Blog: Diary of an insurtech start-up, episode 4: The heat is on

Digital Fineprint - diary insurtech start-up

As start-up Digital Fineprint learns about the benefits of collaboration, James Stuart Clarke describes what else the young company has been up to in the insurtech world.

As spring turns into summer, our beloved start-up is also starting to blossom from a small and devoted team of all-rounders into a burgeoning club of specialists, bringing new skills, perspectives, and tastes. Like the proverbial shark, we move forward constantly to survive and thrive. At the same time, we are reminded that our way of life in London cannot be taken for granted.


We were delighted this week to be asked to attend a diversity panel arranged by Aon. By sending our seditiously be-denimed co-founder Austin Wellbelove, we did our bit at the outset to ensure the panel was sartorially diverse at least. One interesting point he delivered to the audience was that, although tech start-ups founded by women tend to raise less funding, they do tend to last longer and have a higher chance of success.

So, the warm weather has arrived in earnest and we are welcoming new members to the team. This adds new perspectives and also languages to our already diverse team, which boasts Chinese, Swedish, Hebrew, German and Spanish speakers. We also have a new Parisian data scientist, who will be providing Gallic flair to our spreadsheets and algorithms.


Today we are pleased to confirm that our relationship with an early-stage investor has been instrumental in facilitating an international partnership. The press-wires have been hot with news that Convista’s One Digital Office platform will now feature Digital Fineprint’s technology for autofill, single sign-on, and social media analytics.

It’s interesting to reflect how useful partner sales can be in insurtech. At our inception, we were extremely keen on hunting the big beasts of the insurance world single-handedly, but more and more we are learning, like the hunter-gatherers of tech, that co-operation can often be key to bringing home the meat.


In other partner news: after meeting with Microsoft’s Biz Spark team in London last week, Austin managed to negotiate a three-year partnership for Digital Fineprint to join the Biz Spark plus programme. Microsoft has very generously extended these benefits to us, and we are grateful for the support.

We love being invited over to play around with all the new tech but, more importantly, we’ve been awarded sponsorship of over $350,000 (£277,000) to spend on Microsoft’s Azure platform. That’s the equivalent of having 12,000 XP licences. But seriously, we are having major debates on the smartest way to deploy these resources. Any tips?


For those of us who feel like politics has become something of a soap-opera in the recent year, the General Election result promises to provide us with plenty of exciting drama and plot twists for the foreseeable future.

If any of you were wondering what kind of regulatory environment the coming years would bring us, the outcome told us, well, nothing at all, sadly. Many of us in the insurtech world would love some reassurance that we will be able to trade and hire with Europe freely, but I guess we will have to stay tuned for the next exciting instalment of ‘I’m an insurtech innovator: let me remain here’.


On a darker note, we were all shocked, dismayed and appalled by the attacks on Borough Market, just 300 metres from our offices. As mentioned in an earlier diary, we are in the market most lunchtimes wandering carefree among London’s diverse residents, workers and visitors. The thought that these abominable characters selected our own backyard as the location of such a despicable attack is, however, both distressing and enervating. When the market re-opened on a gloriously sunny June 14, the entire team made its way back to the market, on principle, to show solidarity with our colleagues, neighbours and brothers and sisters of London. Our way of life will not be affected by this type of attack. Quite the contrary; those of us involved in tech, insurance and security will be doing everything we can to oppose it.

Read last month’s insurtech start-up blog.

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