The power of a mission-driven culture — Our investment in Huddle

We’re thrilled to be announcing that we’re backing Huddle — a team that’s using technology to build a very different type of insurance company.

The Team at HuddleHQ

Historically messed up

Personal insurance is a massive industry in Australia — but it’s also pretty messed-up:

  • 80–90% of the market is served by a small number of incumbents that are battling with legacy technology and outdated business models
  • Customer UX is almost universally awful, and very little of the industry has embraced back-end automation
  • Most of the products in the industry aren’t even internet-powered, let alone AI-powered

But that’s not even the worst of it.

The biggest problem with the industry today is the lack of trust.

The Royal Commission has shone a torch on some of the darker practices of the industry — unearthing countless stories of the incumbents mis-selling, ripping-off customers and refusing to pay-out on genuine claims.

Customers no longer trust their insurers, and it seems like the insurers have given up on the idea of trusting their customers.

Changing the way an entire sector works

It hasn’t always been this way, and at its core, insurance is a great example of humanity at its best.

Insurance was originally all about people coming together to pool their risks — individuals that were disproportionately impacted by events they couldn’t control could trust that others would look out for them.

But at some point in the last 200 years, insurance broke… and now the trust has disappeared.

This is why Huddle’s mission resonated deeply with us: to use technology to bring trust back to the insurance industry.

Huddle has optimised its entire business around trust. Customers trust Huddle to price their insurance fairly and to honour their claims and Huddle can trust their customers not to make dishonest claims. And they can do this because the whole business is built on technology which allows them to put trust first.

This technology is at the heart of everything Huddle does. They use machine learning and artificial intelligence to assess claims, prevent fraud and automate insurance processes. Their members can make instant claims and get same day payments or replacement items approved online in seconds — a first in Australia! The end result is lower costs and better outcomes for Huddle members…

… which is also why Huddle have been growing so quickly.

They’ve now provided over $1 billion of insurance cover to 1,000s of members around Australia and are growing at over 700% year-on-year.

A mission-driven culture wins

From years of seeing what makes certain companies work and others fail, I now think that one of the key ingredients for success in startups is a strong mission-driven culture.

If you’re trying to build a lasting and transformational business, its just so much easier to do if you can rally the organisation around a strong mission.

  • It makes decision making and focus so much simpler
  • It’s also the greatest recruiting hack there is — the best people choose where they want to spend their time, and if you can offer a higher purpose, then you can outcompete GOOG and FB for talent.

This is a big reason why we’re excited to be backing this team.

Co-founders Jason and Jonathan have built their culture around a singular mission from day one. Their focus on trust and ethics inform everything they do, and enables them to build a stronger bond with customers who care about these things as much as they do.

  • They share surplus profits with charities their customers care about; and
  • Include carbon credits in all their car insurance policies that offset 100% of the car’s CO2 emissions.
  • They’re also the only insurer in Australia to have qualified as a Certified B Corporation.

We’re proud to be backing the team at Huddle, and excited to support them as they set out to change the way the insurance industry works.

If you want to experience insurance with a conscious, check them out here.