Making BFSI software agile
Founded by Kalpesh Desai, the former COO of 3i Infotech EMEA, Agile Financial Technologies (Agile FT) has made a serious dent on the InsuranceTech segment, thanks to the domain expertise of its founder.
Agile Financial Technologies (Agile FT), with its offices in Dubai, New York and Mumbai, was launched in 2008 to cater to the BFSI sector with its core fintech products for insurance, investment management, bancassurance and financial inclusion. Agile FT was initially funded with seed capital from angels and the company’s founder - Kalpesh Desai and subsequently raised a Series-A of US $5.7 million led by IDG Ventures.
The BFSI sector had to contend with procuring fragmented, disjointed systems leaving institutions with no choice but to engage multiple software providers to automate their operations. Desai says, “In the insurance sector in emerging markets, where you find composite insurance companies operating under one entity, these enterprises had to select multiple vendors to cater to their various product lines.” In addition, they would find providers who would only be focused on policy administration or claims management. Similarly, asset managers had to invest in different systems for the front, mid and back-office operations. With Agile FT’s platform – called Agilis – these organisations can not only cut their operating cost for software systems, but also transform their processes and adapt to digital channels rapidly.
As a result, Agile has seen many customers – be it small enterprises, start-up asset managers or insurers – transition from larger players to Agile FT’s platform.
Agilis is a unified brand name across all its product suites, including core offerings for insurance, bancassurance and investment management. One of the few global software providers in the InsuranceTech space, Agile has a complete offering for general (P&C/Non-Life), life, pensions and health insurance covering the entire business process of distribution, underwriting, claims, reinsurance and accounting. Its BancAssurance platform is a pioneer in insurance product distribution for banks covering front, mid and back-office functionality. Agilis Investment Management covers wealth and fund management and is used by large private banks in the Middle East and Africa.
Over 95 per cent of Agile’s business is sourced through channel partners who are enabled to sell, service and support their products, and over 75 per cent of their projects are executed by channel partners. This has allowed the venture to remain lean and rapidly expand its customer footprint across 22 countries in North America, Africa, ME and South East Asia. Agile FT has a few marquee customers in India, where the preference is for tailor-made systems, believes the founder.
Agile FT offers both a perpetual licensing model (where the customers pay upfront for their licenses and pay an annual support fee every year), and an annuity licensing model (where customers sign up for limited term licenses which are paid annually). It has also launched a private cloud offering that enables customers to leverage a “digital-ready” platform without having to invest in capex and transitioning to a usage based pricing model.
Desai expects that with demonetization, the market dynamics are changing. “The long term effect of demonetization will be good for FinTech companies, even enterprises like ours who are not in the payment space directly. “ According to him, money has been raked into the banking system, and lending will soon receive a thrust, also bringing down inflation. This will give rise to new wealth being generated and the demand for long term insurance (life), health and investment products. “Digital will become the new norm, and we have already seen these paradigms shifting gears without a clutch. Financial firms, including insurance companies, will have to quickly transition to digital channels and digital payments, and when they realize that the current platforms being used to drive their business need to be turned around, there will be a renewed opportunity for fintech product companies such as Agile FT to step into the space,” he opines.
The longer term vision
Agile serves CEOs of mid-market financial institutions, providing them with a foundation to grow their businesses. “We have seen start-up insurance companies who had signed up for our systems in 2008 become market leaders in the regions they operate in. Our customers have won accolades for client servicing, and for the best use of technology, and this is what keeps giving us the energy to push ourselves to the next frontier,” he points out.
Agile FT is continuing to see growth in emerging markets across the Americas, Europe, ME, Africa and Asia and intends to continue growing at its pace of 22 per cent per annum.
Venture – Agile Financial Technologies
Founded in – 2008
Founded by: Kalpesh Desai
Funded by: Angel investors, Founder, IDG Ventures
Focus: BFSI software products with a special focus on Insurance Tech and Asset Management
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