Urban Jungle raises £2.5 million Seed Follow On investment from Angel Investors

London, 7th May 2019: Insurance startup, Urban Jungle today announced a £2.5 million seed funding round with participation from a range of new and existing high profile Angel investors, including Rob Devey, ex CEO of Prudential UK, and Simon Rogerson, CEO of Octopus Group.

With the InsurTech space hotting up, Urban Jungle is challenging the status-quo of traditional insurance providers to cater for the growing number of UK renters who have historically been underserved by the industry. Innovations such as a pay-as-you-go policy, a commitment to transparent pricing and modern policy terms have helped make Urban Jungle one of the top-rated UK home insurers, currently rated 9.6/10 on Trustpilot.

Since its inception in 2016 and with the support of pre-seed funding from its Angels, Urban Jungle has rapidly scaled and established itself as a leading brand in the rental insurance market. The startup has created a suite of products and grown its customer base to more than 15,000.

The Urban Jungle platform has been designed from scratch specifically with renters in mind. In its quest to make insurance easier to navigate, Urban Jungle have been working closely with underwriters to remove many of the legacy home-owner questions renters are asked when taking out a policy, making it easier to understand and better suited to today’s ‘Generation Rent’.

The platform has also been built with ease of integration in mind, making Urban Jungle well placed to easily partner with the wave of new agile FinTech services, and keeping them ahead of the competition who are struggling to keep up with the pace and scale needed in the industry.

Hot off the launch of its new contents policy which offers flexible and affordable cover for just £5 per month, Urban Jungle has grand plans for its £2.5m funding. As specialists in renters, the startup intends to stay with its customers as they grow and experience new life-stages – many of which will happen while they’re still renting – this means expanding their insurance product offering further.

CEO Jimmy Williams commented: “I’m immensely proud of what the team has achieved since our last funding round. We’ve ticked off everything we set out to do, and more, as well as bringing in some amazing people to lead us into the next stage. There’s still so much about the insurance industry that we want to fix, and this funding will allow us to accelerate the pace at which we do that.”

Lead investor, Rob Devey, said “I’m very pleased to continue supporting Urban Jungle. Greg and Jimmy have done a great job at growing the business by collecting the best talent around them, building some outstanding partnerships and consistently executing on their strategy. It is very exciting to be involved in the next phase of the company’s growth.”

Alongside the funding round, Urban Jungle also announced a number of new senior hires, including new Director of Strategy & Operations, Helen Hodges, a former Director at BBC Studios, and Lauren McAloon as Head of Marketing, who formerly headed up global customer acquisition at Clearscore.

Cytora secures £25 million Series B investment led by EQT Venture

Portfolio company Cytora, that has developed an AI-powered solution for commercial insurance underwriting, has raised £25 million in a Series B round. New investorEQT Ventures led the round with Parkwalk, Cambridge Innovation Capital and a number of others investors participating.

A spin-out of the University of Cambridge, Cytora  was founded in 2014 and launched its first product in late 2016 to a number of large insurance customers, with the aim of applying AI to commercial insurance supported by various public and proprietary data. This includes property construction features, company financials and local weather, combined with an insurance company’s own internal risk data.

“Commercial insurance underwriting is inaccurate and inefficient,” says Cytora CEO Richard Hartley. “It’s inaccurate because underwriting decisions are made using sparse and outdated information. It’s inefficient because the underwriting process is so manual. Unlike buying car or travel insurance, which can be purchased in minutes, buying business insurance can take up to seven days. This means operating costs for insurers are extremely high and customer experience isn’t good leading to a lack of trust.”

To illustrate how inefficient commercial insurance can be, Hartley says that for every £1 of premium that businesses pay to insurers, only 60 pence is set aside to pay total claims. The other 40 pence evaporates as the “frictional cost of delivering insurance.”

Powered by AI, Hartley claims that Cytora is able to distill the seven-day underwriting process down to 30 seconds via its API. This enables insurers to underwrite programmatically and build workflows that provide faster and more accurate decisions.

Insurdata raises £2.33 million in seed funding led by Anthemis and Menlo Ventures

London, 15 April 2019 – Insurdata, the award-winning insurtech firm which specialises in the augmentation of peril-specific exposure and risk data via its Exposure Engine Platform, has today announced that it has secured $3 million from a group of investors, led by Anthemis and Menlo Ventures.

  • Funding led by Anthemis and Menlo Ventures
  • Five new VC firms participate
  • Capital will support next stage in Insurdata development

The investors are composed of both Venture Capitalists and Angels and also include: Alma Mundi Fund, Talis Capital, InsurTech Gateway, Ascend, Prototype Capital and the Baloise Group. Insurdata secured an initial tranche of funding of $1 million in October 2017.

Insurdata was launched in 2017 to address the lack of property-specific data available to the re/insurance market. The firm’s platform enables re/insurers to generate high-resolution, accurate, risk-specific data globally in real-time at all points in the underwriting workflow. This includes accurate geocode information, building attributes and first-floor elevation data.

By providing access to precise data, Insurdata aims to give underwriters greater confidence in modelled loss estimates and accumulation analyses, resulting in better risk selection and improved portfolio management. This in turn supports better, more accurately priced products, more resilient balance sheets and ultimately helps reduce volatility.

Commenting on the funding, Jason Futers, CEO, Insurdata, said: “We are delighted to have secured the backing of a fantastic range of investors who fully understand the criticality of the service that Insurdata provides to the re/insurance market. Our work to date has exposed material deficiencies in the quality and scope of information which underwriters are reliant upon, which in turn have a detrimental effect on their ability to accurately price risk and manage portfolios effectively.”

“Moving forward, we aim to capitalise on the fact that our Exposure Engine can be applied to any peril by working with re/insurers to introduce more refined data sets for a broad range of exposures, including flood, windstorm, earthquake, terrorism and cyber. We are also evolving the Insurdata Customer Portal to make access to high-resolution data as straightforward and speedy as possible.”

Ruth Foxe-Blader, Managing Director, Anthemis, said: “We are delighted to continue our support of Insurdata. As the re/insurance industry undergoes a period of readjustment in the aftermath of two major loss years, the quality and granularity of data that supports their underwriting decisions will be vital to their ability to manage volatility. The data consistency that Insurdata provides I believe will become an industry standard.”

Javier Santiso, Founder & CEO, Mundi, said: “Insurdata provides an excellent opportunity to invest in a deep technology company that refines and enhances the lifeblood of the re/insurance industry – data. Few other markets are as reliant upon such incredibly complex and comprehensive data sets. Ensuring that such information is of the highest possible quality and resolution to enable underwriters to make risk decisions with confidence should be a top priority for every organisation.”

Richard Chattock, CEO, InsurTech Gateway, said: “InsurTech is making major inroads into virtually every phase of the insurance process. Insurdata targets a core component of an insurer’s process – exposure data. In our view, the firm brings together the right expertise, the right technology and the right capabilities at an opportune time to make a crucial difference to the insurance market.”

Tom Williams, Principal, Talis Capital, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Jason and his impressive team as they continue to provide a pioneering approach to risk data capture for insurers worldwide. With over 90% of modelled loss estimates for flood exposures currently underestimated by traditional methods due to a lack of accurate first-floor elevation data[1], this solution has the potential to vastly improve insurer analysis accuracy and significantly reduce their costs. We look forward to working with Insurdata as they boost their sales power and refine the technology to meet the ever-growing demand in the market”

[1] Source: Insurdata