Big growth for UK insurtech primed for international deployment
Trailblazing UK insurtech Ripe Thinking has revealed record growth following a major proprietary tech development and rapid response to consumer behavior changes during 2020.
Growth was accelerated by the company’s new multimillion-dollar cloud CRM platform, designed to outpace the market and primed for new ultra-targeted product launches in the UK and deployment internationally.
Profit levels have risen significantly for the specialist insurance provider, with a 75 per cent jump in statutory EBITDA to £4.8m for year ending 31 December 2020 (2019: £2.75m). Its UK customer base has now surpassed 250,000 and reported turnover was up by 25 per cent to £18.8m (2019: £15m) driven by organic growth.
Last year saw Ripe’s fastest growing new product to date - Ripe Caravans, which is underwritten by Aviva, and was the first product to launch on the new platform. Custom built by Ripe, the Juice platform uses powerful microservice and API based technologies - allowing the company to deploy products rapidly, either direct or via affinities.
Unlike traditional insurers, Ripe can adapt products at pace. Within 24 hours of the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing that gyms would be forced to close on 20 March 2020 due to the pandemic, Ripe added free virtual workout cover for fitness instructors via its Insure4Sport product. It led the market in this move to support customers.
Colin Whitehead, Executive Chairman of Ripe Thinking, said: “Our mindset has always been to focus on what customers need and respond rapidly to new trends in specialist insurance markets. It’s our 13th consecutive year of growth and our major tech investment has successfully put us on track for an ambitious next phase for the business. Customers are increasingly responding to our direct, ‘build your own policy’ model which puts control in their hands. Our growth trajectory is continuing during 2021 despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.”
Robotics and data analytics are playing an increasingly important role at Ripe, with product positioning and pricing fueled by real-time insight. It is also embarking on the next phase of its partnership with the University of Salford - working with data scientists on AI and machine learning for the insurance sector.
Colin adds: “We’re a fast moving business - and in an industry where legacy technology and restrictive processes remain inherent, we have upped our pace to become more agile than ever. We are now being approached by other organizations, affinities and brands to partner with them using our tech stack to help them serve their customers with our insurance model. Our recent partnership with Aviva to offer cycle insurance to its UK customers is just the first example of new things to come in 2021 - watch this space!
“We are leading a new breed of insurance in the UK. Consumer needs are changing rapidly and customers want a quick, simple digital purchase journey. Our conversion optimized approach means 3 minutes 19 seconds is now the average time it takes to buy a Ripe policy.”
Ripe is one of the UK's largest specialist insurtech companies and its 70-strong team brings together a rare mix of insurance, digital marketing and tech expertise. It creates ultra-targeted insurance products, where customers choose what they need rather than being forced to take out a pre-bundled policy. All of its products are growing and include Golf Care, Cycleplan, Insure4Boats, Insure4Sport and Ripe Caravans.
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