Neos, a connected home insurance service, has raised over £1 million ($1.2m) in initial seed funding, valuing the company at £8.4m ($10.3).
The company announced on Monday that it had secured investment from insurtech fund Eos Venture Partners and ingenie, a motor telematics insurance provider, to help it launch its smart home technology insurance offering.
Other notable investors include Barry Smith (former CEO of Ageas) who joins as Chairman; Steve Broughton (former Managing Director of RSA Insurance) joins as a non-exec director; Richard King (founder of ingenie) joins as an advisor; and ex-England footballer, Gary Lineker.
The Neos offering
Neos’ offering is designed to prevent the damage that leads to a home insurance claim by deploying Internet of Things technology in the home. The aim is to reduce home insurance premiums.
Neos smart home technology works by using HD cameras, motion sensors, smoke detectors, door contacts and water leak sensors to monitor for incidents such as a break-in, leak or fire.
Supposedly the system maintains constant contact with the homeowner’s Neos smartphone application and a 24/7 monitoring team, so that the homeowner is notified during an emergency and appropriate action can be taken to reduce any damage.
Should problems occur, Neos says the system is entirely backed up by a premium home insurance policy underwritten by business and home insurance provider, Hiscox.
Matt Poll, CEO of Neos, said: “Chapter one of the Neos story reads very well: we’re first to market; in Hiscox we have one of the UK’s most prestigious insurers as a partner; we’ve built an incredibly strong management team and we now have the backing of some of the industry’s most respected experts.”
Almost three quarters of UK consumers say they won’t pay for smart home technology, according to a recent PwC survey, but Poll was bullish in his comments.
“We’ve already had a fantastic customer response from our soft launch and can’t wait to open up the Neos experience to the wider market,” he posited.
Barry Smith, chairman of Neos, was pleased to have joined the team early on. “This is an exciting time for the home insurance market as we start to see new customer value propositions that embrace connected home technology,” he said.
The start-up has been in development for a year and plans its full market launch in early 2017. According to its website, Neos offers a retail price of £649.99 ($798.99) for its connected home protection service.