We catch up with Urban Jungle, the insurance startup setting a new pace in a slow-moving market. A rapid expansion saw the company springboard from Club Workspace into their own office space in Kennington Park and Marketing Associate Zoë Hooper shares their story.

Last year, when Urban Jungle was a five-strong team with grand visions, we spoke to its Co-founder, Jimmy Williams. He told us how the mobile-first insurance broker aimed at millennials set out to ditch the lengthy policy forms and extensive fine print in a bid to refocus the insurance business around smartphones and customer experience.

Jimmy and business partner Greg Smyth joined forces in September 2016 to found Urban Jungle. After months of meeting in coffee shops, the pair decided it was time to find a more substantial base to house their new venture. The flexible co-working space at Club Workspace Kennington Park seemed to tick all the boxes. It provided everything the small business needed to get itself off the ground – high speed Wi-Fi, private bookable meeting rooms and a community of tech startups and creative entrepreneurs to network with.

Soon, Jimmy and Greg were set up and ready to go. “We just rocked up with our laptops – that was all. There was no sorting out rates and we got a little introductory offer so it was a cheap way for us to get going,” he told us. "At the start, it was just the two of us funding the business with our own money - bootstrapping everything."

The Urban Jungle team moves into their own office space at Kennington Park

Now, one year on, and Urban Jungle has launched four products - including shared contents insurance and gadget insurance - and, launch after launch, it's clear to see business is booming. The team has more than doubled in size – from five to eleven – and "The plan is very much to carry on growing at this rate - or faster!" says Marketing Associate Zoë Hooper. In June this year, the team had expanded to eight members of staff and rapid growth signaled high time to move out of Club and into their own Workspace office.

It was getting quite busy downstairs as we took on more people, so we decided to invest in going upstairs. Club was great when we were starting out and there were only a few of us. You're surrounded by other exciting startups, sharing ideas, but we reached a point when we were ready to shift into our own space.

Zoë HooperMarketing Associate at Urban Jungle.

The team now has its own designated space to make its own – a space in which they can cultivate their individual company culture. "It's a bit more social within our team. We can play our own music and chat freely without the fear of disturbing others. And, every Friday we go out for lunch together," says Zoë, recommending The White Bear and Café Van Gogh as great spots to grab lunch near Kennington Park.

Six months on, however, and it looks as though another move is on the cards. "It's really exciting to have grown so quickly and we're already running out of desk space again," says Zoë. "Moving into a bigger space is definitely something we're thinking about. If we carry on growing the way we have been it won't be long before it's time to shift up again."

 
 

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