InsurTech startup Urban Jungle has raised £16.5 million in a Series A funding round which will see it create 100 jobs in the UK.
The London company, which featured on our InsurTech 50 ranking last year, recently hit a milestone of 100,000 customers and plans to double this by end of 2022.
The round is being led by North American-based venture capital investor Intact Ventures alongside an investment from Ingka Group, the world’s largest IKEA franchise.
Founded by CEO Jimmy Williams and former Google developer Greg Smyth, the 50-strong company aims to change the insurance industry by putting fairness and transparency at its core. This Series A round brings the total amount raised by the business to £32m.
“This latest Series A funding round comes at an exciting time, we’re growing very quickly which has been attractive to both existing and new investors,” said co-founder and CEO Williams.
“We’re already one of the leading insurance brands for UK renters and homeowners, but our ambition is to become the number one insurance business in the UK and beyond.
“This funding is a big step towards that, and we’ll use it to rapidly grow our customer base and roll out our simple, fair insurance into other markets in the year to come.
“It will also allow us to create 100 new jobs in the UK.”
The business says it keeps insurance affordable for its customers by offering 100% online services with no need to call. It also uses AI and machine learning to catch fraud.
“We are building a modern insurance provider from scratch, leveraging the latest technology, and using that to create products with fair, transparent prices and easy to understand terms – all whilst making insurance simple, quick and affordable,” said Williams.
“Fraud is a big problem in our industry, and it drives up the cost for everyone else. The way we use technology gives us a critical edge by being able to screen out fraudsters, and help genuine customers get a much better deal, which is particularly important at the moment.
“It also helps us with our goal of financial inclusion – being able to tell fraudsters and genuine customers apart helps us have much higher eligibility than our peers.”
Urban Jungle will use the funding to rapidly scale its UK home insurance business, as well as add new markets.
“We’re thrilled to lead Urban Jungle’s Series A financing round and support the company’s mission to modernise the insurance buying journey for its customers,” said Justin Smith-Lorenzetti, head of investments at Intact Ventures.
“By leveraging the latest in automation as well as a digital-by-default strategy, Jimmy and Greg have built an impressive business that consumers love.”