Meet Risto, the founder of Black Insurance
„All the building blocks needed to build Black exist today. Our role is to put them into right place and connect the brokers with the capital directly.“
Tell us a bit more about yourself? What is your professional and personal background?
I describe myself as an insurance innovator and investor, I have been active in insurance business for more than 20 years now, worked in insurance company as well as established 5 successful insurtech startups. Among them are the biggest and most innovative insurance broker in the Baltics (IIZI), cloud-based software for insurance agents, brokers and insurers (Insly) as well as the first insurance marketplace on blockchain (Black).
I am married with 3 children, all of them boys (aged 12, 10 and 1,5) + I have a dog. We enjoy travelling together –all of us snowboard during winter and windsurf during summer, except the 1,5 year old and the dog. J
Some sporty facts — I used to be quite a sportsmen, belonging to Estonian top in squash as well as I have finished 5 full marathons. Now I don’t compete in squash nor run marathons, I am just running regularily for fun and recharging purposes mostly.
Tell us, how Black really started? What is the story behind?
I heard about the term initial coin offering first in autumn 2017. The idea to disrupt the insurance industry as deeply as Black plannes to do it requieres significant investments in the early phases of the project. This was something that could have been a possible roadblock. I suddenly realized that the solution is actually pretty straightforward — in order to move on, we simply need to join the crypto capital and blockchain technology. It was kind of a „now or never“ moment for me, vision-like understanding that it all could actually work out this way.
I took 3 weeks for planning, drafting and describing the project to make it clear and plan it properly. To give you a visual example of the inner drive and passion — I remember that I was sitting on my bathroom floor with a pile of papers in front of me, passionately mapping and drafting the ideas of Black, while my youngest child was in the bath on a Saturday evening.
And the rest is history.
Check out also the video where I introduce the Black Insurance business model and idea in general:
What makes you believe in BLACK business model?
Because all the building blocks necessary to build BLACK exist today; there is a clear and proven demand on the broker side and there is a lot of capital on the market, the investors looking for new investment opportunities. Our role is simply to connect all the building blocks by putting them into right place, connect capital with brokers.
And by the way, we are very strong in the excecution part!
Where we can find you when you are not working?
You can find me at home, on sea or running. When possible I always try to do two things at the same time — listening to audio books when running and thinking when surfing, unless the wind is very strong. Then it is only windsurfing :)