Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is the CEO and Founder of Tapoly, an award-winning Insurtech providing business insurance for SMEs and freelancers, and insurance technology solutions. Janthana was named Insurance Woman of the Year at the Women in Finance Awards 2021, was listed by Forbes as number 6 of the Top 100 Women Founders to watch and was named in the Insurance Business UK’s Elite Women List 2021 and 2022. Janthana is a chartered accountant and former internal audit director at top-tier investment banks.
My name is Janthana Kaenprakhamroy and I am the founder and CEO of Tapoly. Tapoly is an award-winning Insurtech providing business insurance for SMEs and Freelancers and insurance technology solutions. We connect insurers with their distribution partners to aid communication, data transfer and enable automation. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems.
I was born and grew up in Thailand but migrated to Europe as a teenager. I am a chartered accountant and had previously been working in investment banking; my last job prior to founding Tapoly was as an internal audit director at UBS. I’d also worked at Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase, so had a great deal of experience in the financial sector which proved to be very useful when founding Tapoly in 2016.
We’ve gone from strength to strength since inception and were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018, receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019 and be named finalists for both the MGA Initiative of the Year and Technology Service Provider of the Year at the Insurance Times Awards 2021.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
The concept for Tapoly came to me in 2016 when I decided to rent out my flat through Airbnb. I needed an insurance policy that would protect my property, my guests, and myself against the risks of doing business, while providing the kind of short-term flexibility the sharing economy thrives on but I couldn’t find one anywhere – thus Tapoly was born.
As the gig economy grows and thrives, I am passionate about ensuring flexible and on-demand insurance products are readily available online for the 2.2 million freelancers and micro SMEs in the UK, providing cover that encompass their unique activities at a fair price – they too deserve peace of mind when working. I felt so passionate about it that I set up Tapoly to solve this problem.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
We have secured multiple rounds of investment since inception and are now in the process of raising a further £2 million, with 60% committed so far. We have been able to achieve this by remaining focussed and committed. I have always adopted a growth mindset – being a business owner means facing challenges each day, so I think it is important to keep maintaining the values that support learning and development, such as reliability, working hard and being on time. This growth mindset also helps to build my resilience, which has certainly been important over the past few years.
For me, giving up is not an option, so it never crossed my mind that I should stop Tapoly. In fact, I see it as my responsibility and obligation to run a successful Insurtech business that is committed to protecting the increasing number of under-served customers in the gig economy.
What are the key successes?
Since the beginning, Tapoly has maintained a monthly growth rate of 7% and an average yearly growth rate of 200%. We have sold more than 18,000 insurance policies to date and can currently cater for more than 700 professions – this is always increasing as we form further partnerships to expand our reach. Alongside this, we have more than 40 global partners in Asia, North America, Australia, EU, and the UK. Alongside our commercial success, both Tapoly and myself as CEO have also been recognized for our contribution and achievement to insurance through a number of key industry award wins.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Although in my career I’d gained a good understanding of the financial regulations required for running a regulated business, my co-founder Sam and I didn’t have any background in the insurance industry, so we needed to upskill. We did this via accelerator programmes, attending three insurtech specific programs in the first 18 months of the business. By the end of this we had a much broader understanding and were able to use this time to refine our business value proposition and make some useful connections.
Additionally, the on-demand insurance concept was not widely understood when we began, so it was a challenge to persuade investors and insurance partners to join our cause – we were truly one of the pioneers in our industry. That has since changed and today there are now clear use cases for on-demand insurance. Our concept is much better understood, which means we have more productive discussions and tractions with investors and partners.
What are your plans now/for the future?
I’m always looking to the next opportunity and am very excited for a number of plans we’ve got coming up in 2022 and beyond. This year, we’re growing our global reach even further with projects in the USA and Asia launching later on and I’m particularly excited to explore more opportunities in emerging countries, as well as continuing to build on our diverse range of insurance products for workers in the under-served gig economy.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
You cannot become successful without a successful mindset. It all starts in your mind, and this needs to be aligned with your actions. Being able to communicate your messages clearly and concisely will help you share your thoughts and values with your team and stakeholders.
A high level of self-awareness is required to be a successful entrepreneur and business leader. There’s no room for your ego, instead you need to learn from the people around you and have the ability to self-reflect. Having good values and habits of a successful leader will help you create a diverse and inclusive team and ultimately create a business that adds value, which is very important for me.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
If you want to set up your own company, here are three questions to consider:
- What? – What value do you add? What can you bring to the table? Here is where you define your USP.
- Who? – Who are you trying to serve? This is all about understanding your target customers.
- Why? – Why is this important to you? Knowing this will help you define your company’s purpose, values and mission. It’s very important to build your strategy around your values and purpose because it will help you and your stakeholders to be more aligned, and it will lead to better outcomes and results. Harvard Business Review Analytics by Kumanu shows that companies with a strong authentic sense of purpose outperform those without.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
Success is like running a marathon. It takes time, it can’t be rushed, but you must be prepared to seize opportunities and be ready to move. You also have to take risks and don’t be afraid to fall, get up, and keep going, even when things get tough. Eventually you will get to the finish line!
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