapped up to 2022.

“Genasys, from the outset, was a bootstrapped organisation, so we’ve never relied on funding to be a sustainable business,” he tells BusinessCloud. “As a result, we’ve been able to survive multiple financial crises and recessions globally.

“This proves we have not only a resilient business, but a leadership team that understands how to work with limited resources during tough times.”

A decade of increasingly large raises at climbing valuations came crashing down in late 2022 as several high-profile technology businesses fell by the wayside, seemingly counting the cost of prioritising growth over profitability.

“Now that the valuation bubble has burst, that puts Genasys in pole position, because we aren’t reliant on venture funding,” continues Symes. “Many other more aggressive competitors have raised at high valuation, leading to unsustainable run rates, and we are seeing them having to aggressively right size now that the capital markets have become more measured.

“In many ways, that then forces their hand to make decisions they otherwise might not.”

He adds: “Once the macroeconomic markets change and Genasys does decide to take on some more growth equity or growth capital, we will be in a good position to do that through our sustainable growth, our profitable business goals, and the fact that we have a leadership team that has all the skills to grow under our own steam.”

Genasys’s proposition centres on utilising technology to enhance how its insurance customers work and deliver superior service to policyholders. To do that, it enables its customers to build products quickly that enable them to enter new markets at low risk, break the realms of traditional pricing and to bring in ecosystem partners through a comprehensive API layer. 

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When Symes joined in 2012, it employed 17 people. It has added around 100 full-time staff members since while expanding internationally.

“We’ve not only enjoyed double-digit year-on-year growth: operational efficiencies have led to laying the foundation for solid, sustainable and controlled growth, always putting our existing customers first,” he says. “The future is most certainly bright.

“Right now, we are more concerned about building a good business than building a business for the sake of growth. We’re in a very fortunate position where we’ve got a healthy order book for the next 12 months and our primary focus is going to be on successfully onboarding those partners and delighting them with our service. 

“If we nail that, then the next year takes care of itself again. It’s a philosophy that has served us well thus far.”

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Genasys was founded in the late 90s as a development house. Its first major product was building a bespoke platform for an Italian insurer, throwing it straight into building a multi-currency, multi-language platform. 

“When that business was acquired several years later, their technology was merged into their wider group, meaning we now had a bunch of code and employees, but no customer: almost overnight, we pivoted from a services-led company into a product house,” he explains.

“Our first three customers couldn’t have been more different: a broker, an MGA and an insurer, which posed its own unique challenges. Very quickly, we had to build out three diverse ways of trading insurance business, but that early stress gave us an incredible foundation for what came next.

“From the get-go, we were one of the first paperless platforms around… driving the operational lag between customer requests and policy order requests, and our customers’ ability to execute on that. It’s allowed a lot of our customers to redeploy back-end staff to front-of-house sales and customer service, so you can put more people in front of the customer more often.

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“In some very big cases, it’s even allowed our customers to be acquired. In the case of one of our very large MGA partners, their acquisition was conditional upon them having an agile core platform in place. 

“It was not long after that acquisition that the speed at which Genasys enabled them to launch products in the specialist space enabled a successful initial public offering. We are only a small cog in that success, but we’re proud to have been a very important one.”

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Genasys featured in second spot on our InsurTech 50 ranking late last year after impressing readers and judges.

“It means a lot to be recognised by prominent brands like BusinessCloud and it’s great to see our team’s efforts and the product they’ve built deservedly getting called out for excellence,” says Symes. “We’ve always taken the approach that our greatest marketers will be our happy customers. 

“First and foremost, we’re focussed on successful implementations and delivering great service which, when done right, automatically translates into a healthy pipeline, great market reputation and plenty of exposure, particularly in an industry like insurance where both good and bad news travels fast.”

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