Simply is a user-centred tech and data company, offering a world-class online buying process for life, disability and funeral insurance. The company targets individuals, who buy cover directly and employers, who buy cover for their employees. Simply’s small business product is possible a world first – employers can cover their staff in less than 15 minutes all online.
Recognising the convergence of various megatrends, such as cloud computing, social networking, machine learning and smartphone proliferation, Simply Financial Services set out to disrupt the South African life insurance industry.
In order to build stable, yet nimble tech-driven products, we use Clojure as our primary programming language. Clojure is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on functional programming. It is a hosted language that can target different runtimes on (e.g.) the Java virtual machine and the browser using the same codebase, and is used in production by giants like Amazon, Apple, Adobe, Netflix, Facebook and others (https://clojure.org/community/companies). Clojure’s mix of accuracy, productivity and expression enables dynamic, interactive development and reduces business risk. Clojure has helped us to build, learn and iterate at a speed that is revolutionary in the life insurance space in South Africa, and has allowed us to establish ourselves as a player to watch in the digital space.
A key point of value for Simply is our fully cloud-based tech stack, which is largely based on Google Cloud functionality. The variably priced, infinitely scalable nature of a cloud-based stack means Simply avoids much of the tech overhead born by large incumbent insurers. This saving is passed on to customers and helps Simply offer their simple, convenient products at a great price. We will also soon be able to offer an end-to-end digital experience for our customers. We build all our software inhouse and own our entire platform. We initially outsourced certain functions, such as call centre sales and administration, so that we could get going and start learning as fast as possible. We have taken back most functions and will be running the entire sales, servicing and collections value chain by then end of the year.
A further benefit of Simply’s Google-based tech architecture is that it supports an event-logging approach to data collection and storage. Our motto is “all of the data, all of the time”. The extent of the data we collect and store has enabled us to unlock insights and value across the business value chain from customer segment economics to user buying journeys to customer-specific collection and retention strategies. We see our collection and analysis of data as a differentiator and expect to pass on value to customers as we become more accurate efforts over time. Key areas of focus going forward include marketing spend optimisation and fraud mitigation.