Motor insurance start-up Spire wins €30,000 at NDRC Investor Showcase

18 Dec 2019

From left: Ben Hurley, Kim McKayed and Ken Morgan. Image: NDRC

Spire was founded by Ken Morgan and Kim McKayed, who saw room for innovation in the motor insurance sector.

On Tuesday (17 December), Dublin’s NDRC held its final Investor Showcase of 2019, with 10 start-ups going head-to-head to win €30,000 in follow-on investment.

The overall winner of the Investor Showcase was motor insurance start-up Spire, which was founded by Ken Morgan and Kim McKayed in 2018.

McKayed and Morgan saw an opportunity in the motor insurance market. They said that there are 330m roadside incidents and call-outs every single year, making the market worth more than €7bn.

The two founders believe that there’s plenty of room to innovate in this industry, particularly optimising service delivery by small and medium operators. They have developed Spire, a critical incident management system.

Greater opportunities ahead

NDRC CEO Ben Hurley said: “We saw a cohort of highly successful companies today. Their progression throughout the last year was impressive. Spire is addressing a problem which we can see right now. Everybody in the audience can see it.

“The hidden market was perhaps bigger than many of us thought at first, and it’s a market the founders know very well. Spire impressed the judges for a number of reasons, but some of those included its potential to scale, the fact that the barriers to market are quite high, and contract values are high and could go higher still.

“Although it’s addressing one problem now, the opportunity to automate this space means greater opportunities are possible.”

NDRC is now on the lookout for the next cohort of start-ups for its accelerator programme. You can find out more about it here.

The runners-up

Besides Spire, there were nine other competitors at the Investor Showcase. One of these was RideShair, a software platform connecting passengers so they can share taxis to or from 3,000 airports globally, with the aim of reducing transaction costs and creating new revenue streams for the start-up’s partners.

Another was Equimetrics, a start-up focusing on equine health. The start-up realised how fragile horse health can be and that more than 200,000 horses die every year from colic alone. Using biometric data, the start-up monitors horse health day and night, all year round.

There was also Head Diagnostics, a medtech start-up that is developing a medical device called iTremor, which provides an objective concussion diagnosis in 10 seconds, improving the slow and subjective methods currently used.

Sproose also showcased its business idea, which offers time-saving services. Recognising that many people work more hours than they should, Sproose provides partners that will tackle other tasks for them, such as dry cleaning, laundry, bike repairs, shoe repairs and making healthy meals.

Then there was Voxxify, a start-up that gathers employee feedback so that companies can improve productivity and reduce wasteful IT spend by understanding the needs of enterprise and tech workers.

Meg, a start-up with more than 40 customers secured already, also took part. This start-up aims to drive a culture of improvement in healthcare facilities through its support tools and management system.

Familiar faces

Opoplan, a start-up featured in our Start-up of the Week series earlier this year, also took part in the showcase. Opoplan has developed an automated platform for the design of new houses, which produces personalised architect-quality designs that are delivered as immersive 3D experiences with construction-ready building information.

FeelTect, another familiar face from Start-up of the Week, was also participating. FeelTect has developed TightAlright – a connected health device that delivers gold-standard compression therapy, with the aim of dramatically improving healing times and reducing treatment costs of venous leg ulcers, which affect 2.2m people in the US and Europe each year.

Finally, DX Compliance, formerly known as DX Solutions, showcased its start-up that protects B2B fintech companies against multibillion-dollar fines by reinventing how anti-money laundering procedures are done.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic