Case Study

Skyline Partners' co-founders share how they successfully raised finance in the midst of the pandemic.

Skyline Partners is a UK-based Insurtech, specialising in index-based parametric insurance, powered by technology and data.

We spoke to Gethin Jones and Laurent SabatiƩ, co-founders of Skyline Partners, about their growth plans, how they have adapted their business model and how they have successfully raised finance in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What does your company do?

Skyline Partners is a private equity funded Insurtech company that specialises in index insurance.

Skyline's business model is three fold. We distribute our own index products, we operate as a structurer for large complex index solutions and we work as a service provider to develop index products to complement the existing indemnity portfolios of brokers or risk carriers.  

We distribute our products, services and technology through our network of brokers but also through affinity schemes working with companies already established in a particular industry or geography.

We are initially focussing on weather data and targeting adverse weather conditions in industries like agriculture, renewable energy or construction. But it could be extended to areas like tourism or as contingency for sporting events.

“The talent pool here is excellent both in insurance and technology. And there is a large pool of technical resource in the UK. It's a place that people are attracted to come and work. There's a lot of opportunity here for people.”

Why did you choose to locate in the UK?

The talent pool here is excellent both in insurance and technology. And there is a large pool of technical resource in the UK. It's a place that people are attracted to come and work. There's a lot of opportunity here for people.

London is a hub for insurance, particularly in the speciality and reinsurance space. And just having the office located here enables us to meet with the insurers and reinsurers and the brokers very easily. We've found having our location here has been very very helpful in getting our business off the ground. If we weren't in London I'm not sure where else we would base ourselves at the moment. As an insurer, it's one of the best locations to be based in the world.

What benefits has being in the UK given you?

When we were seeking investment there were a lot opportunities that we were exploring. Being in the City of London really helps as you have a lot of conversations with a lot of people and one conversation leads to another and gets you to where you need to be, providing you with what you need, be these investment or distribution opportunities. Whatever it is, there is a huge number of well connected people in the City of London.

“In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, we managed to complete a private equity raise from West Hill Corporate Finance, a private equity firm based in the City of London. This is a vote of confidence not just in our business model but also in the wider insurtech sector in general.”

How resilient has the UK been during the Covid-19 pandemic?

In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, we managed to complete a private equity raise with West Hill Corporate Finance, a private equity firm based in the City of London. This is a vote of confidence not just in our business model but also in the wider Insurtech sector in general.

During this period, we have also strengthened the Skyline team with some key appointments including Chief Commercial Officer, Non-Executive Director and Chairman and Index Structurer who is completing his PHD at the London School of Economics (LSE) in Mathematics this year.

These are fantastic hires for us which are helping further develop our distribution and index products.

2020 has really given us time to step back and think about the focus of our business and what is going to drive value going forward. We've had time to look at our existing product lines and develop some new product lines as well.

Originally we were very focused on applications in agriculture and renewable energy. This is still the case, but now we are also looking at other application of index insurance looking at data sets beyond weather and climate risks and into other industries and geographies.

We have other products in the offering such as providing heat-stress cover for livestock or cover against extreme wave heights for offshore constructions such as wind farms.

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