Honcho team
The team at honcho.
Rebecca Wayman

Durham app and marketplace announces latest appointments and brand new website

honcho, the UK’s first reverse auction marketplace for financial services, has announced a series of developments to aid its launch including two new senior appointments.

The Durham based business - which earlier this year successfully over-funded on Crowdcube to secure £830k of investment - has completed recruitment for its launch team with two more senior hires and will launch into the car insurance market in Q1 2019, with a beta launch to a selected audience in Q4 2018.

Graeme Stoker has been appointed as chief digital officer (CDO) and will be responsible for digital, media and marketing, including managing the brand’s marketing agencies.

Stoker joins the business from Utilitywise plc, where he was head of digital. He brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the digital marketing and technology industries.

honcho has also hired chief product officer (CPO), Tom Spence who joins from Barclays Bank where he was head of digital adoption of Barclays’ banking app and online banking.

Spence will be responsible for developing the honcho product – the UK’s first reverse auction marketplace for car insurance – and for developing new services the business plans to expand into, including home and contents, pet and travel insurance.

Commercial director at honcho, Frank Speight said: “The launch team and agency appointments are now complete, and we’re delighted with the level of talent we have on board, including our CTO, Chad Crossman.”

In preparation for launch, the insurance industry disrupter has also appointed global marketing agency, Social Chain to undertake their social media marketing launch in Q1 2019.

The agency, which has offices in Manchester, London, New York and Berlin, counts global brands including Superdry, Apple Music and Amazon amongst its clients.

Social Chain is to launch honcho via a campaign targeting early adopters amongst the UK’s young drivers. The initial campaign will span influencer marketing, the agency’s own media house, Media Chain, as well as organic and paid-for social media channels.

Dominic McGregor, COO and co-founder of Social Chain, said: “honcho is a company we’ve had a long relationship with and seeing them raise funds and grow is a huge success for the Northern Powerhouse.

“We are excited to have been appointed their lead agency as they look to a social-first launch in the coming months.”

In other news, honcho has also become the first reverse auction marketplace to be welcomed as an associate member of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA).

BIBA is the official trade association of insurance brokers and intermediaries in the UK, and the principal lobbying body with FCA, the Government, the EU and the ABI (Association of British Insurers).

Following a robust approval process, honcho has now been appointed as an associate member.

Chief executive officer, Gavin Sewell, added: “We’re now very close to launching to market, and as such are putting in place the final aspects we need ahead of this.

“We’re especially thrilled to have become the first ever business of our kind to be approved for BIBA membership, and are looking forward to using this to change the way insurance works forever.”

To conclude, honcho has just launched its new website as it moves from its old crowdfunding-focused site to a new site that prepares for its market launch.

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