Kiwi Startup Quashed Raises Funds To Put Consumers At The Centre Of Insurance
Tech startup Quashed, which helps New Zealanders stay on top of their insurance with its free eponymous online platform, has raised $600,000 in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round led by Icehouse Ventures, with support from private investors.
Quashed gives consumers a single view of all their insurance policies, helping them keep on top of how much they are spending, the amount they are protected for, and presents alternative insurance options at renewal time. Family members can be added to a consumer’s profile for quick and secure access to their insurance information.
The funds will be used to expand the team, grow its customer base, and further develop the Quashed platform, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to interpret thousands of policy documents to build a unique customer risk profile for each user. A future product release will allow consumers to purchase and renew policies directly from the platform.
Nearly 200 new customers are joining the platform each month and Quashed CEO and Co-Founder Justin Lim says customer feedback shows many users have saved thousands of dollars as a result.
“We pay hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime to protect what matters to us most, and yet before Quashed there had been no simple way to see what we are paying for and manage it all in one place,” says Quashed CEO Justin Lim.
“We are serving the voice of the consumer advocating for independence, simplicity and transparency when it comes to helping them keep in control of their insurance,” says Mr Lim. “And we see a future where everyone can use our platform to seamlessly browse, buy and manage all of their insurance needs to get the best coverage at the best price point.”
He points to what fellow Kiwi startup Sharesies has achieved by making it easier for everyday New Zealanders to invest and feel empowered as inspiration for what he’s aiming to achieve with Quashed for insurance consumers.
Lim says both insurance companies and brokers, who are facing new regulatory changes this month, see tremendous value in the platform as it enables more consumers to actively engage with insurance and gain a better understanding of their products.
Consumer NZ research has indicated only 13% of Kiwis trust their insurance providers and only 18% felt they fully understood the terms of their policies.
Following a banking career in New Zealand and Singapore, Mr Lim saw an opportunity to bring the insurance industry in line with the online banking, where consumers have become familiar with using their mobile phones or computers to access and manage their accounts.
Icehouse Ventures Partner Barnaby Marshall says: “Justin’s vision to challenge the outdated status quo of the consumer insurance market is brave and refreshing.
“Many insurance companies rely on the inertia of the consumer, who can readily accept a price increase versus investigating other offerings. Quashed is fast-tracking the consumer insurance experience into the digital era, and I am excited to be supporting their growth.”
Two tech entrepreneurs that re contributing to the pre-seed round as private investors include Quashed board member Shaun Quincey, who founded fintech company Genoapay, which was subsequently acquired by Australian consumer finance company Latitude Financial Services; and Mike Ballantyne, a co-founder of software forecasting company PredictHQ and travel booking business Online Republic, which later sold to ASX-listed Webjet.
“I believe in the mission Justin and the team are working on; to provide a much simpler and more transparent insurance experience for New Zealanders,” says Mr Ballantyne. “In fact, I discovered issues with my own insurance coverage after loading my policies into Quashed, which really drove home the benefits of a platform like this.
Quashed is an online insurance platform that empowers consumers to stay on top of all their insurance in one place, with ease. The platform is free for consumer use. See quashed.co.nz
About Icehouse Ventures
Icehouse Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm backing New Zealand's bravest founders. They have collectively invested >$150m into 230 technology startups since 2003. See www.icehouseventures.co.nz