Building a cyber muscle – Joshua Motta, CEO, Coalition
This week’s guest on The Voice of Insurance podcast is Joshua Motta, CEO of Coalition, a leading cyber insurance and security provider. Joshua discusses how Coalition offers something very different compared to competitors – established only five years ago and with a billion dollars in run-rate GWP, major VC funding, and ambitious international expansion plans. Joshua also speaks about how providing a very high level of service to policyholders and brokers is a fundamental element of the company´s MO.
Kicking off the discussion, Mark asks how Coalition was founded, Joshua explains that from a very young age, he had an entrepreneurial spirit, teaching himself how to programme and landing a job with Microsoft as a teenager. His career path saw him work for the CIA and Goldman Sachs before being on the founding team of Cloudfare, a technology cyber security company.
Commenting on the creation of Coalition, Joshua says, “Sometimes I tell people Coalition is what would happen if you combined a financial service, in this case of course insurance, with a technology company and an intelligence community mindset when it comes to data collection analysis.” Elaborating further on why the company was created, Joshua explains that it was to solve a significant global problem facing our society, which is the growing pervasiveness of technological risk. As a society we are increasingly dependent on technology, and when it fails, it´s either extremely painful or, in some cases, existential.
Mark asks what Coalition´s USP is; Joshua responds that it starts with the name itself. The idea that it doesn´t make sense to tackle a difficult and complex risk such as cyber risk individually but rather collectively. Joshua discusses how many companies were buying more technology to help protect them from the risk is how they approached the problem. Speaking about the spark that ignited the idea to start Coalition, Joshua remarks, “That epiphany, hey, this isn´t exclusively a technology problem, it´s really a risk management problem, and if you think about it in that lens there´s sort of three things you can do: you can accept the risk, you can mitigate it – and of course, technology can play a positive or negative role as we´ve seen – or you can transfer it.”
Joshua discusses how whatever hasn´t been transferred or mitigated has been accepted, and that is where Coalition comes in. Building a company that helps organisations understand how much risk they have, helps mitigate the risk, and that can respond very quickly when something happens was the basis for creating the company. Joshua explains that in an emergency, we have the option to call the police or fire department, but when it comes to cyber, it´s pretty much “good luck”. “We were able to really fill that gap – we are that lifeline, that emergency services line for our customers,” Joshua says, adding that they also perform risk transfer like a traditional insurance company. Building a modern insurance company that doesn´t just issue a document that sits on a shelf and collects dust was very much the pitch, combined with the idea to actively help prevent loss from happening in the first place, is at the core of Coalition.
Enjoy the podcast.