A start-up digital insurance platform which allows consumers to store documents and see how much they are spending on insurance has won financial backing through Icehouse Ventures including two Kiwi tech entrepreneurs.
Quashed, which was set up by Justin Lim two years ago, has just raised $600k through a funding round backed by the venture capital firm and private investors, including Shaun Quincey, of fintech company Genoapay, and Mike Ballantyne, a co-founder of PredictHQ and Online Republic.
Lim, a former bank worker who specialised in digital banking, said he came up with the idea for the platform two years ago after getting married and buying his first house.
"My wife and I were seeing a lot of bills going out with insurance, different payment cycles, different payment methods and we thought what are we actually covered for and what are we actually paying?"
Lim said unlike internet banking where customers were able to see their accounts in one place with insurance it was often spread across three, four or five different insurers creating a painful experience for consumers.
He took the idea and walked the streets of Wynyard Quarter in Auckland's CBD in late 2019 to test the concept out by talking to a whole bunch of strangers on the street over lunchtime.
"I realised it wasn't a problem for just me it was literally pretty much everyone."
Lim decided it was time to launch a website where people could store their insurance documents and then easily see how much they were paying for insurance in total and when payments were due to come out.
"Right now the platform helps customers take back control of their insurance. So really it's putting them in the driving seat and making sense of existing insurance."
He said one of its earliest customers complained that technology used to add up all his insurances was wrong.
Turned out there was nothing wrong with the technology but the man was spending way more money on insurance than he realised.
"He was spending in excess of $18k a year, which is insane."
Lim said the next step for the site was to develop a way for people to compare their current policies to other insurance policies. The site is free for consumers to use but is hoping to become a digital broker to allow people to compare policies and switch insurance.
It would then earn a commission on those policies.
"We are in advanced talks with quite a few insurers. They are pretty excited about what we are doing - being able to reach a digital audience."
While banking has moved online at a great pace insurance has been slower to come to the party with many insurers only recently moving their policies online to allow consumers digital access.
Lim said when he looked at KiwiSaver, which had been around since 2007, there had been quite a lot of innovation.
"Where as an industry like insurance, it has been around forever. How do we bring new life to it, new experience?"
Lim is hoping to use the cash injection to hire more people to develop the site further and build on its customer base, which is growing at around 200 people a month.