Case Studies / InvestSure goes live at digital speed with Synthesis

An agile approach and Amazon Web Services delivers fast enablement

InvestSure is a disruptive new start-up in the insurance industry. It insures share owners against losses as a result of deceptive or misleading acts by companies. To take its product live fast, integrating seamlessly with online trading platforms to offer share buyers a digitally-enabled insurance solution—at the point of purchase—it engaged Synthesis, a specialist software provider.

Challenge

“Unexpected information can impact share prices negatively and its individual investors that are often hit hardest. We knew the InvestSure solution, which is underwritten by Compass and Hannover Re, would find an eager market among share buyers, especially those using select online trading platforms,” says Shane Curran, who co-founded InvestSure with two other young South African professionals, Mbulelo Mpofana and Ignatious Nkwinika. “But we had some very specific requirements.”

“Our strategy is to grow quickly, making our product available locally and globally. To do so, wanted a cloud-based solution that was highly flexible—able to simply and easily plug into any online trading platform anywhere in the world with very little effort. We also had a tight budget and an aggressive timeline to get to market. Synthesis was able to more than meet these requirements with its deep understanding of the financial services sector, its agile approach to solution development and its cloud computing capabilities.”

Says David Webster of Synthesis: “InvestSure wanted a highly-available cost-effective solution. Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides an architecture framework that delivers on performance, cost optimisation, security and reliability. With an agile, DevOps approach, we knew we could meet their needs quickly, delivering the functionality they needed.

Solution

“We recommended using an AWS serverless architecture coupled with AWS storage and AWS management and integration tools. Using these managed services, we were able to achieve high availability, delivering policies and claims to new customers in near real-time.”

“AWS serverless architecture components run on a highly available AWS computing infrastructure and perform the necessary execution and administration of the computing resources. This is important to InvestSure because it means the company does not have to worry about keeping servers up and running and, as they only pay for the services they use, they achieve the desired cost efficiencies.”

Synthesis used agile methodologies, co-locating its team with the InvestSure team to develop the needed functionality and get feedback in multiple fast, iterative cycles. Over a four-month period, the team constantly evolved the solution, each time increasing performance and improving functionality. The last iteration saw Synthesis hardening and refactoring the solution to embed more generic features, with go-live a month later.

Results

The InvestSure solution enables a buyer to select a share online and request insurance via an API. Due diligence is done on the prospective risk cover request and a policy is issued via the underwriter in under 10 seconds. If the share price drops by more than 10 percent due to fraud by the company’s management, the insurance automatically pays out—within 10 seconds.

The solution is currently live with InvestSure’s first online share trading partner Easy Equities.

“InvestSure can, with this API, increase its market footprint rapidly as partners with more online share platforms in South Africa and globally,” says Curran.

“Synthesis has delivered a solution that has outperformed our expectations,” notes Mpofana. “It is completely automated, paperless, provides a seamless user experience, and is highly available, secure and scalable. It also meets South African regulatory requirements.”

“The Synthesis team has added tremendous value,” concludes Nkwinika. “The architecture makes sense for us as a start-up in terms of cost and scalability, and they leave us with a solution that is built for continuous change—a fundamental requirement for an insurtech hoping to build a strong partner ecosystem and continuously evolve its value proposition.”

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