By Ryan Weeks on 23rd October 2017
Hiscox backed startup to attempt to raise £500k on Seedrs following £3m seed round.
That insurance is one of the City’s most antiquated sectors is widely acknowledged – and yet startup-fuelled disruption of the industry has been, at best, gradual. Now, Wrisk, a smartphone-optimised insurtech, is attempting to change that.
The company has launched a £500k equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, a platform known for its work funding financial services startups. Wrisk intends to launch early next year with a platform that will allow users to buy various types of insurance, including motor, travel, home and health. Wrisk is touting its service as “macroinsurance”, in that it will cover multiple types of insurance in a single plan.
Like many insurtech firms, it is the user interface and experience that Wrisk is attempting to update. The underlying products will continue to be delivered by major insurance brands such as Munich Re and Hiscox. The former will provide the capacity for buildings and contents, motor and travel lines across the UK, EU and USA, via its subsidiary Great Lakes Insurance. Hiscox will provide capacity across the same regions for products relating to a customer’s commercial activities. QIC will cover Wrisk customers in the MENA region. Wrisk itself will operate as a Managing General Agent (MGA) on behalf of these insurers.
The £500k round on Seedrs follows on from a £3m seed round earlier this year, which was led by VC Oxford Capital, with Hiscox and QIC making up the balance. Wrisk participated in the 2016 BMW Innovation Lab, which was the first fintech incubator to have emerged within the automotive sector. Wrisk has now signed a partnership which will see it become BMW Group FS UK’s provider of motor, travel and home insurance.
“The insurance market is in desperate need of digital solutions that we can offer to our customers, and we are delighted that we will be giving our customers access to insurance through Wrisk,” said Mike Dennett, CEO of BMW Group Financial Services UK.
At launch, the Wrisk app will offer contents insurance, followed by motor later in the year. The company says that 61 per cent of UK renters do not currently have contents insurance, while 31 per cent of millennials have never bought travel cover. The company highlights what is a “painful” buying process as the primary cause of these shortfalls.
“Insurance – the idea of sharing the loss of one against many – is a great idea, but frankly it’s embarrassing how badly it’s executed,” said co-founder Niall Barton (pictured) and Darius Kumana. “We believe that consumers deserve better, so we’re giving insurance a much-needed digital upgrade.”
The Seedrs fundraise values Wrisk at a little over £7m. 38 per cent of the £500k sum has already been funded.