Cytora ditches offices for ‘remote-first’ future
UK insurtech Cytora is leaving behind what it views as the ‘old office’ system and will instead let employees work from anywhere in the world as it pivots to a ‘remote-first’ company culture.
The company hopes offering greater flexibility to staff will promote a workplace with ‘trust at its heart’ to drive ambition and attract top talent from around the world, not just those living in proximity to the office.
Employees will be offered a number of benefits to setup at home or other remote workspace. Each will be given a £2000 annual travel budget, as well as access to funding for chairs and desks, ergonomics, IT equipment and other items to make their space more comfortable, such as fans and heaters. Those who prefer a more structured setting will be able to access a roster of rotating workspaces across Europe, to either work alone or come together for collaborative projects.
Remote working as the ‘new normal’
Cytora is among the millions of businesses to rethink the rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Forced to reconsider how necessary unwieldy - and often expensive - office space is to the efficacy of their workforce, Cytora CEO Richard Hartley admits that while outbreak was a “clear catalyst” for its open new approach, “it’s not the reason”.
“The concept of the traditional workplace needed to change regardless of this, and our decision to go remote first has been designed with purpose and conviction,” he adds.
“Going remote-first also gives us better access to talent, enabling us to hire the best people for the job, who share our principles, regardless of their location. This all creates a unique and inspiring working environment that gives our people and our customers a true competitive advantage.”
Cytora’s pivot to remote working follows a shake-up at the top. In the summer, Cytora welcomed insurance veteran Juan de Castro as Chief Commercial and Operating Officer, and Dr. Liuben Siarov as Chief Data Scientist. Last month, adtech executive Max Pepe joined as the firm’s new Chief Marketing Officer
Akur8’s US$30mn Series B to fuel US and APAC expansion
Still a relatively new company in the sector, Akur8’s progress since it was founded in 2018 has been characterised by cutting-edge tech, strategic growth, and a highly personable approach that clearly demonstrates the youthful innovation of insurtech itself.
The company strives to embody four key values:
- Challenging a status quo that doesn’t benefit customers
- “Disrupt the known, organise the unknown”
- Provide artificial intelligence (AI) tech with a distinctly human edge
- Create solutions that will endure the test of time
At the heart of Akur8’s business is its Transparent AI solution. Capable of empowering actuaries and pricing teams through better, faster decision making, the insurtech touts it as “the only solution that automates rate modeling while keeping full transparency and control.”
Transforming insurance pricing
In just two years, Akur8 has acquired over 30 customers in 10 countries - including high-profile insurers like Munich Re, Tokio Marine Kiln, AXA, and Generali - and established additional offices in London and New York. Now, the company is keen to develop its business in the US’ verdant insurance market and build its presence in APAC.
“The BlackFin team is thrilled to see Akur8 continue to spread its wings and deploy its next generation pricing platform across insurance carriers worldwide,” said Julien Creuzé, Partner. “We have built a great relationship with the Akur8 management team and it’s a pleasure to welcome new investors and continue this journey with them.”
Guillaume Beraud-Sudreau, Co-Founder and Chief Actuary at Akur8, added, “We are humbled by the trust that our clients and investors have placed in Akur8. Building the future of insurance pricing powered by Transparent AI has been our goal since the first day of R&D. Now this vision has become reality and we can’t wait to accelerate our growth to become the global reference in insurance pricing.”
Cover image source: Akur8