“We had to respond to the growing customer demand for a personalized transaction and product information”
CEO Lavazza NL
The idea for GoBear came from previous CEO André Hesselink, he wanted to make it easier to find and compare banking and insurance products. Hesselink had connections with BCD Holding, whose investment branch Walvis Participaties discussed the concept with Aegon. After a feasibility study, it was determined that Asia was a suitable market due to the fast-growing internet penetration and middle class. Aegon and Walvis then set up a joint venture, and in August 2014, GoBear began developing a metasearch engine * for car and travel insurance.
* A metasearch engine is a search engine that allows an internet user to submit a search query to multiple search engines at once. The results of different search engines are combined and returned to the user in one overview.
rb2 took care of the technical development of the platform and user interfaces. According to Ivonne Bojoh, CTO, and co-founder of GoBear, the short time-to-market was the main reason for outsourcing precisely these things. “We started in August 2014 and went live in December of that year with a soft launch in Singapore. Our first two products were travel and car insurance and everyone was very committed to meeting this tight deadline. We could never have gone live that quickly if we had first had to assemble a large team of developers ourselves."
”Since rb2 has developed the GoBear platform from phase zero in the development process, these are tailor-made projects. According to Ivonne, greenfield software development is something every starter wants. You are not dealing with outdated or existing systems, applications, or processes to take into account. As a startup, we naturally had this choice. We were able to start from scratch and build our system based on the product and business strategy we had in 2014. Rb2 was involved in the feasibility study and subsequently built the 'proof-of-concept'. Since then, rb2 has been the preferred party for the further development and maintenance of the GoBear platform. It was easy for them to understand our business model and concept and we started building the backend before we had a frontend. Even before we had a company name, rb2 worked out how we could approach the market."
Richard Birksteiner, CTO and co-founder of rb2, was involved in the development of GoBear from the start. According to him, several factors that made GoBear's realization technically complex: "There were various challenges for us. How do you ensure that consumers can easily and quickly compare hundreds of financial products and insurance products? And that while the platform has to make complex calculations and the data is 100% accurate. And how do you ensure that these enormous amounts of data are displayed quickly and smoothly?” Richard explains.