In a dramatic turn of events in the South African business landscape, holding and operating company Silvertree Internet Holdings has handed over the reins of CompareGuru – the only independent insurance comparison tool in the Southern African country – to online insurance distribution company Surestart.
All based in Cape Town, the concerned parties have not revealed the financial details of the development. A statement from Surestart to this effect points out that CompareGuru joined its board on the first day of June 2019.
Travis Wilkins, the CEO of CompareGuru, divulged that the purchase would enable the company to offer innovated white-labeled insurance solutions to the South African market. CompareGuru is also planning to push forwards its primary goal of wholly digitizing the insurance process.
CompareGuru, founded in 2013 by Ryan Marx, provides South Africans with well-calculated and affordable insurance quotes from insurers across the country.
The company gives free, side-by-side quotes for clients to choose an insurance premium to suit their pockets. The firm, additionally, has a brokerage service that offers assistance for clients who need to claim, amend, or add a further cover to their policies.
“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 – while ensuring the most efficient, innovative route to cost-effective, comprehensive cover.”
Silvertree is an entrepreneur-led investment growth partner scaling consumer and digital brands in Africa. The company (re)acquired a 10 percent stake from CompareGuru’s founder Marx in 2017.
A little over a year ago, Silvertree exited its equity stake in DealDey (which is currently shut down), Nigeria’s premier deals site, through a management buyout, with the company citing the significant growth the e-tailer platform has experienced while it was assisting with management (read more details). The South African company still did not reveal how much money was involved in the deal.
DealDey Managing Director Kenny Oriola said, “Silvertree has been a fantastic partner over the last few years, and while we will miss their support, we are excited about the new direction for DealDey, and the further value we’ll bring to Nigeria’s emerging consumers.”
In 2018, CompareGuru acquired Noble Wealth Financial Services (renamed to CG Private Wealth), with outgoing CEO, Clemens Wolf, replaced by Travis Wilkins.
According to a report, the Silvertree buy-in included CG Private Wealth with undisclosed details. Travis Wilkins will continue occupying the company’s CEO seat.