Durham-based insurtech startup honcho has closed a £1.2m investment round as it embarks on its next phase of growth.

Honcho’s latest investment round has also received further support from investment house Maven Capital Partners, via its managed funds.

Honcho believes its van insurance proposition will bring transparency and fairness from some of the UK’s leading van providers by applying the same reverse auction concept it has in place for car insurance – this enables customers to input their insurance requirements and then insurers can place bids of their insurance offers in an attempt to win drivers’ custom.

“Tom Spence, honcho’s chief product officer, said:”Following van insurance, we’ll be extending honcho to learner drivers.

Insurtech Gateway’s chief executive Richard Chattock said: “Today’s consumers rightly demand fairer, more transparent insurance. honcho’s new model delivers this. It reduces commissions, eliminates bias and allows consumers to make purchasing decisions on product as well as price. We’re delighted to be joining honcho’s journey to revolutionising personal lines insurance distribution.”

Between 2018 and 2019, honcho raised £1.8m from a combination of crowd investors on Crowdcube, angel investors and Maven Capital Partners, who manage both Finance Durham and NEDCF. This enabled the startup to launch their car insurance marketplace last autumn and start work on preparing for expansion into new insurance markets in 2020.

Thousands of consumers have signed up and used honcho since its launch, with 12 insurance providers now active on the platform, selling policies from 30 insurers including AXA, Aviva, Ageas and Zurich.