Skip to main content

BMW UK: Innovation Lab

In 2016, we partnered with BMW Financial Services in Farnborough to launch our first programme in the automotive space. Following the success of the first Innovation Lab, BMW chose to expand the UK programme and roll out Labs across the BMW Group, starting with Japan and the US. 

With developments in technology, product offering and service design, customers rightly expect more from car financing providers. Eager to lead the charge and meet customers’ rising expectations, BMW was looking to channel emerging Fintech trends to digitise the customer experience, make the most of data and discover new ways to maximise the use of the vehicle fleet.

The Innovation Lab provides a great opportunity for us to get a different perspective on our business and generate new ideas more quickly. It is a very different approach and one which will allow us to explore customer-focused initiatives from young, energetic and talented small companies while at the same time offering them the chance to gain exposure to a range of experienced mentors and potential investors.

Mike Dennett, CEO BMW Financial Services UK

The launch of the first BMW Innovation Lab reached media and startups all around the world. We received over 160 applications from over 30 countries. Three of the five startups selected for the Innovation Lab ran successful trials during the programme and BMW entered into commercial relationships with four startups following its completion. The second BMW Innovation Lab, held in 2018, built on the successes of the first, with BMW continuing to engage with all of the participating startups after 10 weeks’ collaboration in the Lab. BMW reported additional positive outcomes, including employee engagement and a readiness to adopt new ways of working.

Startup Profile: Wrisk

Wrisk is a smartphone app that collects Home, Motor and Travel insurance in one place and gives real-time control over cover. Buying cover is simple: answer six questions to generate a quote. In addition, you receive a Wrisk Score, which helps you understand the figure you have been quoted. As your circumstances change, your Wrisk Score changes, adjusting in accordance with your updates. You are going on holiday and plan to leave your bike in the shed instead of locking it up outside work. The risk of theft is lower and your cover goes down – in real time.

By championing simplicity, transparency and flexibility – qualities not usually attributed to insurers – Wrisk speaks to a worn-out customer base as well as the mobile generation.

Applied to BMW, the technology drives sales, improves customer satisfaction and speeds up operational processes. BMW and Wrisk’s shared commitment to providing innovative, efficient and digital-first customer experiences made for a dynamic partnership which is now focused on revolutionising car insurance.

We weren’t sure of what to expect from a corporate incubator, but the BMW Innovation Lab proved to be an incredibly valuable experience for us. It offers a symbiotic relationship, centered around both parties providing the next generation of innovative, efficient, and digital-first customer experiences. The benefits are not just restricted to time spent in the Lab. Through the strong working relationship, we have formed, we are now working with BMW to transform approaches to car insurance.”

Niall Barton, Co-Founder Wrisk


Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive monthly updates on our Labs, startups and event and support offers