Honcho overview

Honcho, from Honcho Markets Ltd, is a reverse-auction marketplace app where insurers enter a competitive real-time bidding process to offer the best price to customers. Partner insurers pay a £1 fee to bid rather than the average £50 commission charged by comparison sites. The app launched in August 2019 after more than three years in development. Around 10,000 users downloaded and registered for Honcho within 15 weeks of launch.

Honcho app users enter their details through an app and request bids from insurers who are then able to bid then re-bid against each other in an open and transparent auction. Customers are able to watch the bidding process in real-time and can inspect each bid’s details, accepting when they feel they have the right deal for themselves. Honcho then takes a £1 commission for the sale. Providers available at launch include Ageas, Aviva, Axa, Covéa, LV and more.

In 2019, Software House SSP revealed it had signed up to integrate Honcho’s reverse auction marketplace platform into its systems, allowing over 700 of its partner insurers and broker customers access to the platform. Honcho also partnered with Brightside Insurance, a UK-based insurance broker, in August of the same year.

Honcho was selected for the Tech Nation Fintech programme in 2019.

In 2018 Honcho raised over £650k via crowdfunding platform CrowdCube, with an additional £150,000 invested from the Finance Durham Fund, managed by Maven Capital Partners, upon the successful completion of the crowdfunding campaign. It received further investment in June 2019 investment - £750k from Maven Capital Partners, Finance Durham Fund and North East Development Capital Fund.

In December 2019 it announced its aim to raise another £700k from CrowdCube, with a pre-money evaluation of £6.9m - the round reached its target in early January 2020, and became oversubscribed, ending with more than £1m in secured funding. Honcho announced it had secured a further £1.2m from investors Insurtech Gateway, Finance Durham Fund and North East Development Capital Fund.

In July 2020 Honcho announced it had reached the final stage of its £2.25m capital raise, and was aiming to raise the final £300k on Seedrs.

The company was part of the InsurTech NY 2020 accelerator program. 

In March 2021 Honcho announced it had partnered with Admiral Group to offer Admiral MultiCar insurance on its platform.

In August 2021, Lifesure partnered with Honcho to become the first specialist motorhome insurance provider to join Honcho's app. The pair aim to meet the rising demand for motorhome insurance as more people look to travel and holiday around the UK due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Reverse auction marketplace Honcho closed for business in August 2022. Honcho's business model was to pair customers with the most appropriate motor insurance policy for their personal situation, however, with the current cost-of-living crisis becoming more pressing, customers have been pushed to focus on price over anything else.

Map showing the location of Honcho

Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

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Key people

Gavin Sewell CEO
Andy Scaife Investor