We are pleased to announce our latest investment in Napo, a next-generation pet insurance company providing protection and wellness services for pets and their owners in the UK.
A growing market with engaged customers
The UK is the world’s largest pet insurance market, and there are tailwinds supporting significant growth over the next five years. During the pandemic, pet ownership boomed as many people took advantage of spending more time at home to have a pet for the first time - particularly among millennials.
Today, nearly one in three UK households have a dog, and one in four have a cat. Over 25% of UK pet owners have insurance today, and penetration is increasing. There are also significant opportunities for international expansion, with many of the same trends applicable to pet owners across Europe and the US.
Many new millennial pet owners treat their pets like a first child and are willing to spend significantly to make sure their pet has the best care. They see insurance as part of the package. Meanwhile, advances in veterinary medicine mean treatment costs are rising and consumers are looking to insurance to help them cover the cost.
Most pet insurance options are solely focused on paying claims after a pet is treated by a veterinarian. Napo’s proposition goes beyond claims payment to offer a holistic prevention and care offering for pet owners to look after their pets. Today, the company offers access to pet telemedicine services via their partnership with FirstVet. The company has also launched a “puppy training academy” to help new pet owners look after their animals.
Napo has an ambitious roadmap of services for policyholders that will help owners take better care of their animals. This model was pioneered by Discovery / Vitality in health and life insurance and Napo is putting these lessons to work in the pet category by helping owners avoid common pitfalls, reducing claims costs, and increasing engagement and retention.
A great team, executing at pace
We first met JP (Napo’s CEO and founder) in September 2021. In just 6 months he had secured insurance capacity, closed a seed round and was about to write his first policies. We were immediately impressed by his energy, enthusiasm and vision for the business. Since going live, the Company has had one of the strongest starts that we have seen among insurtech MGAs, writing thousands of policies and millions in gross written premium.
JP founded Napo having spent four years in business development at Babylon Health. At Babylon, JP was responsible for creating the company’s largest-ever commercial relationship – a $100m partnership with Prudential Asia. He had previously co-founded TicTrac, a digital health company where he met Napo co-founder and Chief Product Office Ludovic Lacay. Ludo spent the past five years as a product manager at Meta, having had a varied professional background that includes a stint as a professional poker player. Together the two co-founders have the experience and vision to execute on this opportunity and they have already begun assembling a world class management team to support them.
We’re excited to be joining their £15m Series A financing and are looking forward to supporting their mission of becoming the number one insurance brand for pet owners.
In a statement, co-founder and CEO Jean-Philippe Doumeng said: “Our mental model is fundamentally different from traditional pet insurance. We are aligning all stakeholders to look in the same direction by helping people to take better care of their pets.”