Brolly Raises £1M for AI-Driven Insurance App Offering

Brolly plans to use the funds from Valar Ventures, Pi Labs and angel investors for the release of a new version of the Brolly app on iOS and Android, as well as the expansion of the company’s team.

(Image source: Brolly homepage.)

Brolly, a London-based InsurTech startup offering an artificial intelligence (AI)-based smartphone app, has closed a £1 million seed round, led by Valar Ventures (New York) and Pi Labs (London) to further develop and expand the product and to scale up the company’s team.

Phoebe Hugh, CEO, Brolly.

Brolly seeks to distinguish from other vendors using mobile technology and AI for specific insurance lines, asserting that it is the first provider to modernize insurance distribution and challenge the price-comparison model of shopping by developing a deep understanding of its users and their needs across their entire insurance portfolio.

Among the objectives planned for the funds raised in this seed round are the release of a new version of the Brolly app on iOS and Android, as well as the expansion of the company’s team, which currently consists of ten people. Brolly also plans to add major insurance partners covering home, travel and auto/motor insurance later this year.

Insurance Innovation Fails to Meet Consumer Demand

“The pace of innovation in the insurance industry has not met consumer demand, and we see massive potential for growth in this market,” comments James Fitzgerald, co-founder, Valar Ventures. “Brolly’s unique positioning and dedication to building an insurance ecosystem around the customer impressed us. We’re excited about their plans to build on what they’ve achieved so far by developing the product further and bringing more partners onto the platform.”

James Fitzgerald, Co-Founder, Valar Ventures.

Brolly was founded in 2016 by former Aviva underwriter and product manager Phoebe Hugh, and Mykhailo Loginov, a former Skype and Microsoft engineering manager. The company was created to address three core problems, according to a vendor statement: “chaotic management of existing policies, lack of advice from personal insurance brokers, and difficulty making decisions on the best insurance products to buy.” Brolly says it tackles these problems by bringing a customer’s entire insurance portfolio into one place via an app.

Brolly launched in Aug. 2016 through a closed beta trial of its technology, which combines data aggregation and insurance product integrations to connect with customers using purpose-built tools, according to the vendor:

  • Brolly Locker scans and securely manages all existing policies;
  • Brolly Adviser advises customers as to which products they should consider buying and why, based on an analysis of the customer’s existing portfolio of coverage; and
  • Brolly Shop analyzes the current market to ensure that the customer has the best coverage and value for money, advising a switch of carriers if necessary. Brolly has not yet released this feature.

“The $5 trillion insurance industry has not materially changed in the past century,” notes Brolly’s Hugh. “We’re on a mission to build an insurance marketplace that actually works for people.”

Radically Fixing a Broken Market

“Millions of people haven’t switched their insurance provider for years and are paying hundreds of pounds more than they need to for inadequate coverage,” Hugh continues. “Brolly is radically changing this broken market so customers have more control over their policies and purchases and can make informed decisions based on their individual needs.”

In addition to funds contributed by Valar Ventures and Pi Labs, Brolly benefited from angel investors during the round, including Alan Morgan, Christian Angermayer, Matt Bellamy, Richard Fearn, Tim Levene, Tim Hugh, Bruce Macfarlane, Michael Mire and Christian Woolfenden.

Investing in Insurance Innovation: Interview with Clara Sieg, Revolution Ventures

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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