ITC DIA Europe

Cytora: Powering the future of commercial insurance

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Sep 9, 2019

Cytora transforms underwriting for commercial insurance. Their platform helps insurers to underwrite more accurately, reduce frictional costs, and achieve profitable growth. Using their platform, insurers can underwrite more accurately and efficiently, and deliver fairer prices to their customers. With a team of experts in machine learning, risk modelling, and strategy, Cytora is powering the future of commercial insurance.

The software from the UK startup is being used by some of the world’s largest insurers, including QBE, AXA XL, MS Amlin, and Starr, to inject efficiency and accuracy into their underwriting process. In addition, insurers have built new end-to-end quotation applications on top of Cytora’s APIs, enabling business owners to buy policies online in less than a minute, requiring only a business name and postcode to issue a quote.

Cytora is an award-winning technology company that uses artificial intelligence to transform underwriting.

Cytora distils the underwriting process down to 60 seconds
Unlike buying car or travel insurance, which takes seconds, buying business insurance can take weeks. This is because the commercial underwriting process is still so manual, teams spend up to 50% of their time gathering information and assembling data to asses risk. Cytora distils the underwriting process down to 60 seconds using APIs.

Cytora’s APIs are powered by a risk engine which learns the subtle patterns of good and bad risks over time using AI and billions of data points. This gives insurers a better understanding of the underlying risk of each business and helps them set a more accurate price. Both customers and insurers benefit from faster, more accurate underwriting. The more the platform is used, the better the AI performs.


  • API Platform approach: the Cytora underwriting platform enables to embed insurance underwriting capabilities into any applications via simple-to-use APIs.
  • Powered by artificial intelligence: the platform connects billions of data points to learn the patterns of different risk profiles over time, providing insurers with the most comprehensive view of businesses and properties.
  • Cytora distils the 7-day underwriting process down to 30 seconds using APIs.

How it works

Why we selected Cytora for DIA Amsterdam
Cytora revolutionise commercial insurance with programmable underwriting. At DIA Amsterdam Helena Buckles, Client Development Lead, Cytora and Emma Mayer, Marketing Director, Cytora demonstrated programmable underwriting for SME direct-to-consumer. They shared how Cytora enables to embed programmable insurance underwriting into any application with simple-to-use APIs, revolutionising the customer experience and enabling business owners to purchase cover in under a minute.

Who is Cytora?
Cytora was founded and spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2014 by a team of machine learning scientists, data engineers and strategists. The founding team recognised that – unlike the simplicity of consumer car insurance – applying for commercial insurance is an arduous process that can take weeks. With its non-transparent pricing and use of outdated models, commercial insurance had not adapted to the needs of modern society.

The team saw an opportunity to apply AI to public and proprietary data, including property construction features, company financials, and local weather – combined with an insurance company’s internal data – to better predict risk and ensure more transparent pricing.

In April 2019, Cytora raised £25 million in Series B funding led by EQT Ventures to accelerate the expansion of its product suite and scale into new geographies.

“Commercial insurance underwriting is inaccurate and inefficient. It’s inaccurate because underwriting decisions are made using sparse and outdated information. It’s inefficient because the underwriting process is so manual. Unlike buying car or travel insurance, which can be purchased in minutes, buying business insurance can take up to seven days. This means operating costs for insurers are extremely high and customer experience isn’t good leading to a lack of trust.” Richard Hartley, co-founder and CEO Cytora.

“We distil the 7-day underwriting process down to 30 seconds using APIs.” Richard Hartley, co-founder and CEO Cytora.

Richard Hartley left and Aeneas Wiener right, Founders Cytora

Amsterdam 12-13 June


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