Improved figures indicate fast-moving insurtech firm is Ripe for progress

Fom left: Paul Williams, CEO, Sarah Jones, marketing director, Colin Whitehead, executive chair, John Woosey, founder, MD

Manchester-based insurtech, Ripe Thinking, has revealed another set of record growth numbers following a major proprietary tech development and rapid response to consumer behaviour changes during 2020.

Profit levels have risen significantly for the specialist insurance provider, with a 75% jump in statutory EBITDA to £4.8m for year ending December 31, 2020, compared with £2.75m in 2019.

Its UK customer base has now surpassed 250,000.

Reported turnover was up by 25% to £18.8m, against £15m the previous year, driven by organic growth, and its team has grown to 70, a seven per cent increase.

Growth was accelerated by the company’s new multimillion-pound cloud CRM platform, designed to outpace the market.

Custom-built by Ripe, the Juice platform uses powerful microservice and API based technologies, allowing the business to deploy products rapidly, either direct or via affinities. It has primed Ripe for new product launches and deployment internationally.

Last year saw Ripe’s fastest growing new product to date – Ripe Caravans, which is underwritten by Aviva, and was the first product to launch on the new platform.

Unlike traditional insurers, Ripe, which is based on Altrincham Road South, says it can adapt products at pace. Within 24 hours of Boris Johnson announcing that gyms would be forced to close on March 20, 2020, Ripe added free virtual workout cover for fitness instructors via its Insure4Sport product. It led the market in this move to support customers.

Executive chairman, Colin Whitehead, said: “Our mindset has always been to focus on what customers need and respond rapidly to new trends in specialist insurance markets

“It’s our 13th consecutive year of growth and our major tech investment has successfully put us on track for an ambitious next phase for the business.

“Customers are increasingly responding to our direct, ‘build your own policy’ model which puts control in their hands. Our growth trajectory is continuing during 2021, despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.”

Robotics and data analytics are playing an increasingly important role at Ripe, with product positioning and pricing fuelled by real-time insight. It is also embarking on the next phase of its partnership with the University of Salford, working with data scientists on AI and machine learning for the insurance sector.

Colin added: “We’re a fast moving business – and in an industry where legacy technology and restrictive processes remain inherent, we have upped our pace to become more agile than ever.

“We are now being approached by other organisations, affinities and brands to partner with them using our tech stack to help them serve their customers with our insurance model. Our recent partnership with Aviva1 to offer cycle insurance to its UK customers is just the first example of new things to come in 2021.

“We are leading a new breed of insurance in the UK. Consumer needs are changing rapidly and customers want a quick, simple digital purchase journey. Our conversion-optimised approach means three minutes 19 seconds is now the average time it takes to buy a Ripe policy.”

Ripe says it is one of the UK’s largest specialist insurtech companies. Its products include Golf Care, Cycleplan, Insure4Boats, Insure4Sport and Ripe Caravans. Ripe was named Insurance Times Personal Lines Broker of the Year 2019 and 2020.

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