By Rob Moffat, Partner
At Balderton Capital, we’ve kept a keen eye on the European fintech market for some time, and have invested in Revolut, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, GoCardless, Zopa, Crowdcube, LevelUp and Wonga. As a fund, we invest wholly in European technology companies at Series A, typically investing between $1-20m. Our headquarters is in London, and we have team members focused on France, Germany and the Nordics. The firm currently has $2.3bn under management.
I’ve been bullish on insurance technologies for the last few years, and I believe that insurtech companies will begin to have a palpable impact on the market from 2020.
It’s the UK’s birth-right to play host to a world leading insurtech industry. Since sailors and shipping magnates started to broker deals in Edward Lloyd’s coffee house in the 1680s, insurance has been in the UK’s DNA. Since then, Henry Willis presided over the birth of the broking and actuarial profession in London in the 1840s, and Simon Nixon founded Moneysupermarket at Nottingham University in 1993.
All of the raw ingredients are here too. The UK has long-standing expertise in the insurance industry, the sector is in rude health and has money to invest in innovation, and the UK’s burgeoning fintech industry has demonstrated that the financial services industry is ripe for innovation and disruption.
But having said this, I don’t think this powder keg will explode anytime soon – there won’t be huge insurtech exits in the coming weeks and months. As Bill Gates said, we always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years, and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.
I believe that if we are to take the temperature of the UK’s fintech scene again in 5 years time, some of the most successful companies to have emerged from our shores will be insurance technology companies, and at least one will be valued at over $1bn.