OTONOMI — Team members interview series. Meet Yann Barbarroux (CEO)

3 min readMay 19, 2021

1. Who are you?

Hey there, I am Yann Barbarroux. CEO and co-founder of OTONOMI, an insurtech focused on transforming the transportation and cargo insurance industry.

I was born and raised in Marseille (France), went to grad school (graduated from a MS in Computer Engineer) in Paris, found my first job in Wall Street back in 2003, and never left NY :)

I am based in Greenpoint, one of the most vibrant areas in Brooklyn, and summer is looking shiny and fun from my vantage point!

2. Describe yourself with 4 words?

Curious. Creative. Sarcastic. Gritty.

3. How did you change since you started OTONOMI?

I think my biggest takeaway is accountability.

Coming from the corporate world, I rapidly realized that if I stop spinning the wheel every day 8am till midnight, the machine would not move ahead on its own.

But realizing that, also opened my eyes to such beautiful perspectives on what’s possible in the startup side of things. Being scrappy 24/7, caring for what customers want, wearing one’s own sales hat, while keeping the innovation alive and real is very inspiring.

4. Where will you be in 2 years?

Planet Mars? Just kidding, well, kinda. That’s my hometown’s nickname (Marseille, FR), therefore I might very well be on Mars in 2 years.

In 24 months, OTONOMI will be right around our Series A round, with established product-market fit in a fascinating sector craving for changes.

One of the things that have been on the back of my mind for a while is to opportunistically be expanding in the Asia-Pacific region, as shipping is as big as it can get over there, where blockchain adoption is best in class ; and I always wanted to work in Asia, considering my Vietnamese background.

So in the end, in 2 years, I will likely be on one of the beautiful beaches of Nha Trang (Vietnam), right after a pit-stop on Mars!

5. What is your vision for the company?

Becoming the one-stop-shop operating layer for parametric insurance policies (data-activated insurance smart contracts), with applications in air freight, marine, trucking, weather, and device coverage. First and foremost, alleviating the customer’s pain points of going through the lengthy claim adjudication process: with Otonomi we compress resolution time from 45 days to 45 minutes!

We aim at being the de facto “detect, active, and pay” infrastructure insurtech for all data sources that can be used to create parametric products: database server APIs, logistics analytics, and IoT sensors. For that, we work with fantastic data partners such as Chainlink which provides security and integrity to our event triggers.

Being this modular layer, we’ll become a compelling acquisition opportunity for insurance incumbents such as AIG, Chubb, AON, or even insurtech unicorns, such as Lemonade, which is currently breaching in the transportation business so why not Cargo?

6. What Does Success Look Like for the Company?

Well, I kinda hinted at the answer in my response regarding our vision, our success story is to become an indispensable operating insurtech between corporate clients and capacity providers (carriers and reinsurers).

That resulting in being acquired by a big shop or going public isn’t set in stone as long as we manage to create innovative, cost-efficient and fast products our clients love, the financial profitability will follow, making a compelling argument for buyout!

Thanks a lot guys! Stay safe.

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OTONOMI is a parametric insurance solution for carriers. We are transforming the air cargo insurance process into a fast, transparent, and cost-efficient experience for both the policyholders and insurers. Powered by our proprietary technologies in data-activated triggers, smart contracts, and integrated digital wallets, we reduce claim resolution times from 45 days to 45 minutes, lowering admin costs by 90%.




Next Generation Insurance for Time-Critical Freight