Marking our second month with DIFC’s FinTech Hive
Where to begin
In March of this year, my brother and I decided that we no longer wished to work in our jobs (a civil engineer and an insurance loss adjuster respectively), and began hatching a plan to start our own business. Our obsession with decentralization and blockchain, along with our experience in the insurance sector, led us to the concept of Addenda: a start-up that intended to bring trust back to an industry that was built on it.
What started out as a casual after-hours exercise soon snowballed into drafting business plans, arguing over financial calculations, and setting timelines we knew we could not meet.
Shortly afterwards, we came across a FinTech Hive application post on LinkedIn. We read through the requirements and found out that the application deadline was only a week away. This caused us to go into overdrive: we worked day and night on launching our website and preparing a prototype fit to pitch to the below insurance partners of the Hive:
Burning the boats
There’s a legend about Tariq Ibn Ziyad, a Muslim commander who led the Islamic Umayyad conquest of Visigothic Hispania in 711–718 A.D. Allegedly, Tariq ordered his troops to burn their boats the moment they landed on the shores of Spain, to prevent any notion of going back on their plan.
We say this because before even knowing whether we made it to the Hive, we agreed to quit our jobs so as to prevent any chance of turning back on this idea.
In retrospect, “burning our boats” was not the smartest decision we made (as we did not have the financial backing that Tariq may have had, nor did we intend to go to war with anyone in particular), but it was definitely one that made us dedicate all of our mental powers to Addenda.
The decision to work on Addenda full-time was one of the best career choices either of us made. FinTech Hive’s mentorship program proved to be significantly better than anything we imagined.
So far, we have:
- Received weekly free legal advice through legal clinics organized in the hive.
- Had one-to-one and group mentoring with C-Suite executives of top insurance companies.
- Participated in intensive funding, branding, and data workshops, and received great offers from the likes of Microsoft and Amazon Web Services.
- Were provided A to Z guidance on how to set-up a company in DIFC.
With all of these advantages in hand, we officially incorporated Addenda as an entity in DIFC earlier this month, and hired our third full time employee, Harsh Ajmera, who is now our tech lead.
Exceeding our own expectations
At no point in time did we think that we’d be interviewed by CNBC Arabia just a month “officially” into our venture, but it happened!
Through FinTech Hive, we were also exposed to interviews with Arabic newspapers, as well as networking opportunities with insurance companies outside of the program. Here are our milestones to date:
Addenda is an idea — March 1st, 2018
Launched prototype — June 7th, 2018
Shortlisted to FinTech Hive — July 27th, 2018
Addenda interviewed by CNBC Arabia’s insurance program — September 30th, 2018
Addenda Technologies L.L.C. is fully incorporated as an entity in DIFC— October 1st, 2018
On-boarded our third full-time employee — October 10th, 2018
What we actually do
Our excitement in this post caused us to ramble on and on about where we are today without actually sharing what we do as a start-up:
Addenda is a startup that uses distributed ledger technology (specifically Hyperledger Fabric) to streamline processes between insurance companies. For insurance companies, Addenda means faster claim settlement, reduced fraud, improved record keeping, streamlined processes, and greater transparency. How? By building a consortium of UAE insurance companies on the blockchain.
Want to find out more? Get in touch with us!