We are often asked what makes us different from others in the venture capital market. I have been thinking about this question for a lot of years now and I answer it all the time. A lot of the time I find myself being cynical on the topic of VC differentiation as you always get the same answer — we supercharge growth, we help you enter new markets, we help you meet new customers, we help you hire great people. And we do. And others do too (although probably not as much as they say they do).
When I talk about what we are building at Hambro Perks I focus on differences of structure and differences of scope as the reasons we are different and I try to explain why I think they are important.
Our difference of structure is that we have a limited company with 140 shareholders and substantial permanent capital at the heart of our business. Our backers are companies, families and individuals with deep roots and a history of long term success in the technology and investment industries.
Our difference of scope is that we use this company as the platform vehicle on which to build funds (we had seven at the last count). This in turn has allowed us to scale fast and launch a number of specialist activities on our platform. As well as our early stage tech investment team, we have dedicated teams covering environmental technology, healthcare, the MENA region and more.
Why does this all matter? Well it matters because it provides us with several things — 140 very motivated shareholders who want us to succeed, capital to invest in growth of our own team and business as well as portfolio companies and a range of activities and a field of view that allows us to access proprietary opportunities and help them in unique ways.
As well as buidling funds and teams, in some cases we also partner with other great teams. Perhaps our best example here is the team at the Insurtech Gateway led by @Richard Chattock, @Rob Lumley and @Stephen Brittain. The Gateway began as a joint venture between Hambro Perks and the team and has now spread its wings and operates independently. The team have garnered recognition for being the leading Insurtech incubator with numerous high profile insurtechs such as ByMiles, Nayms, Collective Benefits and more emerging from their stable.
Another company to emerge is Humn.ai. Humn.ai is a pioneer in the ‘pay how you drive” insurance space. Humn was founded to change how commercial motor insurance works by taking advantage of the convergence of urbanisation, mobility and digital connectivity.
Currently, commercial motor insurance does not reward good driving behaviour. Insurers lack visibility into real-time value at risk, and so have to price according to averages. Humn’s RideShur product is changing all this, with real-time individual risk scoring making the risk transparent.
RideShur is the only global embedded real-time pricing and risk scoring engine, with the ability to score events every 5 milliseconds and price insurance every second. They achieve this by applying hybrid streaming analytics and blockchain technology. Giving fleets tools to nudge driver behaviour and manage losses, enabling insurers to price risk by the moment and delivering convenient, flexible, fair and functional insurance.
Fleet managers: Are charged less when vehicles are not in use and enable better risk management of individual drivers.
Insurers: Benefit from improved loss ratios, unlocking the ability to provide fluid cover & dynamic pricing.
Future of mobility: Is enabled by connecting cars directly to insurance policies and adding in the contextual data which influences risk.
Humn.ai is also a great example of how the wider Hambro Perks family delivers great opportunities. We recently invested in Humn.ai through our new dedicated Seed and Series A fund, the Hambro Perks Leaders Fund. With that Fund we are looking to invest in UK and EU businesses at the early stage with the potential to be category leaders and we see clearly that Humn.ai has that potential.
Although we are investing with our new fund, our knowledge of the team, the company and its exciting development comes through our relationship with the Insurtech Gateway, which is an existing shareholder. We are delighted not only to be working with Mark Musson, Peter Bousquet and the Humn team but also to be collaborating on another investment with the Gateway team and of course all of our other co-investors in this company.
Hambro Perks and the Insurtech Gateway took an early position on the emergence of Insurtech and have been active investors in this area. We expect to add more to this stable so if you are operating in the insurance tech space, please get in touch.