Cloud Care srl (“Cloud Care”) agrees to purchase the web company Quale.it (incorporated in the UK as Daina Finance Ltd) after receiving the relevant authorisation from the UK Regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”).
Cloud Care, which is already active in the online insurance business with the website Comparasemplice.it, acquires 100% of the shareholding of Quale.it, a web aggregator specialised on the comparison of motor and other types of retail insurance for Italian clients. Although the acquisition of Quale.it by Cloud Care may be considered untimely given the Brexit uncertanties, it is actually consistent with the purchaser’s strategy. Cloud Care’s technology infrastructure and process improvement are expected to strengthen Quale.it by way of a strategic plan based on a hybrid model (online direct + intermediaries) that enhances the role of the intermediary as a reference point for the end client. The Italian motor insurance market is still well behind the online penetration rates of the European digital leaders: over 90% of Italian clients still prefer purchasing their policy through a physical intermediary, even after comparing the offers online.
Andrea Conte, Founder and CEO of Cloud Care and Equity Partner of iStarter, affirmed about the acquisition:
“Typical Italian clients, just like Cloud Care, are curious and interested about the digital world, but they prefer to trust real people. They start their search online, but they complete it through an intermediary. The merger between Cloud Care and Quale.it is based on a hybrid business model (online + offline) that takes the best of both and adapts them in the Italian market to bring innovation and growth. We aim to achieve the same success that the hybrid model generated for our group in the telco and energy markets.”
Online direct insurance in Italy has not achieved comparable penetration to other European markets, like the UK. Online comparison has mostly caused more competition within traditional offline channels. The largest share of the insurance market is still strongly in the hands of networks of physical intermediaries. Trust is still the key factor in the mindset of most people for choosing their insurance cover.
Quale.it’s development strategy is focused for the above reason on insurance intermediaries, that take the role of full fledged advisors to families, adding to their professional experience the latest technology applications. The network of intermediaries is powered with up-to-date connecting technology, more akin to modern life style (chat, “call me back”, video call), with Artificial Intelligence to improve customer experience and predictive algorithms to anticipate customer needs, starting from motor insurance as a base and moving towards other lines, where Italy is far behind other European countries in terms of take-up.
Quale.it’s intermediary network adds up to the existing Cloud Care’s network, that has over 500 producers based in Italy.