UK insure-tech startup Flock has raised £2.25M of seed funding from investors including Anthemis, Plug and Play, Seed and Speed, and London VC Downing Ventures. The company will put the money raised towards expanding its real-time drone insurance platform internationally, as well as adding to its London tech team.
Flock’s first product was launched in partnership with Allianz. Flock Cover is essentially a pay-as-you-fly insurance application, allowing drone pilots to get coverage for their flights for as little as one hour through the smartphone app.
The app aggregates and assesses relevant data in real-time to come up with a quote, looking at weather conditions, the density of people nearby, proximity to high-risk areas, and more. The data is analysed in an effort to quantify the risk of flight and converted in an insurance premium.
The flexible system allows pilots to purchase cover on an on-demand basis, rather than taking out an annual policy.
The Flock Cover app has recently made its ‘pay-as-you-fly’ drone insurance available not just to commercial pilots, but to recreational flyers as well.
Speaking about the company’s latest funding news, CEO Ed Leon Klinger said, “Our customers are now planning their flights carefully on the app, scheduling their take-off time to minimise their flight risks, and saving money as a result. On the Flock Cover app, it takes less than twenty seconds to get covered. Pilots pay for insurance only when they need it, and instantly receive a fully-customised policy for their flight. It flies in the face of traditional insurance”.
“The drone industry is growing exponentially, and we’re just getting started. This investment provides us with the backing and expertise we need from world-renowned investors, to meet this growth by expanding our own operations globally.”
Investors betting on drone industry growth
The Flock announcement comes on the same day that financial services giant PwC have released a report suggesting that drone technology could add £42bn to the UK economy by 2030. As ambitious as those figures may be, there’s certainly VC appetite for startups innovating in the space.
Matthew Jones, Director at Anthemis, said “We are very excited to be working with the team at Flock. Flock represents a great addition to our growing portfolio of insurance-related investments. The team has shared an exciting long-term vision with us — we are looking forward to supporting them through this next phase of growth, and are ready to help make that vision a reality.”
Ultimately Flock’s technology is about churning through various data points in real time and converting the level of risk into an insurance figure.
For that reason, the company has a wider vision that extends beyond the drone industry. According to a statement, “Flock is now working with insurers to explore how it’s platform can be used in various industries.”
What those industries may be, we don’t yet know. But the system is most suited to an on-demand model, which are set to become more prevalent as the concept of ownership – particularly of modes of transport – becomes more fluid.
‘Our thesis at Flock is that Big Data can make insurance a simple, fair, even pleasant experience’ said Ed Leon Klinger. ‘This needn’t be limited to one industry. Ultimately, we’re seeking to bridge the gap between today’s insurers and tomorrow’s technologies’.