The seven-month old business plans to expand its people development
Aventus, an insurance operating system provider, has attracted £2.6m in its latest investment round, receiving funding from investment management firms Outward VC, Notion, Triple Point and Downing.
Outward VC and Notion led the seed round.
With this backing, Aventus plans to expand its people function. This includes investing in people development and training across all job roles, as well as adding potentially another 10 staff members to the current headcount by the end of the year; Aventus employs 19 staff as at February 2020, based in London’s Christopher Street.
Peter Goodman, co-founder and chief executive at Aventus, said: “It allows us to go and execute the plan that we’ve created for people using an insurance operating system.
“The operating system is there, it’s ready. It’s about winning customers, onboarding them correctly and driving real customer success because I think in insurance in particular, customer advocacy is going to be the biggest driver of business. Insurance is built on trust as an industry, and the technology should be no different.
“For us, it’s about having a different view on how technology should be applied. We want to push boundaries, but we don’t want to scare everyone in the process because that’s the fine line in insurance for me. You want to make sure people are evolving, but you want to find a suitable pace.
“The team’s going to be growing, from a sales perspective, from a customer care perspective, implementation perspective.
“The idea of the investment is to really grow this business quite aggressively in a plotted way because we want to make sure that [customers] are our biggest advocates and our biggest salespeople because that’s how you win in this industry.”
Aventus currently has three customers, including one based in the US and one situated in Asia Pacific. It also has another prospective client in its pipeline.
The firm aims to support, in particular, small to medium managing general agents (MGAs), specialist brokers and insurers, both in the UK and globally.
For Goodman, the investment is about “much more than just money”. He added that the investing organisations have networks and an introductory role that Aventus can take advantage of.
Furthermore, the investors have their own platforms outside of the insurance arena that Aventus can utilise, for example around management training or marketing.
Aventus was born after Goodman struggled to find suitable technology for his first insurance-related venture, home insurer Homelyfe. The software as a service (SaaS) model that underpins Aventus was then created in-house by the Homelyfe team in answer to their own demand – when the technology began to garner industry recognition and repute, Goodman pivoted his focus from the B2C world of Homelyfe to instead concentrate on the B2B element of selling the operating system they’d developed under the newly-created Aventus brand. Aventus formally launched just seven months ago.
“We’d already raised money, but as a B2C business, and obviously now we’ve pivoted, it’s quite important that we got investors on board for the journey we’re about to go on because it is a metrics driven business now. Selling SaaS software is very different to selling to customers directly,” he said.
Aventus, said Goodman, is data-driven – it uses third-party data to populate online forms, for example and uses ‘insurance moment’ triggers to upsell or cross sell insurance products. This could include for example, suggesting life insurance to a customer when they change their car insurance details to a larger vehicle, as this could suggest a growing family.
But, what does Goodman believe Aventus brings to the broking community?
He cited that Aventus provides an end-to-end system with omnichannel communications, including via the website or call centre. He also said the platform can help reduce firms’ IT expenditure, increase revenue through varied distribution channels and improve the customer experience.
He added: “We’re the underpinner. We’re pre-configuring state-of-the-art technologies for the insurance world by using our data off our operating system and that, in a nutshell, is what I think is going to make us the win. We can enable best in class technologies that don’t currently operate in insurance to be usable by insurance companies at a much lower level than people realise. And that’s the exciting bit for me.”
Goodman further gave the thumbs up to broker consolidation that has been inundating the market of late. He said: “I think it’s brilliant for us. If 10 brokers get acquired, one of them [has] got us, then every one of those other nine brokers will go on our platform because when they see the efficiencies, the distribution opportunities, the real data output that has been created by our platform, they’ll just migrate everyone to ours I think.”