Changing The Way People Think About Insurance

The following excerpt appeared in the January 2024 edition of CEO Monthly.
Read the full article in the magazine here:

early 2020, Companjon was born from scratch during the pandemic. Although a challenging time, CEO, Matthias Naumann had the opportunity to build up a company remotely. It was quite an endeavour, to say the least, and Matthias remains grateful for the support of a main investor and leading Swiss insurer who helped the company through this tough time.

Today, Companjon is a team of 65 people from 25 different nations with operations based in Dublin, Ireland, and we are delighted to be celebrating Matthias Naumann as its founder and leader. As he is named our Insurance Services CEO of the Year 2023 Ireland, we speak to Matthias himself to learn more about his role and the company.

What does Companjon do?
Companjon is a leading B2B2C insurtech start-up specialising in fully digital, modern embedded insurance. Our end-to-end AI-driven insurance solutions seek to change the way people think about insurance by creating seamless and positive experiences when things in their lives don’t go as planned. We pride ourselves on building a solution that enables our business partners to be “right there when life happens”, as is our motto.

Companjon enables companies to delight their customers and drive more business value from stronger brand loyalty and new ancillary revenue opportunities. We dynamically design, build, and underwrite our innovative solutions using AI-technology on a scalable, cloud-based platform that automates the claims process and provides instant payouts. Our solutions recently earned us recognition from FinTech Global as one of the world’s most innovative insurtechs for the third consecutive year.

What is your role as CEO of Companjon?
As a CEO, I am responsible for making this company successful. Together with our team, we want to break boundaries and take Companjon – and as an insurtech, the larger insurance landscape – where no one has gone before, or as we say internally, “We are on a mission to Mars”.

My role is to make sure that my team has the freedom and motivation to take on this challenge and push boundaries to outperform. I give the people a direction but also challenge them on the outcome, give them all the levers they need to be successful.

“From the beginning, we have valued curiosity, ownership, ambition, and empowerment. These core values still fit our mission and who we are.”

What value does Companjon create for its clients?
Our business partners operate in e-commerce, travel, fintech, telecom, etc. We enable them to build completely new ancillary offerings for their end customers by embedding our modern insurance solutions into their systems. These frictionless product enhancements meet the needs of their modern end customers in innovative ways, while also creating value for our business partners’ bottom line.

With our business partners we take a collaborative, agile, and customer-centric approach, from matching development cycles to trialling and optimising solutions, which provides them with greater value. Supported by our dynamic product engine, business partners can change their products every 2-3 weeks if needed, which is not seen in the financial services industry. We also change with them; we are fast in terms of decision making, as well as adapting a very complex, fully compliant process at-scale using the latest technology.

Entrepreneurial spirit means firstly being a calculated risk taker, not just taking risks for the sake of it. Secondly, you must be opinionated, i.e. have your own ideas and defend them. And thirdly, you have to run with the flag, i.e. take on responsibility and drive things forward.

What role do your staff play in the success of the company?
Our staff is crucial to our success. At Companjon, we fundamentally believe in hiring the best, spending a significant amount of time in selecting the right individuals to establish and reinforce our credibility.

The biggest challenge is and will remain finding the right people. All the other ingredients – such as tech, capital, or product ideas – you can somehow find or buy, but you cannot copy your team. From the beginning, I have been convinced that this is our key differentiator. We spend significant energy on finding those that have an entrepreneurial spirit, who are top in their functional expertise, and fit into the team.

Retaining best talent is key for Companjon. Our performance culture is powered a so-called “apprenticeship approach”, where we put a conscious and thorough effort into training our people, to enable them to learn and grow. We believe in providing them with the right opportunities so that they enjoy what they do and then outperform, as this is beneficial for both parties.

I am very pleased to work with our motivated and highly engaged team that is pushing the business forward.

To conclude, what are your plans for 2024?
In 2024, we will continue following our ambition to go where no one has gone before. This means we will again scale up the business, expanding further internationally to follow our business partners as per our strategy. Moreover, there will be novelties introduced on the solutions side during the first six months which the industry has not yet seen. We are also planning a collaboration with one of the larger traditional industry players, to help them provide solutions which they cannot do on their own. Finally, we will further exploit the benefits of incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies into our solutions as we go where no one else has gone before.