Branch and Tyk
Branch is using Tyk to open up its platform to insurance partner affiliates, offering better services to end consumers and gaining more revenue as a result. Branch has implemented full API Management for GraphQL, along with Tyk’s GraphQL developer portal.
Who is Branch?
Branch is a US-based home and auto insurance provider that focuses on getting insurance back to its original intent: a force for communal good. Operating across eight states at present, the company delivers bundled home and auto insurance powered by community.
What did Branch need?
Branch needed a solution for full API Management for GraphQL. They were using AWS AppSync for GraphQL but there were notable gaps, particularly around API management and the lack of an effective developer portal to expose and control APIs to and from third party partners. Branch also needed a way to manage internal APIs.
Tyk was the only solution on the market that offered GraphQL full API Management plus a developer portal, all hosted on its cloud. It met Branch’s needs not just in terms of GraphQL capabilities, but also in relation to timescales, cost and efficiency. Key feature requirements that attracted the company to Tyk included its authentication and flow with Auth Token, its developer portal, GraphQL capabilities and API Gateway functionality.
Tyk has enabled us to bring our external, third-party-facing API proxy and developer portal to market much more quickly and efficiently than if we had built it ourselves. This has allowed us to move more quickly than our competitors, meet partner needs and delight partners, all without having to staff up or take months of development.
Joe Emison, Cofounder and CTO of Branch
How is Tyk working with Branch?
Branch is using Tyk Cloud’s GraphQL capabilities across three environments (production, staging and development), three control planes, six edge gateways and one gateway region.
The company uses two GraphQL APIs. One is for prospects and client-facing use, including people who are interested in buying insurance or have purchased it. Calls are exposed to enable people to get a quote and buy insurance. The other is for the staff interface, allowing the Branch team to retrieve info around policies.
Partners also need to access Branch’s APIs. The company has around 20 partners currently, who are at various stages of working with the Tyk API. Partners wish to use Branch’s APIs because they want to integrate pricing and purchasing the firm’s insurance products into their own flows, instead of bridging customers into Branch’s.
This means that partners can offer Branch’s products at a suitable “insurance moment” within their own customer flows. For example, mortgage lenders offer Branch’s homeowner’s insurance (with the ability to instantly bundle auto insurance) in their document-gathering portals. Car dealers, meanwhile, offer the company’s auto insurance (with the option to instantly bundle home insurance) as part of their purchase process.
How is Branch benefitting from using Tyk?
“The enormous benefit from Tyk is that we don’t have to build and staff our own team to develop, build, and run our own API proxy for our internal APIs to be used by our partners,” explains Branch Cofounder and CTO, Joe Emison. “We estimate that it would have taken a team of two developers more than three months to build an initial version (which would not have had the full set of features that Tyk offers), and then we would eventually have a team of 4-5 full-time developers and 1-2 operations staff to keep this going as an internal product.”
Another benefit is the ability to use Tyk Sync. The open source tooling is great for continuous integration/development, with the Branch team using it to build and deploy their internal APIs. As Branch’s Joe Emison explains:
“Tyk Sync allows us to work with Tyk the way we work with our internal API, and makes sure that we have the right versioning, validation and deployment as we make changes.”
Branch is also benefiting from the Tyk Community Forum, which serves as a huge repository of advice and information on all things Tyk.
Overall, Branch has benefitted from being able to connect insurance partner affiliates with consumers on their own platforms, thus offering cost effective approaches to home and auto insurance coverage.
And finally, Branch Cofounder and CTO Joe Emison answers the all-important questions…
If Tyk was a car, what would it be?
The Mazda CX-5. It’s probably the most reliable and cost-effective vehicle on the road today.
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?
One horse sized duck. That is what we do at Branch. Battle the big ducks and make it easier for us regular folks to consume insurance.