British insurtech startup Zego accelerates into the Netherlands

London-based commercial motor insurance startup Zego said it plans to launch in the Netherlands and ramp up its presence in France this year.

The company, which became the UK’s first insurtech unicorn last year, said it’s also eyeing other new markets and target territories to offer its services. The company currently operates in six countries.

Founded on London’s Silicon Roundabout in 2016 by former Deliveroo directors Sten Saar and Harry Franks, Zego provides insurance services to commercial drivers and fleets. Its clients include Uber, Ola, Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and Bolt, among others.

In 2020, Zego acquired Drivit, a startup that turns a regular smartphone into a telematics device that captures information such as GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer data. That deal paved the way for Zego to base insurance policies on a combination of traditional factors, such as age and location, with driver behaviour data gathered from integrations with company apps such as Uber.

Zego has since increased its focus on the £20bn European fleet insurance market. It believes there is a gap left by the 9% of insurers that withdrew from the Dutch market between 2019 and 2020.

“Telematics and data science have proven that they can improve driving behaviour, and when combined with a financial incentive, they have great potential to make fleets safer and cheaper to run,” said Sten Saar, CEO of Zego. “At Zego we are using this data to understand risk better than traditional insurers and other insurtechs, so we can offer more accurate pricing and more control; both of which have halo effects that improve life for everyone.”

In 2021 the startup more than doubled its headcount from 300 to 637. It also bolstered its cash reserves with a $150m Series C funding round. This resulted in the company becoming UK’s first insurtech unicorn with a valuation of $1.1bn. The round was led by DST Global along with other new investors including General Catalyst.

More recently, the unicorn has been actively partnering with other companies to expand its reach and offer more services. Back in April 2021, it partnered with London’s 10-minute delivery startup Dija.