Electronic Chat with Evgeny Aleksandrov, Co-founder and CEO, Pilotbird
Laura Mazzuca Toops | November 09, 2020
Evgeny Aleksandrov is co-founder and CEO of Pilotbird, an analytics solutions provider for insurance carriers that uses lifestyle analytics to improve the insurance experience. Pilotbird’s product leverages social data points for customer acquisition and engagement, accurate risk scoring, and reduced claims leakage accessible via API or web portal. He is also CEO and co-founder of Kiwi Insurance, an AI-powered travel insurer.
You have a solid background in investment and research, but with your launch of Kiwi and Pilotbird, you’re now a serial entrepreneur. What was the impetus for you to make the leap from McKinsey to founding these insurtechs?
Since childhood, my family encouraged me to form a view, see change as an opportunity to validate my thinking, and embrace calculated risk to pursue my interests. Fortunately, some of it sunk in over the years. Later in life, time at McKinsey exposed me to a culture that values entrepreneurship, impact, and personal development. Kiwi was an opportunity to build on my strengths and create an impact in an industry ready for change.
Please describe how Pilotbird’s solution works from the insurer perspective.
Insurers access Pilotbird solutions either via a web portal or an API endpoint. Pilotbird empowers insurance companies with innovative analytics solutions by leveraging social data points. The solution provides tailored customer acquisition and engagement with the right product at the right time, accurate risk scoring, and reduced claims leakage.
How has your involvement with the GIA helped you develop both companies?
Acceptance into Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) gave me confidence and funding to pursue entrepreneurship full time. It’s a mentor-driven accelerator and input from 50+ mentors helped refine the Kiwi business model, at times in unexpected ways. Some of the mentors we met continue to guide me as advisors. The community of founders that went through GIA in the 2020 cohort is also a good resource, and we often swap best practices. We had been able to secure our first B2B pilot coming out of GIA which ultimately evolved into a standalone offering, now branded as Pilotbird.
How do you balance your responsibilities between Kiwi and Pilotbird?
Kiwi is a product-oriented company that offers on-demand cover for medical deductible. We invested into technology that leverages social data points in order to build this product. After conversations with insurers and mentors, we realized there is interest in the advantages this technology offers so we decided to offer it under the brand Pilotbird. Kiwi remains a test bed for the technology and a successful use case. My team is active with analytics efforts geared towards Pilotbird and partnership development towards Kiwi.
What unique difficulties do insurtechs face in the current pandemic climate?
I believe there are distinct parts: being a startup in an economic slowdown, impact of the pandemic and peculiarities of the insurance industry. On the first one, the challenges include tighter budgets across the board and lower business confidence. On the pandemic, it’s really around fundraising and relationship building over video conference calls. For the insurance industry specifically, I see largely tailwinds.
What’s next for both companies?
We are excited about the future to come. For Pilotbird, our efforts are on increasing awareness among carriers and continuing to build up the solution set. For Kiwi, we are looking forward to announcing new partnerships and continuing to improve our user experience.
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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
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