Financial services tech firm honcho has appointed influencer marketing firm Social Chain to run a launch campaign amid a flurry of developments.

The Durham-based firm, which earlier this year successfully over-funded on Crowdcube to secure £830,000 of investment, has completed recruitment for its launch team with two more senior hires and will launch into the car insurance market in Q1 2019, with a beta launch to a selected audience in Q4 2018.

Graeme Stoker has been appointed as chief digital officer and will be responsible for digital, media and marketing, including managing the brand’s marketing agencies.  

Stoker joins the business from Utilitywise, where he was head of digital. He brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the digital marketing and technology industries, having previously spearheaded large-scale campaigns and programmes for leading businesses, including BT and Northumbria University.

honcho has also hired chief product officer Tom Spence who joins from Barclays Bank where he was head of digital adoption of Barclays’ banking app and online banking.

Spence will be responsible for developing the honcho product – the UK’s first reverse auction marketplace for car insurance – and for developing new services the business plans to expand into, including home and contents, pet and travel insurance.

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Commercial director at honcho Frank Speight said: “The launch team and agency appointments are now complete, and we’re delighted with the outstanding level of talent we have on board, including our CTO, Chad Crossman.

“We’re a disruptive business by nature and between Social Chain, Graeme and Tom, the appointments we have made reflect this.

“We’re passionate about offering people a real alternative to price comparison websites and putting customers back at the centre of the proposition, and we are confident that the team we have assembled and the partners we now have in place will help us achieve that objective.”

Social Chain has been appointed to launch honcho via a unique and exciting awareness-building campaign targeting early adopters amongst the UK’s young drivers.

The initial campaign will span influencer marketing, the agency’s own media house, Media Chain, as well as organic and paid social media channels.

Dominic McGregor, COO and co-founder of Social Chain, said: “honcho is a company we've had a long relationship with and seeing them raise funds and grow is a huge success for the Northern Powerhouse.

“We are excited to have been appointed their lead agency as they look to a social-first launch in the coming months.”

In other news, honcho has also become the first reverse auction marketplace to be welcomed as an Associate Member of the British Insurance Brokers' Association.

BIBA is the official trade association of insurance brokers and intermediaries in the UK, and the principal lobbying body with FCA, the Government, the EU and the ABI (Association of British Insurers).

Following a robust approval process, honcho has now been appointed as an Associate Member.