New insurance start-up Marshmallow thought they had a catchy and unique name when they founded their company back in 2016. But despite checking with lawyers, the brothers who founded Marshmallow – Oliver and Alex Kent-Braham – have found themselves engaged in a legal tussle with insurance heavyweight Marsh, who object to the use of the name Marshmallow.
Speaking to City AM, Oliver Kent-Braham said;
“It’s the principle; there is a huge amount of innovation in the UK, and in UK insurance. We believe that this innovation is a good thing for consumers and should be supported by large incumbents.
“Unfortunately, in this instance, a huge global company is using their wealth and resources to stifle it. Marsh and Marshmallow are very different names and we would have been doing ourselves and other startups a disservice if we didn’t stand up for ourselves.”
Marsh haven’t commented on the record, but the argument highlights how difficult it can be starting any company. It also highlights why so many insurtech start-ups use a generic name – such as Lemonade for example – or an invented word. Marshmallow has been busy advertising in 2017 in the UK for developers, marketing and other staff, as they prepare for a full launch.
Marshmallow’s offering is insurance for people who have moved to, or working in the UK. Services like motor insurance can be difficult to obtain if you don’t have a UK driving licence, established address and credit history. Marshmallow will collate data from the individual’s past to obtain a better deal on insurance products.