AN innovative insurance provider has achieved a £1.2m shot in the arm for its still relatively new business after a successful crowd-funding investment drive.

Durham-based honcho has attracted 600 crowd investors to back its mission to revolutionise how consumers buy insurance.

It includes further input from existing investors, the Finance Durham Fund, set up by Durham County Council and overseen by Business Durham, and the North-East Development Capital Fund (NEDCF), which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

New investors, including London-based venture capitalist Insurtech Gateway, all see promise in the Aykley Heads-based honcho, which provides the UK’s first ‘reverse auction’ marketplace for financial services.

Between 2018 and 2019 honcho raised £1.8m from a combination of crowd investors on Crowdcube, angel investors and investment house Maven Capital Partners, which manages both Finance Durham and NEDCF.

This enabled the start-up to launch their car insurance market place last autumn, and to start work on preparing for expansion into new insurance markets this year.

Thousands of consumers are using honcho, with 12 insurance providers now active on the platform, selling policies from 30 insurers, including Axa, Aviva, Ageas and Zurich.