Manchester-based Ripe Insurance has passed the milestone of 200,000 policyholders, making it one of the largest insurtech companies in the UK.

Ripe has also strengthened its data analytics team with two new hires.

Ryan Bothwell is a data scientist with a PHD in astrophysics. His role is partly funded by Innovate UK, in the form of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Salford.

→ READ MORE: Insurance disrupter Ripe marks decade of growth

Under university supervision and with access to their academic expertise, Bothwell will work full time at Ripe looking at data and machine learning algorithms to influence business decisions.
 
Chris Jones joins as insight and analytics manager. Jones has spent seven years working in insurance, most recently at Pen Underwriting. He will be responsible for optimising the business' use of data with a focus on underwriting performance, pricing and marketing data.

"This is a landmark moment in our business," said managing director John Woosey.

"From our roots in golf insurance we have been highly focused on creating an efficient model to target niche personal and business insurance sectors and this strategy is paying off.

"Over the last few years our growth has been accelerating and we've seen a 50,000 increase in our policyholders since mid-2016.

→ READ MORE: New deal to help Ripe 'lead insurtech sector'

"I am personally proud that our very first policyholder is still a customer of ours, twenty years on. Bringing Chris and Ryan on board will help drive our plans to lead the insurtech sector."
 
Ripe, which employs over 60 people at its office in South Manchester, reported a 22 per cent increase in turnover for 2017.

The results for the year ending 31 December 2017 marked the 10th consecutive year of annual growth for the company which saw revenues rise from £9.2 million in 2016 to £11.2 million last year.

Ripe recently made the 'Sunday Times Tech Track Ones to Watch Shortlist', the Northern Tech 100 list and was voted the 'UK's Best Specialist Insurance Provider' at the Insurance Choice Awards.