Oliver Kent-Braham, his twin brother Alexander and their engineer friend David Goaté founded Marshmallow in 2016 in London. The idea came to the small team as a friend of theirs experienced issues getting insurance for their car. All the options were very expensive as traditional insurers were cashing in on migrant drivers. Looking into the issue, the founders realized it’s not just migrant drivers – turned out a lot of people were finding it impossible to get insurance.
Armed with a big problem they have just uncovered, a small budget and a lot of determination, the team of three decided that they want to change the industry and make insurance affordable and accessible for everyone.
There were four of us at the time, and we had an £80 gym membership, so we’d have a desk plus a sauna and a steam room. It was just the cheapest office space.
Growing fast and thinking big, the Marshmallow team’s determination got quickly reflected with their investment in Marshmallow.com, just 2 years after launch. The upgrade was made in 2018, just before their first funding round of $1.2 million. If you don’t invest in your brand, who will, right?
We looked at insurance and they all start with A and it’s all kind of the same. We wanted something very different that people would remember.
Oliver Kent-Braham, co-founder of Marshmallow.com
Seems like people did indeed remember them. By 2021 the small team has left the steam room, as the start-up netted more than 100,000 users. Marshmallow grew their headcount to 170 staff, and raised $85 million in a Series B funding round from tech investors including Monzo-backer Passion Capital, giving it a valuation above $1.25 billion.