TL;DR: I've invested in Flock. They are ace and hiring.

Following last week’s news about Printastic, I’m pleased to say 2017 remains on a strong start with regards to angel investing - I’ve made a small investment in Flock.

Flock is building a pay-as-you-fly insurance app for drones. As you may or may not know commercial drone operators are, understandably, required to have insurance. But because drone flying is such a new field there are not yet good tools for insurance companies to assess the risk of a specific drone flight. As such they end up charging all drone operators a relatively high amount to insure their flights. This inhibits adoption and makes little sense: as a very basic example, a flight over an empty field has much less risk than a flight over a busy road.

Flock provides a solution for insurance providers to better assess and price the risk based on many different factors, not least the geography of the proposed flight.

Besides solving a clear business need in a rapidly growing space (see this post just this week from VC legend Fred Wilson), Flock is an attractive investment because of the team. The founder is Antton Peña and CEO is Ed Leon Klinger, both have great backgrounds and above all passion to create a great business. By coincidence Antton is Basque, hopefully it will work out as well as my last collaboration with a Basque tech entrepreneur. For my Basque speaking friends here’s some good coverage of Antton and his background. There’s lots to like, but what I’m particularly pleased about is Antton’s background as a designer. As internet technology has both radically simplified and become immensely more powerful over the last decade, the challenge for any service has increasingly becomes how to design the experience in a compelling way. Technical skill was once the limiting factor in most start-ups, now increasingly it is usability. It’s about hiding the complexity and power. Flock is a great example. So many factors can go into a risk assessment, but inthe end the drone operator needs to make a simple yes/no decision about whether the insurance is affordable or not.

But that’s not to say great engineers are not needed. They definitely are, and Flock is currently hiring. This is a phenomenal chance for someone with data analysis skills and enthusiasm for geo to get in on the ground level of an exciting, well-funded start-up in a very rapidly growing industry. You will not find many better opportunities. If you are qualified I encourage you to get in touch with the Flock team.

One final note, Flock has put together a great group of investors with a diversity of backgrounds, but I’m particularly delighted to once again be co-investing with my friend and geo-expert Steven Feldman. Start-ups are risky and it’s always impossible to predict exactly how things will go, but I’m confident think we and the Flock team are in for an exciting journey.