Octopus Ventures leads £7.5 million funding round for insurance start-up
Bought By Many, the insurtech startup that uses social media and search data to offer insight-driven insurance to customers, today announces it has closed a £7.5m ($9.5m) Series A funding round. The round was led by Octopus Ventures, with Munich Re / HSB Ventures participating, as well as existing Bought By Many investors. The funding announcement comes as the business also reveals it has signed a long-term insurance agreement with Munich Re and with their Digital Partners business unit that will enable the company to launch its own insurance products and expand into new territories.
Bought By Many has developed a proposition enabling individuals with specific insurance needs to get better insurance offers from existing providers through collective buying power. Examples include pet insurance for rare breeds and travel insurance for people with medical conditions. By analysing over 550 million rows of search data and responding to specific customer needs, the company has attracted a loyal membership of over 250,000 users and is enjoying year-on-year revenue growth of over 100%.
Since launching in 2012, Bought By Many has become a trusted industry expert in identifying and addressing niche insurance requirements. The investment will enable the launch, in early 2017, of a new range of Bought By Many-branded insurance products that will leverage its mobile-first technology platform. The products have been co-created using customer feedback, including almost 40,000 comments made on social media. In addition, Bought By Many will develop its distribution relationships with third-party insurers, both in the UK and internationally, and continue to provide impartial guidance on the best cover.
The investment is a timely indicator of the pace of growth in insurtech, which is still relatively nascent compared to the maturing fintech market. The number of funding deals to insurance tech startups hit a record number of 173 in 2016, up from 122 in 2015, according to venture-capital research unit CB Insights. Total funding for insurance startups hit $1.69bn (£1.37bn) in 2016. Insurance is a $4.6tr (£3.6tr) global market, accounting for 6.7% of global GDP, but, relative to its size, has not yet seen the same level of funding as other sectors such as fintech.
Bought By Many also announces its insurance agreement with Munich Re, which will see the German insurance group provide underwriting, technology, carrier licenses, regulatory permissions, and venture capital, enabling the roll out of Bought By Many products. Initial focus will be on the UK, with overseas markets to follow.
Steven Mendel, Co-founder and CEO of Bought By Many, commented: “This commercial agreement and investment marks another important milestone in our journey to transform the customer experience of insurance. In partnership with Munich Re, we can now create a full stack insurance proposition, satisfying the unmet customer needs revealed by both our data analytics and ongoing conversation with our 250,000 members.”
Andy Rear, CEO of Munich Re’s business unit, Digital Partners, added: “Digital Partners is a global venture designed to partner with the world’s leading insurtech companies. We are excited to be helping Bought By Many realise their vision of transforming the customer experience of insurance.”
Malcolm Ferguson of Octopus Ventures added: “I am delighted Octopus is leading this round. Bought By Many’s innovative distribution model and technology platform, combined with their exceptional traction with customers and world-class team, puts them among the world’s leading insurtech startups. The commercial agreement with Munich Re promises to super-charge this.”
About Bought By Many
Bought By Many is a multi-award winning UK insurtech startup with a mission to change the customer experience of insurance for the better by using social media and mobile.
Key company milestones are as follows:
- 2012: Launched boughtbymany.com. Completed seed funding round
- 2013: Named Insurance Website of the Year
- 2014: Identified by Boston consulting Group & Morgan Stanley as the global exemplar of innovation in insurance distribution. Awarded Best Use of Mobile Technology at the Digital Insurance Awards.
- 2015: Named Fintech Innovation of the Year & Insurance Start-Up of the Year. Surpassed 100,000 members. Launched SaaS platform in China in partnership with Ping An Insurance. Became directly regulated by the FCA. Acquired Brooks Braithwaite (Sussex) Ltd
- 2016: Innovation in Insurance Award at the Fintech Innovation Awards. Named in the FinTech 50
Bought By Many employs over 40 staff across its two sites in Farringdon, Central London and Haywards Heath, Sussex.