A British start-up insurance company, Gryphon, has managed to raise £180m from investors, and is set to become one of the industry’s biggest new entrants in the last few years.
If talks with regulators results in a full approval to operate, Gryphon plans to sell life insurance across the UK, offering products such as income protection and critical illness cover. Its plans are to “maximise the potential of insurtech to build intuitive products and processes.”
Daniel Pender, CEO and co-founder of Gryphon, said: “Insurance companies today are hamstrung by their existing technology. We have no legacy systems,” adding that the company’s technology and products would set it apart from the crowd – albeit with no further details on how so.
The insurer intends to sell its products via financial advisers, like the majority of the insurance industry, rather than selling directly to customers.
Mr Pender said: “We feel that the advisers do a fantastic job, and the role they play is critical in explaining the value of the protection products.
Gryphon will become a full insurer in its own right, straying from the path most other start-ups follow, frequently deterred by the industry’s regulatory and capital requirements.
“We will underwrite and carry the risk ourselves. You don’t often see people doing that. We aren’t a distribution play, we are a full insurer,” said Mr Pender.
“We received the idea 18 months ago and we believe we are progressing well with the regulator. We feel very confident about where we are at. We have secured our financing. We believe that a fundraising of this size puts us in a strong place as a new business.”
Gryphon received financial backing from the pensions adviser Punter Southall, as well as Leadenhall Capital.
Jonathan Punter, co-founder of Punter Southall, said: “We already know there is a significant protection gap in the UK. This translates into a great opportunity for an insurance company that can solve the issues of customer trust and adviser experience.
“This company, with its new approach, will be well placed to meet these challenges head on.”