Blockchain Technology Is Key Differentiator For Insurance Market In Middle East

The company plans to expand the reach of Addenda geographic presence into other parts of the gulf cooperation council (GCC) and across the Middle East and north Africa (MENA) region

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Over the past decades, there has been a little or zero encroachment of technology in insurance when compared with other financial institutions. In the financial space, there has been uprise of neo banks, numerous fintech startups, flanked with new ways of completing transactions such as UPI. However, there has been no perceptible change in the insurance space until Wakid Dib and Karim DB came up with Addenda an insurtech startup that promises to fill the gaps of the everchanging market in UAE.

In order to understand the idea of making a difference in the insurance market, Entrepreneur India interacted with Walid Daniel Dib, chief executive officer and co-founder, Addenda.

To Do Something New

Back in 2018, Walid Dib and Karim Dib were in day jobs. But by March of that year, they had decided to break the rigmarole of daily job and become entrepreneurs. The itch to do something on their own and the obsession with decentralization and blockchain, along with their experience in the insurance sector, led them to the concept of Addenda.

What started out as a casual after-hours exercise soon snowballed into drafting business plans, arguing over financial calculations, and setting timelines they knew they could not meet. And the Addenda brothers came into being.

Walid is the CEO and co-founder of Addenda and his brother and co-founder, Karim is the company’s COO. Addenda has been funded by VCs and investors such as the Oman Tech Fund, the Arab Bank and 500 startups, among others.

Addenda, which uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) to streamline motor insurance claims between insurance companies, now has 10 employees and is based out Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem, Hub71.

Hub71 is named after the UAE’s formation in 1971 and is a tech ecosystem located in the heart of Abu Dhabi which brings together several key elements for startup success, including access to capital, access to market opportunities, and a favorable business environment.

The Work

Before joining Hub71, the Addenda team was spread out across several continents, but now the team and their spouses have moved from India, Nigeria, Jordan and Syria to the WeWork facility at Hub71 in Abu Dhabi.

“Here, we are part of a large community of bright, future-led minds that are all contributing to the emirate’s digital transformation in different ways, and the hub’s set-up allows us to take part in many different events and networking opportunities we wouldn’t have access to otherwise. In pre-COVID times for example, Hub71’s collaboration with WeWork allowed our team to have free weekly yoga sessions after work with professional trainers, which served as a great stress reliever as well as a team building exercise,” said Walid.
At Addenda, tailored tasks are reported in real-time on its user-friendly interface, and then time-stamped as evidence onto the blockchain. This allows insurers to report claim and policy changes in a completely verifiable and encrypted manner. Addenda’s main focus is helping insurance companies reconcile payments for motor claims on a digital, blockchain-based platform. The company has processed more than 30 million dirhams of transactions in less than a year, and is active in the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait.

The Genesis

As in most countries, insurance lags behind the rest of other financial institutions such as banks. The complexity of the realm of insurance has prevented tech companies and startups from tackling its challenges, and led them to instead focus on other low hanging fruit. “We’ve now reached a point in time where digitization for insurance is no longer a luxury, and only the insurer who take this into account will survive. Addenda aims to ride this wave of ‘insurance 2.0’,” said Walid.

The company plans to expand the reach of Addenda geographic presence into other parts of the GCC and across the MENA region, using its location at Hub71 as the launchpad to the region. “We’re also looking into reconciliation within other lines of business, and perfecting the motor claims process from identifying good vehicle valuation measures, to working on eliminating insurance fraud,” added Walid.

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