Bitesize Impact 25: Artificial
May 17, 2019
Oxbow Partners: What is Artificial?
David King: Artificial allows insurers, brokers and MGAs to create digital propositions and businesses. We help create digital processes across the full insurance value chain from distribution and pricing to risk negotiation and policy administration and provide a platform to enable it all.
OP: What’s the Artificial backstory?
DK: We started the business as a generalist software development company in 2013. The founders have a software background – we built platforms for brands such as Levi’s, Foot Locker and BMW. We also had some insurance companies as clients, the first of which was AXIS. In 2015 we took a decision that we needed to be an industry specialist and saw huge opportunities to bring the experience we had gained in areas such as retail into insurance.
OP: What sets you apart?
DK: We cut our teeth building customer experiences in highly digitised consumer industries such as fashion retail. This allows us to help our clients understand what it takes to deliver a great proposition – not just at the front end but also in the digital infrastructure. I think we can really help clients who want to transform to being fully digital insurers.
OP: How do you compare against policy admin providers?
DK: We try not to compete against these players, especially not the large ones like Guidewire. Our pitch is more around digitising processes to deliver propositions, and we see any infrastructure we provide as an enabler. As such, we don’t consider ourselves a technology provider per se, but a business that can help deliver end-to-end digital propositions. That means we generally work on a narrower part of the business than a core system provider, but deliver greater differentiation in that area.
OP: Who are your clients and target market?
DK: Aon Affinity EMEA (ex UK) and AXIS are two of our public insurance clients – with more announcements to come soon. Our proposition works for insurers and brokers.
OP: Who do you speak to in organisations – tech or business people?
DK: We generally try to get into companies through the business-owner route. We’re trying to engage P&L leaders who have a complete view of the business – top line and bottom line.
OP: What’s next for Artificial?
DK: We closed our £4.2m seed round about two months ago. Investors included Force Over Mass, Alma Mundi Ventures (the specialist InsurTech VC) and Capita Scaling Partners. As part of the deal, Capita – who have a large footprint across brokers and insurers – are working with us on digital propositions.
We were also recently accepted into the Ping An accelerator in Shenzhen.
Finally, we’re hoping to open a Middle East office. We recently had good conversations with around a dozen insurers in the region and see a lot of demand. Companies out there are often regional hubs trying to grow, but don’t have huge capital expenditure budgets. A solution like ours can help them build digital assets at a reasonable cost.