#interview #insurtech #digitalization

"Insurtech Companies in Dialog" sum.cumo GmbH

Hello Björn. First off, a question for those who might not know you very well: What does the business model of sum.cumo look like, and what core competencies have you specialized in?

As a B2B insurtech company, we provide innovative technology solutions to companies in the insurance sector. Through cross-functional cooperation between our consulting, UX, DevOps, and Marketing departments, we offer our customers and partners the ability to fully digitize their business models and use a broad range of software solutions, including ones they develop themselves.

Working with Dextra from Switzerland and helping build nexible, the new digital insurer of ERGO Digital Ventures, we've accumulated substantial experience in the areas of auto and legal expenses insurance. But we're always expanding our service portfolio – in the meantime we've implemented solutions for supplementary dental insurance, for example. Our platforms can be used for both B2C and B2BC purposes.

Recently your company reported outstanding figures for 2018. Can you be more specific?

In 2018, we nearly doubled our sales – from EUR 6 million the previous year to EUR 11.8 million. Our earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) reached a record high of EUR 648,000 (EUR 245,000 in the year before). Incidentally, we've been profitable since day one, with no costly financing required. The secret to our success is our top-notch crew: 114 digital enthusiasts supported by a few freelancers to accommodate rapid growth.

What factors would you say contributed to this success?

The success of our customers with the digital business models we've worked with them to develop has led to many new ideas and growth in our project portfolio. The new colleagues we've brought in to reinforce our team have also helped keep pushing us onward. From the very first, we've banked on long-term, trusting partnerships with our customers. That has really paid off.

How would you describe your company culture?

The most important thing for us is that we enjoy the work. We're happy to pass on that enthusiasm to our customers, too. What sets us apart is that we allow all kinds of different characters room to develop. This diversity gives rise to a harmonious and tolerant company culture. Our consistent emphasis on agile working methods results in transparency and constant improvement. Even though the company is eight years old now, we've managed to retain some of the character of a startup.

What trends do you see developing in the insurtech segment by the end of 2020?

Since the insurance industry has a lot of catching up to do, the market for insurtech will continue to grow rapidly. Solutions leveraging AI and machine learning are hot items right now. A more professional treatment of them will develop soon enough. But the really successful companies will be those with the daring to rework their business models from the ground up and restructure their management and decision-making to be more flexible.

Which of these developments are important to your company?

All of them are important to us. As a result of our growth, we're becoming an ever more capable partner for integrated digitization and taking on more and more responsibility for the success of the digital business models that our customers let us implement for them.

What future do you envision for sum.cumo?

I hope in the future we keep our ability to go off the beaten track. Making lasting changes to a business model that's centuries old takes both a lot of technical expertise and the courage to engage in lateral thinking. The success of our customers has proven us right so far, and it's given us the opportunity to grow along with them. We hope to make good use of the new opportunities that have opened up for us as a result while staying a harmonious team with the ambition to keep on improving.

Thank you very much for the interview. I wish you nothing but success in the years to come!