Flock uses reams of real-time and other data to price connected vehicle insurance for drones or fleet vehicles on a per second basis giving owners competitive premiums and additional insights to improve safety and lower risks. The company is now one of the world's fastest growing drone insurers and is rapidly expanding into the fleet vehicle insurance market.
We spoke to Sam Golden, Head of Marketing at Flock, about the company's growth plans and how the UK's vibrant health and technology sectors have underpinned its success.
What does your company do?
Flock was set up in 2016 by Ed Leon Klinger and Antton Peña, who were studying at Cambridge University and Imperial College London at the time. They were looking at how emerging forms of mobility could be safely integrated into society. While doing this research, they discovered that insurance was not really fit for purpose for fast moving industries such as drones and autonomous vehicles.
So, with just one employee, the two men set up Flock, a digital insurance company for connected and autonomous vehicles. Ed and Antton developed a risk-intelligence algorithm that, instead of using historical data, draws on real-time data to identify risk and then calculates the probability and the severity of an incident occurring. The joy of using this algorithm is that you can offer insurance on a per second, per mile basis so it's really, really granular.
Today, Flock insures around 30% of the UK drone market with clients insuring pilots flying for the BBC, Netflix, and the NHS. We also insure fleet vehicles and we are expanding into Europe and into other segments like heavy goods vehicles. Flock has already signed up a number of leading customers in the motor fleets market including Virtuo and Jaguar Land Rover's premium car rental service The Out.
Tell us about your UK and global operations.
Flock is based in the UK in the City of London and we currently have 28 employees. We expanded into Europe in 2018 and are now live in 16 countries across Europe with our drone insurance products. In 2020, we expanded into the motor industry to reinvent insurance for commercial fleets.
London is essentially the home and birthplace of insurance. There is a huge melting pot of incredible talent across tech and insurance in the UK and of course there are long established networks through the City of London. This has helped us enormously
What are the main benefits to being based in the UK?
We went through the Lloyd's Labs cohort in the City of London which is a great programme for insurtech start-ups.
London is essentially the home and birthplace of insurance. There is a huge melting pot of incredible talent across tech and insurance in the UK and of course there are long established networks through the City of London. This has helped us enormously.
One of our earliest partnerships was with Allianz. This partnership was made all the easier as Allianz had its London office less than a 10 minute walk from our base in Liverpool Street in the City of London.
One of our earliest partnerships was with Allianz. This partnership was made all the easier as Allianz had its London office less than a 10 minute walk from our base in Liverpool Street in the City of London
Tell us about your company's growth ambitions.
In July we raised $17 million in a Series A funding led by Social Capital, the investment vehicle run by Chamath Palihapitiya. He is perhaps best known as a SPAC investor and chairman of Virgin Galactic. This brings Flock’s total funding to date to $22 million.
We now have 28 employees and we're planning on hiring another 60 over the next 18 months.
Drone insurance is a market worth $1bn worldwide and which is growing at over 50% a year, so this is a big part of our growth. We are one of the fastest growing drone insurers in the world and already have activities in 16 markets across Europe.
But we see even greater business opportunities in connected vehicles and autonomous driving. We are already building algorithms for autonomous driving so that we will be ready to go as soon as it becomes a commercial reality.