Brolly, an insurtech startup aiming to disrupt the antiquated insurance market through a customer-empowering, AI-driven smartphone app, has closed a €1.1 million seed round. Whilst other UK insurtech startups have applied mobile technology and AI to specific insurance lines, Brolly is the first to modernise insurance distribution, challenging the price comparison model of shopping around by developing a deep understanding of its users and their needs across the whole of their insurance portfolio. The company is based in London and was founded in 2016.
The fundraising round, led by Valar Ventures, Pi Labs and Entrepreneur First, represents one of the biggest seed investments in the UK insurtech sector to date. Valar, the US venture capital firm backed by Peter Thiel, previously led the Series A and B rounds of TransferWise and the Series A rounds of Number26 and Qonto.
James Fitzgerald, the co-founder of Valar Ventures stated: “The pace of innovation in the insurance industry has not met consumer demand and we see massive potential for growth in this market. Brolly’s unique positioning and dedication to building an insurance ecosystem around the customer impressed us. We’re excited about their plans to build on what they’ve achieved so far by developing the product further and bringing more partners onto the platform.”
Founded by Phoebe Hugh – a former Aviva underwriter and product manager – and Mykhailo Loginov – a former Skype and Microsoft engineering manager – the startup was set up to provide a solution to three core problems that beleaguer consumers when it comes to insurance: chaotic management of existing policies, lack of advice from personal insurance brokers and difficulty making decisions on the best insurance products to buy. Brolly resolves these issues by bringing a customer’s entire insurance portfolio into one place via an app.
Phoebe Hugh, the co-founder and CEO of Brolly commented: “Millions of people haven’t switched their insurance provider for years and are paying hundreds of pounds more than they need to for inadequate coverage. Brolly is radically changing this broken market so customers have more control over their policies and purchases and can make informed decisions based on their individual needs.”
In addition to the VC funds, an number of angel investors also participated in the seed round, including Alan Morgan, Christian Angermayer, Matt Bellamy, Richard Fearn, Tim Levene, Tim Hugh, Bruce Macfarlane, Michael Mire and Christian Woolfenden.
Launched in a closed beta in August 2016, Brolly’s technology combines data aggregation and insurance product integrations to connect with customers using its purpose-built tools: ‘Brolly Locker’ (scanning and secure management of all existing policies), ‘Brolly Adviser’ (advising which products customers should consider buying and why based on analysis of existing portfolio), and ‘Brolly Shop’ (app analyses the current market to ensure the customer has the best product coverage and value for money – advising to switch to other providers if necessary) – the Shop is yet to be released.
Brolly will use the fresh capital to develop its product further, including the release of a new version on iOS and Android as well as scale-up its 10-strong team. Later this year, Brolly plans to bring on major insurance partners covering home, travel and motor onto the platform. Consumers can get early access by registering online.
For more info about Brolly, check out the video below, in which the Phoebe Hugh pitches the startup at the Entrepreneur First Demo Day 2016: