Tuesday 28 May 2019 12:36 am

Esure and Directline founder Sir Peter Wood leads insurance start-up funding round

Esure and Directline founder Sir Peter Wood has led a £2.5m funding round in insurance start-up Pikl.

Wood received £360m when he sold his stake in Esure to private equity firm Bain Capital last year.

The serial entrepreneur also founded Directline in the 1980s, allowing customers to buy insurance over the phone, later selling his stake to the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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Pikl, which was founded in 2016 by former Co-op and Gallagher head of pricing Louise Birritteri, has targeted the sharing economy, developing products for platforms such as Airbnb.

Wood and Esure, backed by Bain, are investing in Pikl alongside other insurance, banking and tech angels.

“Pikl has an innovative proposition that will appeal to a fast-growing and under-served market, with significant potential for global expansion,” he said.

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Birritteri said homeowners can face insurance issues when they list their properties on Airbnb, which she said her firm aimed to fix.

“By creating wholesale insurance products for brokers working alongside the insurance industry, Pikl is solving this problem for consumers. It means that the generation of Airbnb-ers can now get the best of both worlds – the best deals for both their standard and shared economy cover and, where they struggle to find cover, in Pikl they’ll have a brand that will accommodate them for both types of cover and will always have their best interests at heart,” she said.