ManyPets, which changed its name from Bought by Many this year, launched into the pet insurance market in 2017, designing its products following extensive feedback from thousands of cat and dog owners. As a result, its policies offer features that have been tailor-made to customers' needs, enabling it to quickly gain market share.
We spoke to Luisa Barile, Chief Financial Officer at ManyPets, about the company's international expansion plans and how being UK based has been helpful in its growth.
What does your company do?
ManyPets started life as a digital broker under the name Bought by Many, bringing together people with similar insurance needs and then negotiating specific products with insurance companies on behalf of these groups. We leveraged the purchasing power of these groups: hence the name Bought by Many.
Over time we realised that many of our groups were in and around the pet space and we were hearing a lot of feedback from our members about what they didn't like about their existing pet insurance products. Customers were saying that the product features [on pet insurance] were not right and that the customer experience was not great. But, as we took that feedback to the traditional insurance companies to negotiate a different product we basically faced a brick wall.
So, in 2017, we created our own pet insurance policies directly with Munich Re, a reinsurer. This part of the business has become the main driver of our growth. In four years we have grown from zero to an almost 20% market share of new business in the UK. In 2019 we launched in Sweden, a fairly similar market to the UK and in March 2021 we launched in the US.
In March, the company rebranded itself as ManyPets in the UK, bringing its UK business in line with the group's overall global brand.
Tell us about your UK and global operations.
We currently insure more than half a million pets and that has been growing at 70 to 100 per cent year on year. We have about 500 people globally. While most of these are in the UK, we have a presence also in Sweden and the US.
In May 2021 we hit an important milestone with a Series B fundraising when we hit unicorn status with a valuation of more than $2bn.
The UK has a strong insurance presence so having a close relationship with our reinsurer has been really instrumental for us in growing the business. The UK is an excellent place to be based and from which to expand into other geographies
What are the main benefits to being based in the UK?
The UK is a really good base for an insurance technology business as it is at the intersection of the insurance, technology and fintech sectors, all of which have a big presence in the UK. So in terms of accessing the right people and investors that is extremely helpful. The UK's Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes and Enterprise Investment Schemes were important factors in attracting investment early on.
The UK has a strong insurance presence so having a close relationship with our reinsurer has been really instrumental for us in growing the business. The UK is an excellent place to be based and from which to expand into other geographies.
There is also a strong community of insurtechs in the UK and it has been fantastic to be part of a wider journey with other insurtechs. With an extensive number of industry bodies and associations in the UK, you really have that industry knowledge and support that is so important when you are growing a business as you cannot be an expert on every single matter.
There is a strong community of insurtechs in the UK and it has been fantastic to be part of a wider journey with other insurtechs. With an extensive number of industry bodies and associations in the UK, you really have that industry knowledge and support that is so important when you are growing a business as you cannot be an expert on every single matter
Tell us about your company's growth ambitions.
We are now in the three biggest pet insurance markets in the world and we want to continue on that international expansion into other countries. That is already on the agenda.
We are also expanding our proposition from insurance – which will always be a core part of what we do – into a health subscription business. We want to become the go to place for anything to do with the health of your pet. We want to help people take care of their pets not just in helping to pay for vet bills but also through other means like helping them with preventative treatments or video consultations all centred around the health of the pet.