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UK Entrepreneur Preys Gig Economy With Insurtech Start-Up

GIGANOMICS, Ltd. is new insurance hoping to provide coverage and related services for the entire gig economy.

The early-stage UK-based start-up envisions embedding into platforms with companies such as Uber, Amazon Flex, and Zoomo to provide gig drivers and riders with vehicle insurance as well as healthcare and life insurance. There’s a twist, however, focused on data.

“GIGANOMICS is doing things slightly differently from the current market,” said company founder and CEO Helena Kazi (pictured). “We’re looking to plug into the data of our B2B gig platforms to provide more personalised insurance through having more data points around our risk profiles.”

To enable this, GIGANOMICS would have access and insight into historical and real-time data into income and revenue streams. This, in turn, would allow GIGANOMICS to open banking services including credit, loans, mortgages and pensions.

GIGANOMICS is an early-stage company and, according to Kazi, is actively fundraising its seed round. It will likely be a managing general agent (MGA) when it is fully up and running.

“We’re looking to partner with our earliest investors [and are] having great conversations with some very well-known insurance and fintech venture capital funds as well as angel investors,” she added.

Previous to GIGANOMICS, Kazi has run her investment advisory firm Kazi Capital Partners, where she has worked with early-stage tech companies on strategy and investment. She has also advised Microsoft, FOMCap and Innovation Forum, among other previous experiences.

Kazi said her background as an advisor and entrepreneur is a good fit for the insurance sector, especially now.

“Complete fresh thinking – new entrants – are the ones that usually are the disruptors,” Kazi said. She noted she’s been in the financial technology and venture capital space since 2015, and said her experiences are useful as fintech and insurance interests converge.

“Insurance is a … new space for financial technology and the movement in the space is happening now,” she said.

Early adopters, tech approach

GIGANOMICS envisions the entire gig economy as its marketplace, but it is initially targeting “early adopter” rideshare drivers for Uber, Lyft and related companies. Also on the potential client list: are delivery services such as Gorillas; online supermarket delivery services including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, and even courier services such as DHL and Parcelforce.

“This is our entire market,” Kazi said. “Those sorts of products that we’re looking at offering are around hyper-personalized insurance for the vehicle, but we also want to protect our customers around health and life insurance.”

GIGANOMICS is currently in the pre-product stage, developing the specifics of its technology and approach. According to Kazi, the company is working with third-party technology providers who have experience with other insurtechs and is also consulting with B2B partners – “in discussions with the likes of Uber” and another tier-one gig economy platform.

“We want to build a product with our partners in mind,” Kazi said, adding that plans also call for working very closely with data scientists and underwriters, and using “fast-paced” technology.

“What we’re trying to do is innovate around the underwriting so our technicians will be able to embed within our B2B partners,” she noted.

Yet to be determined is whether coverage priorities will be on-demand or longer-term.

“We will have the capabilities to do both,” Kazi said. “We will also have real-time data as someone rides and is driving, so we will know how much they’re driving from where and when and what time.”

She added that specifics will be determined when the company’s initial product is finalised.

Disruption and timeframe

Insurance as an industry will continue to benefit from disruption, Kazi said, arguing that the “hyper-personalised insurance” approach GIGANOMICS pitches is a good way to go.

“Hyper-personalised insurance … is how insurance is going to be, going forward, especially within the fleet/commercial/car hire markets, which is what a lot of the gig economy is,” Kazi said.

Over the next several months, Kazi will focus on advancing her company’s development and putting all the pieces together.

“We want to make sure we get our product right with our partners, and that is what we will largely be working on,” she said. “We want to become an MGA. We also want to select the capacity providers and our partners well, so that’s what we’re doing at the moment.”

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