João Cardoso, CEO of Lovys, the first 100% digital and flexible all-in-one insurance policy in France tells us how the insurer has re-thought the entire user experience so that insurance is finally simple, transparent, and customizable.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Lovys.
João Cardoso: I started my professional career in 2005 in London at Morgan Stanley. After a few years, I decided to move to Brazil to start my entrepreneurial journey by creating TaCerto.com, the first insurance comparison website in the country, today a leader in its sector. In 2016, I founded VisionX, a platform that allows Brazilian real estate agencies to offer insurance products to their clients.
Therefore between 2011 and 2016, I worked with many different insurance companies. During this time, I realized how far behind the insurance sector was in terms of digitalization and offerings. This was when the idea of Lovys sparked. I wanted to break the market codes and put insurance back at the service of users. I felt the need to create a solution that would meet the expectations of a new generation of users who, like me, were looking for a different approach to insurance.
This is how and why Lovys was born in 2017. It is a 100% digital and hassle-free insurtech created to meet the needs of consumers.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
João Cardoso: An entrepreneur’s journey is riveting, complex, and demanding, but undoubtedly exciting. I wish I could tell you that a very small habit of mine would allow you to build a multi-million dollar company overnight, but that’s just not how it works. And to be honest, I enjoy the process very much. That being said, there are obviously a few things that help – namely, organizing your weeks in advance. I found that by doing so, you free your mind from a lot of unnecessary thoughts and allow yourself to be more present and productive. There is no other secret!
How does Lovys market its product/services online?
João Cardoso: This is where we really differ from other insurtechs – at Lovys, we work alongside underwriters to create our insurance products. We’re not just resellers, we are fully part of the creation of the product: our goal is really to match the needs of today’s consumers to best suit their ever-changing lifestyles. For the product development teams, this means not only knowing the expectations of the new generations and their habits but also anticipating their life paths and possible changes in their lives in order to support them in the most relevant way possible. By creating our own products, the company ensures that all the offers it provides are perfectly complementary and do not overlap so that policyholders only pay for what they need. Lovys offers its customers the possibility of subscribing to all the insurance products it develops “à la carte” and in a single, 100% digital interface. A totally transparent and clear proposal allows its users to understand exactly how they are protected.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
João Cardoso: Our Marketing department is made up of 11 people. Specialists in growth, content, affiliate marketing, CRM… As you can imagine, there are many tools and software that the team uses every day. And said tools are changing a lot, adapting to the evolving algorithm from each platform. The team is always exploring new ways of achieving their goals, and we have a strong culture of testing & learning at Lovys.
In terms of management skills, all the employees here know and contribute to the values that define us as a company, and each one of us understands what our mission is and how we aim to achieve it. And then, with this as a base, we can keep learning any tool or software needed.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
João Cardoso: A mindset is very important for Lovys in people, as I mentioned briefly in the previous question! Then comes the aptitude. When it comes to hiring new talents, it is crucial that they fit within the culture we are creating and fostering, one of an open-minded company where respect & trust are among our core values.
I believe that more than “retaining,” we try to make talents feel welcome, appreciated, and valued. That’s why we are always working hard to make talents feel supported and, of course, to offer them the space they need to grow by allowing them to do so freely and with a certain level of flexibility which is highly important nowadays.
How are you funding your growth?
João Cardoso: We aim to consolidate our role as an Insurtech leader in the European market, to continue to expand our strong vision across Europe that more affordable insurance is possible, and finally, we seek to broaden our product portfolio by building on a user-centric model that allows our customers to insure everything that really matters to them in one place.
Last year we closed our Series A funding back by very strong investors. To be truly honest, we’re not looking for money because our business model is viable, but we are looking for experts to partner with. And this is exactly what we achieved with our Series A; our investors are helping us in our journey by offering valuable insights they gathered over time. We are grateful for that more than for the amount raised.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
João Cardoso: The competition of insurance companies is no longer with other insurance companies. It is important to mention that insurance users or potential users compare their experience no longer with that of other insurance companies but with what they perceive from other sectors. And this is where it gets interesting; the bar for digital providers is very high, and the challenge becomes even greater. Focusing on offering innovative, personalized, and quality experiences is no longer a differentiating option but simply the starting point.
Consumer habits and preferences have changed as a result of the pandemic. And people have become more selective with their time, money, and decisions. Although it was already a trend that we had been observing for years, as we all know, there has been a boom in the predisposition to buy online. In this sense, this change has helped us because we have reached an older target that perhaps at first did not consider our products as a solution since they were online. But with this new perspective, they have found out a little more about us and have realized that we meet their needs in terms of quality and price.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
João Cardoso: In this process of creating a new product at Lovys, mapping the customer journey helps us determine what pain points exist in the journey as a policyholder and how the whole process looks from their perspective. It also helps us address the points that cause frustration and offer the right resources at each stage of purchase. It is an absolutely necessary tool if what we want is for the customer to trust our industry again after so many years of misunderstanding and see for themselves that this change is real, that we listen to them, and that they are at the center of all our decisions as a company. It is not about replicating traditional models, making a website, and saying that we are digital, no. Digitalization implies a new way of doing business.
So I am pleased to say that we not only have one success story, we have 45,000 stories, which are the customers we have at Lovys right now. Forty-five thousand stories of customers who may all be different, but they all have a common goal: to be able to protect everything that matters most to them in the best way possible.
Your final thoughts?
João Cardoso: In a rapidly changing world, it is necessary to set and work on clear and realistic objectives. It is essential not to lose focus on where you want to go but always bear in mind that the change factor exists and is real, as this is a living and fickle ecosystem. And at Lovys, our objectives and focus are, and will always be, about our customers.