The honcho team
The honcho team

Meet the Durham startup driving a ‘new revolution’ in car insurance

The UK’s first ‘reverse auction’ marketplace for car insurance is creating North East jobs with a full nationwide launch in the new year.

Durham-based honcho plans to hire at least 12 staff in 2019, when its next round of funding lands, and expects to turn over £600k in its first 12 months trading.

Within three years, the company has forecast revenues to hit £12m.

honcho is on a mission to revolutionise the way young drivers access fair, affordable car insurance. It will achieve this through the reverse auction model, which is the opposite of a standard or ‘forward’ auction – reversing the role of the bidder by having sellers offer increasingly lower prices to entice the buyer.

At launch, the firm will also reveal its ‘Purple Box’, a piece of internal technology allowing partner insurers to compete in real time.

CEO Gavin Sewell said: “2018 has been a huge year for honcho. We’ve moved to our new HQ in Durham, added some fantastic new talent to our team and have engaged with a string of fantastic insurers who are as excited as us about our journey to disrupt the insurance market in favour of consumers.

“It is time for a new revolution in insurance that is 100% on the side of the consumer, and we intend to be the company that makes this happen.”

He continued: “To support that we intend to recruit more talent to join the honcho team to support our ambitious growth plans, bringing in talent across our product, technology and marketing teams.”

Of honcho’s upcoming Purple Box product, Gavin said: “The insurance industry is very technology-dependent and so developing systems to make the most of our new reverse-auction marketplace model requires some technical work by insurers.

“We’re making it really simple for them to do this by handling much of the technical work for them. This means that they can integrate with honcho quickly and don’t need to be constrained by their internal IT capacity, which ultimately means that consumers get to benefit from their products sooner.”

honcho’s commercial team has spent much of the last few months touring the UK and partnering with some of the country’s most prominent insurers.

Speaking further, Gavin said: “We’ve been delighted to see the reaction of the insurance industry to honcho and our plans to disrupt this market. It is clear that there are very few insurance companies who are happy with the current dominant price comparison website model.

“Looking beyond insurers, we’re really excited about some other partnerships that we think are going to extend the reach of honcho substantially.”

honcho will launch in early 2019.

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