The chief executive of InsurTech Ripe Thinking says he wants to triple the Manchester business’s customer base and expand internationally within the next few years. 

Paul Williams is also targeting an acquisition as the tech business – 11th on our InsurTech 50 ranking – looks to take its niche products out to a larger audience. 

He is eyeing growth to one million customers within four to five years, up from the current figure of 330,000. 

The acquisition and launch into another territory is expected to happen within a year or two. 

New York- and London-based private equity firm Aquiline Capital partners took a majority stake in the business in 2021, fuelling the next phase of the business that began life as a marketing agency. 

‘We saved people’s livelihoods – just by doing the right thing’

The business is built on using data and tech to provide the best possible service to customers and Williams said this approach is steering the overseas options for Ripe.

“We’re looking at different territories but we’re remaining open-minded while we carry out a piece of analytics around different products and where these may sit, whether that’s in Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand,” Williams tells BusinessCloud.

“We’re looking at what customer buying behaviour is like and using that as a driver to decide where to go. 

“I think within the next two years we should be in a position to try something out and prove the model.”

Ripe Thinking

The business offers niche insurance products, from boat and caravan insurance to policies for musicians, photographers and golfers. The former marketing agency specialised in travel and golf, jettisoning into an insurance company after launching a golf product, its first foray into insurance. 


Ripe Golf currently insures 85,000 players who will all carry the same likelihood of having an accident, says Williams, meaning the product can be deployed in any territory.  

Key to the success of Ripe has been segmenting and targeting specific niches – “not trying to be all things to all people,” Williams says. “If you look at insurance it’s pretty clunky, you get slow websites with questions that aren’t always relevant for everyone and the pricing isn’t always that good. The world has moved on digitally but the financial world hasn’t necessarily followed.” 

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The business offers tailored products to policy holders so they pay for only the elements they need, instilling confidence and removing the frustrations of taking out insurance. Rather than customers coming via aggregators, Ripe’s policy holders come via word of mouth, Google ads, Trustpilot reviews and other channels – meaning good service is paramount. 

It’s not about size

“We’re not interested in world domination, we just want to service these areas really well and customers will come,” he says. “It’s not about being the biggest but offering the best service.” 

Despite their international expansion plans, the business has a strong base in Manchester, which he says has been a factor in Ripe’s success so far. 

“We’re on the map for things like this in Manchester, it’s a vibrant city and the focus around tech is amazing,” Williams adds. “The talent pool is strong and the creativity is incredible, which gives you a competitive advantage.”

Key milestone at Manchester InsurTech Ripe