London Startup Flock Raises £2.25M
Flock Limited , a London-based startup has raised a £2.25M Seed funding round led by Anthemis. Other investors included Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play, Seed and Speed, and London VC Downing Ventures (who are re-investing having led Flock’s pre-seed round in 2016), along with a number of angel investors. Flock will use the money raised in this round to launch its drone insurance platform internationally, as well as expand its London tech team.
Flock emerged in 2016 from academic research undertaken by its Founder, Antton Peña, and CEO, Ed Leon Klinger, who published papers on drone flight risks at Imperial College London and Cambridge University, respectively. Flock’s first product, Flock Cover, is a ‘pay-as-you-fly’ insurance application that allows drone pilots to insure their flights for as little as one hour from their smartphone.
Leveraging Big Data for smarter insurance
The Flock Cover app aggregates real-time data, including hyperlocal weather conditions, population density, proximity to high-risk areas (such as airports), and more. Flock’s algorithms then analyse this data to quantify the risk of any given drone flight in a matter of milliseconds. Through a partnership with Allianz (the world’s leading aviation insurer) Flock Cover converts this quantified risk metric into an intelligently and fairly priced insurance premium, allowing pilots to purchase hourly insurance policies for their flights. Over 1,000 commercial drone pilots now use Flock Cover, which launched earlier this year in the UK, representing a dramatic departure from flat-rate ‘annual’ premiums in favor of Flock’s on-demand, flexible alternative.
As the drone industry grows towards the $127Bn sector it’s forecasted to become by 2020 (PwC), safety has become an increasingly important concern for pilots, governments and insurers alike. Flock Cover offers drone pilots a real-time risk report for every flight, as well as a recently-launched ‘predictive risk analysis’ feature which allows pilots to pre-emptively identify and plan for flight risks up to ten days in advance, rewarding safer flights with cheaper insurance premiums.
Flock Cover’s commercial drone insurance policies start from £5 per day. Flock recently announced ‘recreational insurance for the price of a coffee’, unlocking its product for recreational pilots from £3 per day in the UK.
Flock’s algorithmic risk assessments leverage real-time data to identify and quantify drone flight risks. Flock’s wider vision extends beyond even the multi-billion dollar drone industry, however, and Flock is now working with insurers to explore how it’s platform can be used in various industries. “Our thesis at Flock is that Big Data can make insurance a simple, fair, even pleasant experience. This needn’t be limited to one industry. Ultimately, we’re seeking to bridge the gap between today’s insurers and tomorrow’s technologies” – founder Ed Leon Klinger.