Happy Birthday from Employee Number 7

David James - February 28th, 2019

After 25 years in a big bluechip company, my move to an Insurtech start-up as employee number 7 back in 2013 was something of a culture shock.

The office wasn’t much to speak of for one thing. We all worked in one room and took it in turns to buy the coffee and loo roll. There was none of the considerable resources that I was used to in corporate land, but life as employee number 7 at The Floow had different benefits that I might not have initially imagined.

Being part of a miniature team with huge ambitions to make mobility safer and smarter meant we all had to trust and support each other and truly collaborate as we took upon the mammoth tasks of turning an ambitious idea into reality. And it’s amazing what can be achieved when you have a clear target to aim at. Within a few weeks of being there, we achieved the unimaginable – we landed a major UK insurer as a client and then the hard work really began as we had just three months to turn a successful proposal into a working telematics proposition.

Thinking back to those days all seems like a bit of a dream. But today, as we celebrate The Floow’s 7th birthday we have a lot to be proud of. Our days as a 7-person company in a small co-located office in Sheffield are far behind us. A team of more than 110 people operate from a purpose-built HQ in Sheffield, and a growing office in Detroit, Michigan, alongside colleagues dotted around mainland Europe. We are growing our client numbers with a big focus on business and market development, whilst continuing to focus very hard on relationships and partnerships with long-term clients. We pay very close attention to our clients’ voices and are conducting twice yearly NPS studies to ensure we’re listening to their feedback and rolling that in to our plans, our technical roadmap and our work processes.

We serve an industry in major transition as Insurtech continues to disrupt and drive innovation in the insurance market. Sometimes the opportunities presented by this change can seem overwhelming because they really are limitless. It was with this need to scale in mind that the last year has seen us make perhaps our biggest company transition yet by changing from a project to a product based business. We now have a portfolio of solutions that can help insurance clients embrace telematics as part of a personal or commercial lines proposition, or to embed telematics capabilities into their own native app.

In the past few weeks, our product teams have been undergoing the next phase of that transition which is a move towards an agile development methodology. All of this is requiring a significant shift in how our teams collaborate internally, which ideas for innovation are focused on and in which order, and how we generate the backlog of ideas across a range of internal and external sources in a very user-centric fashion. I am very proud of the team as they face this transition – we all know that change is hard but the spirit and excitement that I experience as we work through this is truly intoxicating. And most importantly I think our eighth year of operation will be infused with an increased velocity as an agile methodology allows us to tackle market-led innovation with much more speed.

It feels good to know we’re making a difference. Our solutions are delivering a measurable impact to road safety and driver behaviour; for example our rewards programmes are proven to improve driver scores by as much as 54%, and have a bigger behavioural impact than just offering an insurance discount at the end of the year – especially for low-scoring drivers. Meanwhile our latest research shows that for every 100 people in the lowest-scoring decile who have completed our FloowCoach driver coaching programme, 13 accidents are avoided compared to standard feedback mechanisms.

At the same time, our telematics programmes are delivering insights that allow our insurance partners to price more fairly and realistically, and our research and development is contributing to several important projects in the field of future mobility, from autonomous driving to the overall fairness of motor insurance.

Today marks seven years of life at The Floow. Employee number 7 and the rest of the team would like to thank our clients, partners and industry peers for contributing to our success. Here’s to many more years of making mobility safer and smarter for everyone.

If you’d like to learn more about The Floow or our capabilities, please email me at info@thefloow.com.

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