The covid-19 crisis and resulting lockdown didn’t just cripple the global economy but also crippled the global healthcare systems. Amid the lockdown, going to the doctor for a check-up was no longer feasible for many and so the only viable solution that proved effective was online healthcare and consultation.
Over time people became more comfortable with using health tech services in response to the pandemic, which not only resulted in a surge in telemedicine, remote monitoring, and home testing but there has also been a spike in insurtech startups in the region.
Insurance is one of the most regulated industries, and Insuretech companies have to innovate and navigate through this complex system by making necessary investments in licenses and bank guarantees mandated by the Insurance Authority to operate. Unfortunately, many of those startups are licensed as IT providers and this limits what they can offer.
However, the crisis has already inflicted drastic changes to healthcare systems worldwide and has kicked off a digital makeover of the industry in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena). Among such startups, lies the Dubai-based, Sehteq.
What is Sehteq?
Sehteq is a Dubai-based health tech startup and insurance platform. Launched in 2018, the startup positioned itself as a technology-driven health insurance platform aimed at making insurance accessible, affordable, and most importantly automated for its customers. Through its platform, the startup leverages AI to digitize the supply of insurance plans to individuals and families in the UAE, radically accelerating and fully automating the sale & post-sale processes.
The most noteworthy thing here is that platform is white-labeled to brokers and agents within 60 seconds and has more than 120 versions implemented in the UAE and Oman markets.
Since its launch, the startup is hailed for its user-friendly experience and customization options, which allow users to tailor their insurance plans easily. Additionally, the startup has also expanded to other forms of insurance, quite uniquely.
The startup grew through a number of M&A transactions to be the 4th largest provider of health insurance services in the region.
Background of Founders
Saif completed his Master’s from Harvard in General Management in 2017, after completing his undergrad in Medicine and General Surgery from the University of Baghdad.
He started his early career as a Physician. In 2008, he joined Dubai Health Authority, as a specialist in Health Insurance and Funding. Over the course of the next few years, he served at different international organizations in various capacities, and in 2015 he joined the United Health Group as Senior Vice President & Regional CEO, of Middle East & Africa.
Then in 2017, he co-founded Sehteq and in 2021, he joined the UAE-based National Health Insurance Company, Daman, as Chief Government Business Officer.
Noor completed her MBBS from the Dubai Medical College for Girls. After which she pursued a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology at Harvard University.
She started her career as a general physician in 2006 and served at different organizations in different capacities until she finally joined Sehteq as Chief Medical Officer in 2018.
In a highly user-friendly experience, Sehteq’s users are able to tailor their own insurance plans seamlessly on their AI-driven platform.
In the backend, Sehteq integrates machine learning to automate post-sales service and claims management. Driven by an innovative evidence-based rules engine, they are able to automate up to 100% of the back office work saving innumerable amounts of time and expenses in the process.
Their tech-driven approach was what helped the platform in putting a dent in the insurance market as co-founder Saif AlJaibeji remarks:
Sehteq was born to be the innovation lab of the industry, and after a successful launch of products and technology solutions for the health insurance market we have expanded our offering to travel, life and other lines of insurance and in partnership with our competitors.
Venture Debt: Secured $3 million
In July 2021, Sehteq successfully secured $3 million in venture debt investment dispatched by key investor 971 Capital.
Venture Round: Secured $20 million
In August 2020, the startup secured a $20 million commitment to set up a reinsurance vertical from their anchor investor 971 Capital.
The newly acquired investment is a cornerstone of the platform’s newly launched Techcelerate project, which aims at building two business units and expanding the technology arm to regional Insurtech, on the road to transitioning the insurance business unit from startup to enterprise.
As they set forth to develop their offering and expand their markets, co-founders Noor Al Kamil and Saif AlJaibeji are hopeful of Sehteq’s future.