Electronic Chat with Alex Devoto, Founder, LVLFi
Laura Mazzuca Toops | June 28, 2021
LVLFI is a London-based insurtech development company that provides mobile game apps that health and life insurers can use to engage policyholders by rewarding them with the chance to win cash and prizes by increasing their average daily step count.
Gamification is a great way for employers to engage their workforces and encourage teambuilding and better health. Who are your target clients, and how are you approaching them?
The most powerful thing about gamification is that it works on all of us. Our brains are naturally set up to want to complete tasks and win rewards, and we tap into this by maximizing both immediate and delayed reward to encourage all kinds of users to be more active, especially focusing on the overweight and obese who find it harder to be motivated to exercise.
This leads to our target clients being health and life insurers. We offer them a way to better engage their insureds with fun games and prizes, differentiating from the competition. By increasing the exercise of their aggregate populations, they can lower chronic disease risk and therefore cut costs.
We like to approach carriers with the opportunity to run a low-cost proof of concept (PoC) with their internal staff -- a cheap and low-risk way of trialing our product before rolling out to their larger insured populations.
Tell us a little about how the company came to be, including your background.
The honest truth is that I was playing a video game on my phone late at night when I should have been sleeping. I was so frustrated to get to the next level (many of these games you need to put money in to “upgrade” to beat the level), I thought I would literally do press-ups right there and then to get the gold to buy the weapon to kill the boss! I extrapolated this out, and we started to build mobile games around taking steps for in-game gold, that eventually morphed into the Quest app.
My background was originally designing electronics in China – I hold a master’s degree in Chinese foreign policy, so getting into insurance was a whole new game. But we went through the Global Insurance Accelerator quite early on and had a bunch of great mentors who helped bring us up to speed.
Please provide us with a quick overview of how LVLFi Quest works.
Quest was designed to be super easy for all kinds of people with varying activity levels to download and start playing, but addictive enough to keep people coming back. In essence, we combine a step counter with a reward system for increasing your step count, no matter how active you are. We later added mental health components (and rewards!) and a nutrition section to bring more full-spectrum wellness to our users.
We white label for carriers as a stand-alone product or part of their existing app, so they have a quick, cheap, and fun product to roll out to their insureds digitally.
What technology are you using for your deliverables?
Quest is divided into front end and back end. We have native front-end clients for iOS and Android, and then a back-end database to store the information gathered and run predictive analytics (our next project).
Insurance has traditionally been slow to adopt new technologies, although the growth of insurtech has changed that. Where do you see gamification in the future digital transformation of the industry?
I think gamification is a quick and easy win for insurers. We are starting to see some low-level gamification of products appearing in insurers’ offerings, most notably is the John Hancock Vitality product. But the thing the industry needs to understand is that gamification is not binary – there are levels of gamification that can be employed and the more you put in, the higher the ROI. When carriers start to see this, I think the competition and product offerings will really increase, as it’s a low-hanging fruit for carriers to improve their customer experience -- and bottom line.
Your other games include Fist of Arkan, Race Around the World, and Calorie Crush (I really relate to Kween Karb). Which is most utilized? Any others in the pipeline, and how are your positioning them to appeal to the insurance sector?
On top of the Quest app, we have been developing a number of real “games” to include with our offerings. Calorie Crush was definitely the most fun to work on – King Kalorie, Kolonel Kravings, etc. -- the “dad joke” alliterations kept us trying to be very punny. The most excitement, though, is for our upcoming title that we are working with some other partner companies on: Cryptocorns, unique unicorn NFTs crossing over into the crypto world – watch this space!
As for appeal to carriers – We’ve found that it was best to start with an app offering, and then bring in the games over time. Insurers are usually quite conservative by nature, and selling them trolls and fireballs off the bat was difficult. So a wide-appeal rewards app is easier to work with, and then if a carrier wants to offer enhanced offerings like genre specific games – we have them.
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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
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