UK: Sharing economy insurtech specialist Pikl has announced the completion of a £2.5m seed/ pre-Series A funding round led by Sir Peter Wood, founder of Direct Line and esure.
The investment represents a minority stake in the Norwich-based business, which was founded in 2016 by former Co-op and Gallagher head of pricing, Louise Birritteri.
Pikl, which aims to pioneer insurance for the burgeoning sharing economy, has initially targeted the Airbnb market by developing products for sharing platforms, property managers and individuals – many of which are market firsts – and are sold both wholesale to the insurance market and directly to customers.
Sir Peter Wood is chairman and a significant investor in esure Group and GoCo Group, which are both leading players in insurance and comparison respectively. Wood and esure, backed by Bain Capital, are investing in Pikl alongside a number of other experienced insurance, banking and tech angels.
Wood said: “Pikl has an innovative proposition that will appeal to a fast-growing and under-served market, with significant potential for global expansion. Louise and her team have the experience and drive to fill this gap and I am delighted to support them on this journey.”
Pikl CEO Louise Birritteri said: “We are thrilled to have Sir Peter Wood and esure, backed by Bain Capital, together with an impressive group of angel investors backing us in this venture. Their support and experience will lend considerable strength to my team as we scale up.”
Pikl has focused on working collaboratively with the insurance market to try and stimulate industry change to support users in the sharing economy.
The firm’s industry report published in March highlighted that the insurance needs of over one million short-term rental hosts are not being adequately met by the UK’s major insurers. They are either being excluded from, compromised by or voided from their existing home insurance policies.
Birritteri said: “By creating wholesale insurance products for brokers working alongside the insurance industry, Pikl is solving this problem for consumers.
“It means that the generation of Airbnb-ers can now get the best of both worlds – the best deals for both their standard and shared economy cover and, where they struggle to find cover, in Pikl they’ll have a brand that will accommodate them for both types of cover and will always have their best interests at heart,” she added.
Pikl also this week announced the appointments of John Bailey and Alison Astell, as head of pricing and head of partnerships respectively.
For more information, visit the Pikl website here.