Insurtech Giganomics, which is currently conducting a seed funding round, aims to provide a ‘full suite of products’ for an ‘underserved market’

Entrepreneur Helena Kazi is on a mission to disrupt the insurance industry with her latest business venture, Giganomics – a startup insurtech centred around the burgeoning gig economy.

In the gig economy, individuals typically work on a temporary, flexible basis as freelancers, self-employed workers or independent contractors rather than permanent employees.

Firms that hire this type of workforce include Ola Cabs, UberEats and Deliveroo, to name but a few.

Helena Kazi - GIGANOMICS

Helena Kazi 

According to a study conducted by late invoice payment directory firm Brodmin in February 2022, the global gig economy market is expected to be worth $455bn (£374.7bn) in 2023 – up from $204bn (£168bn) in 2018 – equating to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.4%.

Meanwhile, London resume service StandOut CV predicted in June 2022 that if the gig economy continues its current level of growth, then 7.25 million people will be undertaking gig work in the UK by the end of 2022 – compared to 4.7 million people who worked in this way in 2019.

Kazi explains that the purpose of Giganomics, which launched in February 2022, is to provide a “really underserved” gig marketplace with a “full suite of protection products – all the way to credit and lending and banking”.

The startup hopes to support clientele such as ride sharing firms, fast food delivery providers, parcel couriers and “potentially shipping” companies.

Kazi continues: “With some companies not offering certain types of protection for the gig economy, freelancers and workers, then a lot of independent workers are going to have to buy products that they maybe wouldn’t have to if they were already employed within the company.

“Giganomics really wants to change that – we want to change the relationship people have with their insurer.”

In order to achieve this ambition, gaining consumer “trust” is a key business goal, she adds.

Seeking ‘strong player’ status

According to Kazi, Giganomics is currently “in the thick” of seed round fundraising and she is “actively speaking and liaising with multiple investors” - she hopes the funding round will complete this September.

Looking to launch in both the UK and the US, Kazi has so far secured deals with Florida-based Asteya Insurance (June 2022), New-York-based Boost Insurance (July 2022) and global financial technology platform Klarna Kosma (July 2022).

“We’ve got some soft commitments and hard commitments already. We are looking for our lead investor to lead the [seed] round - either a venture capital fund or syndicate,” Kazi explains.

She plans for Giganomics to blossom into an MGA once the business has become more established, underwriting and broking its own policies. The insurtech will start out, however, by underwriting motor cover and broking life insurance.

To differentiate from existing market players, Kazi is currently working to form partnerships with companies including Uber, Amazon Flex and Bolt - she aims to use artificial intelligence (AI) and the firms’ historical data to improve underwriting and better tailor insurance policies to gig economy workers.

As Giganomics spins up it will have to battle potential competitors for market share - this includes Allianz Partners, which launched partner protection with Uber on 1 June 2018 to cover events like injury, sickness, or having a baby.

Deliveroo, meanwhile, provides cover internally for personal injury, income protection and public liability.

However, its website states that gig workers completing shifts for Deliveroo will need additional social, domestic and pleasure (SD&P) vehicle insurance as well as hire and reward (H&R) protection, to cover food delivery. It recommended insurance intermediaries Zego, TradeX and Acorn as providers.

Kazi has also set her eyes on hiring her first Giganomics team, with an initial target headcount of eight to 10 staff, “depending on how much funding is closed”.

“From an insurance perspective, I am looking for expertise in terms of underwriting, actuarial pricing, compliance and risk [for] commercial and personal motor,” she says.

Kazi’s venture capital business, Kazi Capital Partners - which she established in 2017 – will form the banking side of Giganomics.

Companies House does state that Kazi Capital Partners’ status is active with a proposal to strike off, however this action was suspended in December 2021 - Kazi reassures Insurance Times that the firm’s accounts will be updated soon.

A company strike off is the process whereby a business is removed from the Companies House register and it ceases to exist. 

Once a company strike off form has been filed, the business in question is effectively closed - it can no longer trade, sell company assets or become involved in any other business activities. 

A ’very strong player’

Drawing on past conversations with taxi drivers, Kazi believes gig workers are “definitely interested in other aspects of insurance that will give them peace of mind”.

Therefore, alongside motor and life insurance, she says that providing business liability cover and income protection is “really important”.

She continues: “The risks that [gig workers] are taking is that they’re literally putting their neck on the line by driving all day, during busy times, on very busy roads, so the risk profile is quite high.”

In the next three years, Kazi hopes that Giganomics will be a “very strong player in the gig economy insurance space”, with a range of “super tailored” products and “some of the biggest clients in the world”.