Spotlight: Founder and CCO David King - Blog - artificial.

Spotlight: Founder and CCO David King

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Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m one of the co-founders of Artificial.

I’ve always been a bit of a geek and interested in technology. I was in the Royal Signals, an army regiment focussed on communications, during my gap year and later on I worked in digital media before starting my own software development business.

Outside of work I’m always up for a challenge and recently completed the Lakeland 50.

When did you realise you could make a difference in the Insurance industry?

When we started Artificial we were focussed on providing great customer experiences using technology and data. This almost always involved integrating with existing applications. We worked with around twenty household names and made services that were used by hundreds of thousands of users. We had a lot of fun, but felt like we were always focussed on different problems, not becoming the experts in any one field.

Johnny (Bridges - CPO and co-founder) and I had both worked for insurers before and knew how hard it could be for them to launch a new product, so it was clear that there was an opportunity for a more insurance-specific business.

We built a team that was well-suited to solving problems and using tech to provide clients and customers with great experiences. So, after testing our approach with a number of insurance clients and realising there was an opportunity we could deliver, the decision was straightforward.

We’ve been focussed entirely on Insurtech since 2016 and have further grown our team to include Damian (ex COO of Direct Line), actuaries, analysts and data scientists with significant sector experience.

What is the most rewarding thing about working in a startup?

Working in a small team that’s collectively heading towards one goal means that everyone lives and dies by their own decisions. Each person has input and uses their expertise to help shape the company, not just those at the top.

We make sure the people we work with are amazing. Ultimately, they will be the people you spend a large part of your life with and the biggest reason you succeed or fail. 

If you could do anything differently in your journey so far, what would it be?

I would focus more. It’s easy to promise the world but you should stick to your vision and know your value. Of course that doesn’t mean don’t listen to your customers or be flexible, but don’t chase after every opportunity. Hone the ability to say no.

Where do you see the InsurTech sector in five years?

I see it becoming more mature. At the moment there are many early-stage InsurTech companies around but as the market solidifies some will fail and others will be consolidated and bought out. Those who are the most resilient and have the best products will be the ones who stick around.

As we’ve seen in the CB Insights report, InsurTech funding is already shifting to favour later-stage investments - with just four of these totalling over US$100million. It’s a hugely exciting sector to work in and we are looking forward to becoming part of a more established market over the next few years.

by Anna Burge
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