It’s just human nature. If you tell a driver that their insurance premiums will go down if they drive more safely, it turns out – they probably drive more safely. Up to full commercial fleet size and the cost savings can be extremely significant. However, the trick is to track the location first.
So it’s fascinating to think about that research. How to check drones It led to the creation of UK startup Flock, which uses real-time data to verify car fleets.
Ed Leon Klinger and Anton Peña both worked on academic research papers, the former at Cambridge University, the latter at Imperial College London, when they had Idea. “The first product we launched was in the drone industry. It was a pay-as-you-fly drone insurance product that used drone data. And, in fact, it was our stepping stone into the business engine. We have built technology. And by being born into the drone industry, we built the ability to use real-time data,” Kliger told me.
Stumbling upon the idea of insuring drones only when flying them, Kliger and Pena realized that cars should be insured in the same way, and they also came up with the idea of making drivers safer to drive.
The result was Flock in 2018, which went on to raise $17 million in Series A in 2021.
And, while UK-based Zego has raised $281.7m to date for the same thing (as far as tracking insurance fleets go), Flo now appears to be in Zego’s rearview mirror. Of course, insurance behemoths like AIG and Allianz are likely to be the most competitive in this space today.
Flock has now raised $38 million in Series B funding from Octopus Ventures (led by Octopus partner Malcolm Ferguson) along with CommerzVentures. Also participating were existing investors including Social Capital (led by Chamath Palihapitiya), Dig Ventures (the family office of Mulesoft founder Ross Mason), Antimis and Visionary Ventures. Flock’s Series A is directed by Palihapitiya in 2021.
Flock now claims more than 600 commercial fleet customers, including Jaguar Land Rover, European electric car subscription company Onto and UK independent Amazon Fleet.
Flock says the use of telematics allows customers to sense risk and identify high-risk drivers and routes. This helps them reduce the frequency of crashes by 10%. So safe driving is rewarded with lower insurance premiums.
Klinger, Flock’s CEO, told me on a call: “We’ve grown revenue almost 30 times since Series A. We recently launched our motor fleet product and have landed around 600 commercial customers. Those are merchant ships. A third of the UK ships from Amazon and we now insure a third of those ships. We also partner with around 100 commercial insurance brokers in the UK and I believe this is one of the main reasons we were able to raise the Series B.
The funding round comes at a time when Series B and growth-stage funding rounds are rare, making Flock’s success even more significant in terms of the business and team’s fundamentals.
The round will be used to expand into new sectors of the commercial motor industry as well as new geographies.
Malcolm Ferguson, partner, Octopus Ventures, said in a statement: “Herd has a vision to make the world safer not just for today’s vehicles, but for the connected and autonomous cars of tomorrow.”