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Thursday 13 September 2018

AXA PPP 'channel' Equipsme equipped with £2.5m

logoI hesitate to badge oddly named, London-based health insurer Equipsme as a 'real' startup because at first blush (and indeed at second and subsequent blush) it simply appears to be a digital front-end for a new offering for the SME business market from major health insurer AXA PPP. Indeed Equipsme founding MD, Matthew Reed, was the former head of global SME initiatives at the insurer and pretty much all of Equipsme's services (including underwriting) is channelled through AXA PPP.

That said, Equipsme, founded in 2017 and launched earlier this year, has just raised £2.5m in a Series A funding round led by Livingbridge, via funds from the Baronsmead Venture Trusts, and angel investors.

Equipsme's target market are SME businesses (2-249 employees) of which apparently 95% do not offer private health insurance to their employees. There's a good reason for that – they can't afford to! And I'm not sure they will be able to afford Equipsme's rates either, which start at £7 per person per month and rise to £37 pppm for its top level of cover. The lowest level of cover offers little more than 24/7 online access to a private GP – but why wouldn't you use the NHS Babylon Health app instead (see Babylon Health: better than a human GP?). You can also claim for up to 3 physiotherapy sessions under this plan, but again, your NHS GP could refer you for free physio anyway.

There's no doubt that Reed understands the private medical cover MGA (managing general agent – i.e. insurance intermediary) market. But AXA PPP has its own offerings for small businesses, as does BUPA and I'm sure many others. If you ran a small business and really thought you needed to offer your employees private health cover, why not deal direct with the insurer and have the chance to negotiate a good deal rather than through a broker?

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:34' - Tagged: funding   startup   insuretech   insurtech  

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