Overview of Anapi
Interview With Ruth Haller
Describe your product or service:
“We help startups and small businesses get insurance easily and provide tools that digitize insurance policies to take the hassle out of insurance management.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Our mission is to make it easy for businesses to understand their risks and save them time and money in getting insurance. Our key value is integrity as it creates trust, which is especially important in the insurance industry.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Four [team members] — two co-founders and two operations team members.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“I worked for a large global insurance company, and I always thought I would stay working in a corporate environment. However, I became quite frustrated after ten years, especially with the rigidness and speed of the corporate structure. I also felt too removed from the frontline business in my role. I ended up doing an MBA part-time whilst working to further my education to become more entrepreneurial. Shortly after that, an opportunity came up with a friend to start up an online bakery selling cookies. I used this as a hands-on way to learn about running a business and to get involved in all aspects of the business. Something that I could never [would] have done in my corporate job. That experience further ignited the entrepreneurial spirit in me to co-found Anapi.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“My co-founder and I both came from the insurance industry, and we both saw how other industries had become digital whereas business insurance still lagged behind. We thought it was the right time to start something in Singapore since there weren’t many players in the business insurance market at the time. We had to pivot and reiterate our product a few times before getting to where we are today. Listening to clients to truly understand the pain points was key to giving us the confidence that we are on the right track.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“The name Anapi comes from “an” in Mandarin Chinese which means secure, and API (application programming interface). Our vision when founding the company is to provide insurance protection and security through technology.”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“The biggest challenge in the beginning was getting used to the startup pace and learning to quickly pivot and reiterate our product offering. We learned the costly mistake of taking too long to evaluate and pivot. Building relationships with more experienced founders has been helpful to learn from and be mentored by them.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“Startups and small businesses.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“SEO, thought leadership articles through LinkedIn, and other publications.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Partnerships with VCs and Accelerators, referrals, and cold calling through LinkedIn.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Gross written premium, Rate of insurance renewals, client growth.”
What's your favorite book on entrepreneurship?
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“‘How I Built This.’”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“The community of entrepreneurs and how willing everyone is to help each other out.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“Working from home full time means that I’m home with my six-month-old, so I can take breaks during the day to spend time with her, which is helpful. I also try to make a point to get out of the house once a day for a walk to refresh myself and clear my head.”
How do you stay motivated?
“Speaking to other founders and listening to podcasts to be inspired by others. Also reflecting on how far we have come as a team to remind myself of what we have already achieved is a good motivator to keep pressing on.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“I’ve always been quite an organised person, but I have had to become even more organised by using tools such as Trello to make sure I don’t drop the ball when wearing multiple hats in the company.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“Building a company from scratch and knowing that our product is helping other founders be successful by helping them manage their risks so they can continue focusing on building their products.”
More on Anapi
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Ruth Haller of Anapi that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.