Marshmallow, a U.K. car insurance tech firm, is changing the industry and, after almost tripling its sales in 2022, poses a threat to traditional insurance providers.
According to The Standard, the firm, run by twin brothers Oliver and Alexander Kent-Braham, aims to support drivers who recently relocated to the U.K. and are only offered extremely high fees from traditional insurance providers.
“We started Marshmallow when we found out how unfair insurance prices are for people who move to the UK,” the brothers wrote in a statement on the company’s website. “Purely because the industry hasn’t given this huge cohort of people a second thought, and isn’t set up to price them properly.”
The brothers also note on the website that, since they founded the company in 2017, it’s sold 342,000 policies, with over 300,000 downloads of its app and more than £66 million ($80 million) paid out in claims.
Of how they’re able to give their customers financially feasible rates, the company says it’s developed its own pricing and fraud algorithms and models, which help customers that don’t have a driving history in the U.K. get the insurance they need at the price point they need.
In September 2021, Marshmallow secured $85 million (£70 million) in a funding round championed by London-based investor Passion Capital, with the company valued at $1.25 billion. Marshmallow is the second U.K. startup created by Black founders valued at over $1 billion.
“We think it’s useful for other founders to see firms led by minorities be successful,” Oliver told The Standard in 2021. “It is nice for the space and hopefully it gives people role models, but it’s not our core, core message.”
Independent of Marshmallow, the brothers are big whigs in the finance world. They’ve both worked in investment banks and hedge funds, and their estimated combined net worth is £330 million ($402 million), making them two of the most successful Black entrepreneurs in the U.K.
The Marshmallow team comprises 50% women and 15-20% non-white workers, per The Standard.