Insurance Edge caught up with Matthew Reed, founder and MD of Equipsme, who have just closed on a round of investor fundraising on Crowdcube. Disclaimer: Your IE Editor has bought some shares in this offering.
IE; How was the Crowdcube experience Matthew?
MR; We enjoyed it and were blown away by the response actually. We checked the stats on downloads and conversions during the exercise and it was double the average conversion rate on Crowdcube. Why did we choose crowdfunding? Well Equipsme wanted to do something that gave everyday investors the chance to buy into the company, not just VC or big banks.
It’s great to have a really broad investor base in the hundreds, and we have seen some really good feedback and comments online too, so yeah, very pleased.
IE; Too soon to say what future Equipsme plans are looking like?
MR; It is a bit. All I can say is that we are moving forward with our technology, and want to exapnd the range of services we offer, plus respond rapidly to changes in the market. Covid-19 has changed everything for us because until March we had businesess saying `maybe’ but now it’s a more of a must-have, an essential company wellbeing feature.
Do you know our website traffic for May and June was more than the whole of 2019? The demand for healthcare insurance and associated products is very high right now.
IE; People are more health conscious and want an instant diagnosis online if they’re struggling to see a pharmacist or their GP?
MR; Definitely. To give you an example I got a touch of tonsilitis recently, and booked an online consultation, got the prescription sorted and delivered later that day. All done within hours, not days. It is that peace of mind which both employer and employee really do value now.
I would say that the majority of medical queries and problems that are going through our portal are solved with a brief GP chat. It is just reassurance that people want most of the time and they get that by talking to a trained professional, not just googling their symptoms and hoping the answers are right.
Equipsme actually did a survey on virtual GP appointments a few months back. Some 1,049 people surveyed by Consumer Intelligence for Equipsme found that 37% would like the option of a remote consultation, depending on the condition whilst 24% would always prefer remote appointments due to convenience or a desire to continue to minimise journeys. It is a trend that is accelerating as people get used to it.
IE; Are you seeing more demand now that working from home is the default setting for office life?
MR; Yes very much so. The thing about being in a company and working from home is that it can be quite lonely, even stressful, in some ways. One example of this was when a client related that his company had a staff member living in a flat share in London, and could only work privately by balancing their laptop on the edge of the bed. I mean that is a very stressful 8 hour working day, people need support.
There are benefits to the employer in knowing the staff have got that support there if they need it, and you boost team morale, your hiring appeal and more, by having Equipsme as part of the job package. It has been very important for many companies during lockdown.
IE; What elese has changed after lockdown?
MR; Job status. Look at delivery drivers and couriers and how they were viewed before Covid-19 and now they are a vital link in the chain for almost everyone. Companies are beginning to value the overall health and wellbeing of their staff much more because they can see how much it matters to the customer that deadlines are met.
Lots more companies are going to invest in products and services that keep their staff happy and healthy. It will make a big difference to the bottom line.
IE; Matthew thank you for your time.