’Initiatives like the Black Founders Fund showcase how innovation and diversity go hand-in-hand,’ says Mayor

Two UK-based insurtechs – Anansi Technology and Husmus – have been awarded $150,000 (£117,846) each after being selected for Google’s 2023 Black Founders Fund.

The firms were among 10 startups in the UK to receive the funding to help them build and grow their businesses.

Google created the grant, which is now in its third year, to tackle inequality in venture capital (VC) funding by providing equity-free grants and mentoring to black-led businesses at an early stage of their journey.

It is awarded to 40 startups per year across the UK, Europe and Africa.


Insurtechs Anansi and Husmus were announced as recipients of Google’s grant at London Tech Week earlier this month (12-14 June).

Husmus helps renters struggling to access homes by providing insurance – it does this by replacing credit-score based systems with a behaviour-based risk assessment and pricing engine.

Speaking to Insurance Times, Sarah Wernér, co-founder and chief executive of Husmus, said: “Google believes that if technology is going to serve everyone, it needs to be built by everyone.

“Husmus exists because we believe the same about insurance.”

She added that over 78 million households across Europe do not have access to home and rental insurance products.

“Husmus unlocks access to this new diverse market segment, bringing growth to the industry,” Wernér said.

“Google for startups’ initiative will power Husmus’ growth at this crucial stage by providing our team with access to capital as well as engineering, marketing and sales expertise.”


Meanwhile, Anansi focuses on modernising goods in transit insurance by replacing courier shipping protection with a product that digitalises manual processes.

Megan Bingham-Walker, co-founder and chief executive of Anansi, told Insurance Times that the firm was “honoured” to be selected for the fund.

“Diversity in leadership still remains a fundamental issue in the insurance industry, both in terms of gender and ethnicity,” she said.

“At Anansi, we are committed to embracing diversity as a catalyst for innovation. We believe that a diverse and inclusive insurance sector is key for building products and services that work for everyone.

“This funding will help more black founders to grow their novel technology businesses to solve all sorts of challenges.”


Since its launch in 2021, Google has invested $3.9m (£3.6m) in 46 UK-based startups.

Across Europe, these startups have since gone on to raise more than $110m (£86m) in follow-on funding and increase their headcount by 21%.

Mariama Boumanjal, Google for startups Black Founders Fund manager for Europe and Africa, said: “The Google for startups Black Founders Fund aims to address the stark inequality in VC funding by driving the changes needed within the tech ecosystem to give these startups an equal chance of success.

“We’re looking forward to working with this incredibly talented group of innovative founders who are using technology to solve all sorts of challenges.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan added: “Initiatives like the Black Founders Fund showcase how innovation and diversity go hand-in-hand to create positive change and growth opportunities, helping to build a fairer and more prosperous future for all.”