SA insurance comparison platform CompareGuru acquired by SureStart


South African insurance comparison platform CompareGuru has been acquired by insurance distribution company SureStart from Silvertree Internet Holdings.

Founded in 2013 by Ryan Marx, Jax du Plessis and Duane du Plessis, who have since gone on to found South African startup MoneyPanda, CompareGuru provides free, unbiased side-by-side quotes on short-term and long-term insurance products.

It had been part of the Silvertree Internet Holdings portfolio, but has now been bought out by SureStart, which enables anyone to buy or sell digital financial services, instantly and seamlessly, by using the cloud-based Briisk Instant Transaction Platform, for an undisclosed amount.

CompareGuru chief executive officer (CEO) Travys Wilkins said the acquisition would enable the brand to offer innovative white-labelled insurance solutions to the South African market whilst still furthering its goal of digitising the insurance process completely.

“Our focus has shifted substantially in the past 12 months, moving away from the inherently invasive nature of insurance sales. Our mission is to continue offering a hands-on approach to guiding, assisting and servicing our clients – effectively closing the gap between the insurer and the end consumer – whilst ensuring the most efficient, innovative route to cost effective, comprehensive cover,” he said.

Wilkins said the key focus for the business in the short term would be updating its products to include both funeral and travel insurance. The acquisition will also enable SureStart to leverage off CompareGuru’s existing license agreements.

“We’re able to pool resources across compliance, product development, multi-channel strategy and systems integration. This in turn means lowering cost structures and providing a full suite of financial products and services directly to the consumer,” said Wilkins said.

SureStart founding director Hanno Van Aarde said the deal was a mutually beneficial one.

“By joining forces with CompareGuru we are now able to reach more customers and provide them with access to value adding insurance products and financial services that give them full power over their money,” he said.

Silvertree managing director Paul Cook said the company was “very excited” about the transaction, and believed SureStart would be an excellent home for CompareGuru going forward.

“In general we don’t actively pursue exits, as our approach is to support entrepreneurs for the long term. However, we believe this transaction is value-creating for all parties, Silvertree, SureStart and the CompareGuru team, which makes it an obvious thing to do,” he said.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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