Former Google startup developer secures £ 8million to apply machine learning and detect insurance fraud
Amid a plethora of innovative economic disruptions in the UK fintech industry driven by the pandemic, one vertical that has emerged as a clear winner is the insurtech sector.
In the game, these companies are constantly looking to provide new additions to the value chain and the insurance market in terms of home automation, cyber insurance, price comparison websites, insurance telematics, online brokerage and underwriting services, etc. continued investments in recent times.
The £ 8million funding
London-based Urban Jungle is joining this investment attraction movement. The startup has now completed its biggest £ 8million investment round with the support of investors, including Mundi Ventures and Eka Ventures, based in London.
With this, the company’s total funding nearly doubled to £ 15.8million.
The latest round includes £ 2million of investment from specialist insurtech investor Mundi Ventures. And a further £ 500,000 comes from existing investor Eka Ventures, with the remainder of the investment coming from private donors.
Develop and diversify in 2021
Founded by Jimmy Williams and former Google developer Greg Smyth in 2016, the 30-person company has 40,000 customers, having more than doubled in size during the pandemic. Using technology to help younger clients access cheaper and better home insurance, the company offers building, home contents and tenant liability insurance.
Speaking of what lies ahead for the group, CEO Jimmy Williams said the funding will allow the company to continue to grow rapidly and add new insurance products to its lineup. “We have continued to grow strongly throughout the pandemic, and this has been attractive to new and existing investors. Our technology platform means we can grow our customer base quickly without building an army of customer service agents. Having said that, we have ambitious growth plans, so we will be doubling our workforce over the next 12 months to support this, ”he said.
Insurance companies effectively discriminate against various groups, such as young customers, low-income people, and people who have recently moved to the country.
“We believe you shouldn’t be charged more for things you can’t control. Our data helps us detect very quickly when potential fraudsters lie and, as a result, allows us to provide coverage to a much larger group of customers who have proven their honesty. Yes, we’ve made insurance 100% digital, fast, flexible and affordable, but it’s our ability to help a very wide range of clients, with carefully designed insurance products, that really sets us apart. We are looking to expand rapidly into several new markets and to disrupt the insurance industry. It’s always dominated by big names and I like to give them value for their money, ”added Williams.
Team of scientists at work
Speaking about the new development, Yago Montenegro, investment manager of Mundi Ventures insurance fund, said Urban Jungle is like a “team of scientists”. “The insurance industry is undergoing a major change fueled by new technologies and innovation, and it is accelerating,” Montenegro said.
“Jimmy and his team go above and beyond what traditional and emerging competitors do. This is a team of scientists who are experimenting with the best ways to cover risks and provide insurance. We are very happy to support them as they expand their reach and product line, ”he added.
Roadmap to come
Going forward, with the new investments raised, former Prudential CEO Rob Devey, who was previously a non-executive director, will now become the president of Urban Jungle, subject to regulatory approval.
Speaking about how the industry is in dire need of disruption, Devey said, “Jimmy, Greg and the team are building a very impressive business at Urban Jungle. Having worked in the insurance industry for many years, I know the market is huge and ready to be disrupted. By creating products that customers actually want, delivered the way they want, Urban Jungle does just that. “