honcho will go live in the coming weeks

Launch ‘just around the corner’ for Durham insurtech startup honcho

Durham startup honcho is getting ready to unveil a ‘reverse-auction’ marketplace it says will revolutionise the car insurance industry.

The honcho app has entered the final phase of preparation after months of intensive development and testing.

Following an apha test stage involving 50 people from honcho’s investor base and beyond, the platform is now ready for beta testing – a process expected to involve over 600 testers.

In recent months the platform has undergone technical integration with a raft of insurers, managing general agents and brokers, with 10 participants expected at launch and at least four others to be added in the coming weeks.

honcho chief exec Gavin Sewell said: “We are delighted at the progress we have made. From drawing board right through to beta testing our level of determination and indeed the excitement and anticipation from our partners in distribution has done nothing but grow.

“Our colleagues across the insurtech industry are already peppering the insurance landscape with some fantastic new products and services. We’re excited to compliment these new ideas with our aggregation platform and really start to see the insurance industry take new shape.”

He continued: “With launch just around the corner we’re teetering on the edge of the diving board, about to take the plunge and see more than two years’ worth of hard work and vision realised to disrupt the insurance marketplace as we know it.

“Being able to draw on experience and domain knowledge from the likes of Marmalade, Brightside Insurance and CDL has been invaluable in preparing for launch and we’re very grateful to all of our partners for their continued support and belief in our vision.”

The launch will coincide with rising unease in the insurance market, according to honcho, as price comparison sites continue to come under fire for lack of transparency.

Andy Martin, broker and distribution director at Marmalade, called honcho’s reverse-auction concept “a good example of a business model that puts the customer at the centre of its proposition”.

Russell Bence, MD of Brightside Insurance, said the platform “illustrates how disruption can move the needle for both the industry and consumers”.

Nigel Phillips, commercial director of CDL, said it is “refreshing to see such an innovative and unique model being brought to market”, adding: “Our customers will be able to participate on the platform from day one and we look forward to supporting honcho going forward.”

In September, honcho announced Northern Powerhouse Fund backing via Barclays.

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