Hokodo is an ambitious start-up that’s rewriting the rules of the insurance sector. Its mission is to make insurance and financing available to the millions of European SMEs left behind by today’s financial services industry.
Its flagship product, Invoice Protection, ensures SMEs get paid. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet financial and insurance solutions that cover against the risks of unpaid or late paid invoices have been, up until now, accessible only by large corporations.
The Hokodo team is working hard to democratise insurance: the crux of their business model is that they develop solutions which can be deployed seamlessly into the tools that SMEs use on a daily basis, such as accounting software, trading marketplaces and banking apps. This way, they can provide SMEs across Europe with quick, hassle-free protection against late payments.
Louis Carbonnier, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Hokodo says, “Our ambition is to radically change how insurance works. We put financial solutions within the reach of all companies, no matter their size.”
Helping SMEs grow faster
Unpaid invoices are a perennial problem for small businesses. According to Accountancy Age, 50,000 British businesses fail each year due to late payments, with SMEs owed over £225bn in unpaid invoices. When construction group Carillon went bust in 2018, it took 780 construction sector companies with it and kicked off a 20% spike in construction firm insolvencies.
For SMEs who depend on predictable cash flows and prompt payments, Hokodo’s offer is a life-saver. To one business owner, it means peace of mind and the confidence to explore new markets, to try out a new client or feel safe with a major customer. Hokodo has the economy-boosting potential to create higher profitability, protect jobs and reduce stress.
Delivering superior customer experience
At the heart of Hokodo’s service is the user-friendliness of the digital process and the speed of decision-making. Helping underpin this excellent service delivery is DueDil’s API technology.
Louis continues, “We made a very careful assessment of all the providers in Europe and DueDil came out on top, in terms of connectivity, latency and uptime and also in the sheer quality of the data and documentation. The speed of decision-making is sub-second, dramatically cutting the industry’s usual turnaround time.”
One of Hokodo’s core design principles is to create the best user experience possible and part of this is the minimisation of information needed from the client. Small business owners just don’t have time to pick through reams of online forms, so Hokodo’s simple user interface is designed to be as fuss-free and clean as possible. “The client only needs to tap in a few of the invoice details; DueDil’s API does the rest, and the client gets the answer in seconds”, says Hokodo’s Head of Data Science, Arnaud Alepee.
Accelerating time to market
One of the factors that has made Hokodo so successful has been its speed to market in the UK. “We’re delighted with our speedy time to market, and this has been helped greatly by the ease of DueDil’s integration,” says Arnaud. “The API is really well documented, you can be ready very quickly, because everything is seamless for developers. It was so easy to get up and running quickly because the integration didn’t need a lot of set-up or handling.”
And this ease of integration has enabled them to partner at scale and in record time with several B2B platforms, allowing them to widen their offer. These distribution partners can enhance their customers’ journey by offering a fully digital insurance experience, from quote to bind, all the way down to policy management and claim. Thanks to Hokodo’s plug-in, their customers can add individual invoice insurance with just one click.
Digital transformation in person
Hokodo believes that digital transformation is first about people, not just technology. Louis Carbonnier says, “Digital transformation is a journey, not a one-off. It’s about empowering people to learn, giving them the confidence to test new things, to solve problems together, and to become more agile. DueDil’s way of working completely syncs with ours: throughout the integration process our tech teams had questions which they addressed fully. At each part of the journey the level of service was outstanding.”
Hokodo’s mission to open up the insurance market represents a tremendous opportunity for UK SMEs. Together with DueDil they’re using their technology to provide the experience that small business owners expect and deserve.