A specialist provider of insurance for the sharing economy, has closed a first round of fundraising with the help of commercial law firm Thrings.
Since it was founded three years ago in London by Humphrey Bowles and Andrew Boldt, Guardhog has provided ‘pay per stay’ insurance to the short-term rental market for hosts renting their properties through platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com.
Cover for hosts, deposits and comprehensive home insurance can be purchased directly from Guardhog and is also provided through umbrella policies on platforms like trustedhousesitters.com.
Alongside capital from InsurTech Gateway, a business incubator for the insurance industry, Guardhog received investment under the Government’s Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
Guardhog will use the funds from the investment to expand its services and software in order to keep up with the ever-changing shared economy, as well as to launch into the European market.
The business is in the process of launching two new products, Deposit Cover and Guest Cover, both of which were developed in response to customer feedback. Guardhog’s nimble structure, together with its innovative technology, means new products can be developed and launched within a six-week period.
Andrew Boldt said: “The sharing economy is constantly evolving and we are really excited to play an important part in giving people the confidence to get involved. Our existing products are working well, but this is just the start; we believe our upcoming innovations will dramatically change the landscape of insurance in this sector.”
Guardhog received legal advice from South West-based corporate partner John Richardson and solicitor Lizzie King at Thrings.
John Richardson said: “Securing investment for relatively new businesses is never straightforward but it was clear from an early stage that InsurTech Gateway saw the potential of this brilliant enterprise.
“Guardhog is an exciting and ambitious business, and we are looking forward to working with Andrew and his team over the coming months and years as they continue to explore further growth opportunities.”
Amy Reynolds from accountancy firm Mazars advised on tax structuring and tech accounting firm ihorizon provided support on the EIS relief scheme.
Guardhog moved from London to its current base in Stockbridge, Hampshire, in spring 2019.