Founders looking to raise funding are increasingly being told to up their game by investors.
That’s the view of Rich Tomlinson, MD of fast-growing Nottingham InsurTech Percayso Inform.
At just 5’5”, it may surprise you to learn that Tomlinson represented Nottinghamshire at basketball in his teens. Yet this Muggsy Bogues of insurance technology has slam-dunked investment twice in the past two years.
“It’s becoming increasingly hard for startups and scaleups to raise funds. Investors are demanding much more reassurance, traction and proof points,” says Tomlinson.
“From what I’m seeing, those with a robust business model, who are doing the fundamentals well and are not relying on the latest passing trends stand a much better chance of accessing new investment.”
“We were able to demonstrate really strong growth, new marque clients, a successful acquisition and a realistic growth plan,” he explains. “If you can’t demonstrate that your product or service is going to fill a gap, deliver something that your target market really needs, or has a true point of difference, then I’m afraid you’ll struggle.”
Today Percayso has 35 staff and is growing in the region of 200% per annum. Tomlinson expects to have close to 100 insurance clients by the end of the year.
School of Code
The MD says the business is passionate about “getting more and different types of people into tech”.
“As we’ve grown and needed to bring new talent on board, we’ve engaged with [Birmingham-based bootcamp] School of Code to source this talent.
“They’re a fantastic organisation and we’re proud to support what they’re doing – getting more people into the tech industry from a wide range of backgrounds and experience is fantastic.”
Asked about the tech community in Nottingham, he answers: “It’s great! There are a wide range of tech businesses from the larger players like Capital One and Experian to a long list of FinTech and InsurTech startups and scaleups.
“Tech Nottingham is a really useful group for anyone involved in software development and engineering to get involved with.”
Percayso was third on our sister publication BusinessCloud’s InsurTech 50 ranking late last year.
Tomlinson says marketing is essential for any growing business.
“It’s tremendously important for a scaling business to get itself out there – you need people to have some awareness of what you’re about, what makes you different, and why they should be interested in talking to you,” he says.
“We do have to be smart in how we market ourselves and as such have taken a highly targeted approach, really focusing on key business areas, and we’ve also maximised our use of social media to build our presence.”