The insurtech’s growth has been accelerated by investment in its customer relationship management platform, called the Juice 

UK-based insurtech and specialist insurance provider Ripe Thinking’s (Ripe) profit levels have risen significantly with a 75% jump in statutory earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to £4.8m for the year ending December 2020 – this is compared to £2.75m a year earlier.

Meanwhile, its UK customer base has now surpassed the 250,000 mark. Reported turnover for the business in 2020 was up by 25% to reach £18.8m, compared to £15m in 2019.

Ripe’s team has also grown by 7%, with a headcount of 70.

This growth was accelerated by the insurtech’s investment in a new multimillion-pound, cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform, which is designed to outpace the market.

Colin Whitehead, executive chairman of Ripe Thinking, said: “Our mindset has always been to focus on what customers need and respond rapidly to new trends in specialist insurance markets.

“It’s our 13th consecutive year of growth and our major tech investment has successfully put us on track for an ambitious next phase for the business.

”Customers are increasingly responding to our direct, ‘build your own policy’ model, which puts control in their hands. Our growth trajectory is continuing during 2021 despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.”

The publication of the insurtech’s financial results this week follows a major proprietary tech development and a fast response to consumer behaviours last year.

Ripe is also on the next phase of its partnership with the University of Salford, working with data scientists on artificial intelligence and machine learning for the insurance sector.

A new breed of insurance

The CRM platform, called Juice, was custom built by Ripe. It uses microservice and application processing interface-based technologies that allow the business to deploy products rapidly, either direct or via affinities.

The platform has primed Ripe for new product launches and international deployment.

Whitehead continued: “We’re a fast-moving business and in an industry where legacy technology and restrictive processes remain inherent, we have upped our pace to become more agile than ever.

”We are now being approached by other organisations, affinities and brands to partner with them using our tech stack to help them serve their customers with our insurance model.

”Our recent partnership with Aviva to offer cycle insurance to its UK customers is just the first example of new things to come in 2021.

“We are leading a new breed of insurance in the UK. Consumer needs are changing rapidly and customers want a quick, simple digital purchase journey.

”Our conversion optimised approach means three minutes [and] nineteen seconds is now the average time it takes to buy a Ripe policy.”

Last year, Ripe’s fastest growing new product was Ripe Caravans, underwritten by Aviva. This was the first product to launch on the new Juice platform.

Unlike traditional insurers, Ripe can adapt products at pace. For example, within 24 hours of prime minister Boris Johnson announcing that gyms would be forced to close on 20 March 2020, Ripe added free virtual workout cover for fitness instructors to its Insure4Sport product. 

Robotics and data analytics are playing an increasingly important role at Ripe, with product positioning and pricing fuelled by real-time insight.

Ripe is one of the UK’s largest specialist insurtech companies. Its products include Golf Care, Cycleplan, Insure4Boats, Insure4Sport and Ripe Caravans.

The insurtech also won Insurance Times’s Personal Lines Broker of the Year award at the Insurance Times Awards in both 2019 and 2020.