Insurtech start-up Hometree raises £7m in funding for expansion

Covid-19 lockdown fuels demand for services of London-based company

Home services and insurance start-up Hometree has raised £7 million in a funding round that will help it capitalise on a spike in demand amid Covid-19.

The London-based start-up, which was co-founded by Dubliner Simon Phelan, is expecting growth of up to 300 per cent this year as concern over home emergencies in the midst of the pandemic fuelled an increase in demand for its heating and homecover plans.

The funding round was led by global investment firm Anthemis, and existing investors DN Capital and Literacy Capital, which is led by former chief executive, Paul Pindar. Other participants included Gumtree Founder Michael Pennington and other unnamed existing shareholders. Silicon Valley Bank also provided financing. It follows a €7.2 million funding round in 2018, and to date, the company has raised £18.6 million from venture capital backers.

Established in 2016, Hometree began offering services in the home heating market, with an online boiler installation service. It has since expanded into the home cover and home emergency insurance market, with a range of insurance policies that cover breakdowns and repairs to the critical infrastructure in their home - heating, electrics, plumbing, drainage and gas fires, providing a technology-first alternative to industry giants British Gas and HomeServe.



“Our objective in the next two to three years is to become the leading challenger brand in the Home Cover market. This new funding will help us accelerate our plans at a time when homeowners across the UK need peace of mind more than ever,” said Mr Phelan said. “We are incredibly excited to be able to help homeowners have one less worry at this incredibly stressful time in all of our lives.”

Hometree said it expected to see significant growth in the coming months as

it signed partnerships with energy providers Good Energy, Pure Planet and So Energy.

"Hometree occupies an important position at the intersection of insurtech and proptech. its home cover product is a great example of what we call embedded finance, where, more and more, we see financial propositions becoming an invisible but critical part of the services that power our lives, rather than a product being consumed independently," said Ruth Foxe Blader, a partner at Anthemis who is set to join the Hometree board.

“Hometree integrates a financial service, an insurance product, with an increasingly connected home, work-force and consumer. The tech-based efficiencies and high-quality care Hometree offers customers are endemic of where the industry is going.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist