An interview with Fraser Edmond, co-founder of Broker Insights
Earlier this month, we met with Fraser Edmond, CEO and co-founder of the Insurtech Broker Insights. The company recently won an award and is growing at pace. We wanted to know more about Broker Insights and the reasons for its success.
Fraser, could you tell us a bit more about yourself and your career?
I was 25 years in Aviva, latterly the Broker Distribution Director before leaving to set-up Broker Insights. In my early career I started as an insurance underwriter (writing policies), then moved to London for a few years. There I held a number of development and operational management roles. For the last 15 years my focus has been in the sales and distribution space having worked with banks, retailers and affinity brands to distribute personal insurance products. More recently moving to commercial insurance, working with all shapes and sizes of insurance brokers.
How did Broker Insights come about?
When you have a healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo, you feel there’s got to be a better way of doing something. You have a moment of clarity and realise how to ‘do’ differently. It's then a case of assembling the best possible blend of skills to deliver on that vision and go for it.
Within Scottish fintechs, insurtechs are rare? How do you explain this?
That’s a tough one, my best guess is that Scotland is a massive employer in the banking sector, which has seen unprecedented change in recent years which inevitably leads to fintech start-ups around the sector. In terms of insurtech, I think it’s a few years behind fintech in general coupled with Insurance being very London centric with less roles in Scotland and that starts to explain the imbalance a little bit.
You recently scooped £75K at the Scottish Edge12 Awards. Congratulations!
Do you know what made you win?
The feedback we received from Scottish Edge across the various rounds centred around solving a real market challenge, being unique with first mover advantage and globally scalable, coupled with the experience of the team and our early demonstrable delivery.
Will the prize help you accelerate your development?
The prize accelerates our rate of recruitment ahead of current cashflow forecasts, which will drive growth and product development, and hopefully help us capitalise on our first mover advantage.
You have some very impressive investors backing you up. How did you go about identifying and convincing them?
We knew we had the sector knowledge and all the good disciplines that you learn in corporate. Our weakness was the ‘tech know how’ and start-up dynamics were new to us. With Chris [Van Der Kuyl] and Paddy [Burns] we struck gold in complementing our teams skills. They needed no identification as their track record speaks for itself. In terms of convincing them to be involved, that was everything you would expect. We also had the good fortune that our business aligns with their interests of being first to market with a new concept, in data and technology and our concept was globally scalable.
Would you have any advice for young fintech start-ups?
Don’t be pre-built technology looking for a problem to solve. Really understand a sector, then build technology that solves an existing market problem, challenge or customer experience. Scan other sectors for technology solutions that could translate to your opportunity. Consult widely on your business concept and don’t be afraid to refine it until its really clear and focussed. Most importantly, you need the right blend of skills in your team with the right mind set and you’re ready to make a difference.