Creating a Digital Tool for Islamic Legacy Planning

Priya Surya

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Provide a summary of the concept, how it works/could work, and why it could be successful

Inheritance laws across the Islamic world are complex and vary based on family structure,
according to Faraid, and few understand how their assets will be divided after they pass
The proposed product is a digital tool that specifically addresses the need of muslim
families everywhere, particularly in APAC and MENA.
Based on initial user research, for families that depend on one or two breadwinners there’s
a strong need to understand what assets exist, how they would be distributed, and how
assets can be invested for improved security and stability.
There is a massive opportunity to improve transparency and flexibility in this process by
using a digital tool that enables a user to put in a few basic details about their family and
possessions, and the type of faith they follow, and make a plan for how their assets would
be distributed. Furthermore, religiously compliant insurance options can be provided that
can improve endowment.

Explain briefly the specific problem(s) you are trying to solve, and how your solution impacts or will impact the region

Being unprepared for loss both financially and legally can spiral families into poverty and
debt. The digital solution is meant to address lack of clarity around laws, and the cost and
inconvenience of approaching lawyers to sort out inheritance, and the confusion around
insurance instruments to improve endowment outcomes.
We have built Plover which currently solves legacy planning for families that follow civil
law with an automated will creation and insurtech platform that finds the right products
based on needs specific to users. Its mission is to help families of all communities and
economic backgrounds to access low-cost will creation, and appropriate and affordable
life insurance products (rather than those that maximize commission).
We are in the process of understanding user needs and building a product for Islamic

Geographical Scope: where is the innovation currently operating/where would it first be applied and where would it scale?

Currently we’re conducting the necessary user research to develop the initial MVP with the
Muslim community in Singapore. We plan to scale across APAC and the Middle East.

Please state the current status of your initiative

Development stage

Beneficiaries: Explain who would benefit from this solution and indicate whether you would be working with a local partner or organization to implement (if so,specify)

Families in the mass market segment would benefit from this solution. The product must
be built in collaboration with its users, and scaled through partnerships with local
organizations. These could be employers and employee benefit programs, takaful
insurance companies, philanthropic organizations, and other community organizations.

Describe the scalability and innovation elements of your initiative

The product is completely digital and fulfills a strong need for consumers across the
economic and social spectrum, and can be accessed by anyone with internet access

Please state your innovation sponsor (if applicable)

The product is currently being developed by Plover, a legacy planning and insurtech
startup run by Priya Surya, HKS MPA/ID 2010. Plover has been preseed funded by
Entrepreneur First, a talent first incubator based out of London.

What are your key resources at this stage and what resources would you need to implement/scale?

Plover is run by two capable founders– Priya Surya who has extensive experience scaling
insurance and financial services across markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the
Phillipines through her previous work as Head of New Markets for Bima Mobile, a mobile
microinsurance startup.
Jonathan Summers-Muir is a digital veteran who has extensive experience building
products in collaboration with diverse user communities. He’s a full-stack developer,
designer, and growth hacker.
We are in the midst of hiring a community manager from the Islamic community who’d
help with user feedback generation as we develop the product.

What are your key challenges and risks at this stage?

Key challenge is to access knowledge from the user community. We’re solving for this by
forming the right partnerships and group of advisors to provide access to users and

What are your goals and timeline?

Goal 1: User research and development (including user workshops and surveys)
Target date: August 2019
Goal 2: Develop and deploy MVP, and obtain user feedback
Target date: Sept 2019
Goal 3: Scale with first partnership organizations
Target date: Oct 2019

Why should this innovation be selected?

In 2019, there should be digital tools to help solve for intractable problems faced by
everyday families. Arab families have unique challenges with legacy and financial planning
because of the laws that govern inheritance. Plover fulfills this need for a digital solution
that is affordable and scalable across the region.

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