Waffle success story

Success story


Protecting you and everything you care about

05 June 2020

4 minute read

Waffle’s three founders have 25 years of experience in finance, law, actuarial science and machine learning. Quentin Coolen (UCLouvain, Columbia, MIT) is a seasoned attorney, speechwriter and policy adviser with deep roots in the insurance industry, Sam Barnsley (Oxford, LBS, MIT) is an M&A investment banker and FinTech investor and Michael Li (Cambridge University, MIT) is a mathematician, trained actuary and data scientist. Based in New York, Waffle is a graduate of the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars.

The proposition

Insurance was created to achieve a fundamental purpose – to protect customers when they need it the most. However, it’s really hard to find people who believe that insurance works for them. Why? Because the coverage is often filled with too many exclusions; policies are confusing and the customer experience is rarely enjoyable. And because of the siloed nature of the industry (that is, a fragmented market based on products), customers must use different providers to get different products.

Waffle is the first company that protects the customer and everything they care about in one fully customised policy. Waffle is based on a new type of risk model that underwrites risk across the board as opposed to just the risk of John, the car driver, or Mary, the homeowner. The model is boosted by a risk mitigation platform named YODA (Your Own Derisking Assistant) designed to help customers lower their risk and live safer lives.

Targeting the multi-trillion-dollar personal insurance market and a 2020 launch, Waffle will initially focus on protecting young professionals in California who are the most disengaged and underinsured generation in history.

Key features

Tailored to needs

  • Personalised protection based on what customers decide 
  • Coverage includes car, home, life, pet, travel and electronics 
  • Broader coverage, fewer exclusions 

No fine print

  • One-picture policies easy to understand 
  • Fully customisable – customers write their own terms 

No hassle

  • One provider for everything 
  • Automated claims 
  • All from a mobile phone


With Waffle, customers get coverage tailored to their needs, policies that they themselves design and are easy to understand, and a much better customer experience that not only processes their claims in seconds but also helps them to live safer lives and be rewarded for it.

The Waffle experience is conducted directly from a mobile phone or online, which allows customers to manage their protection from their pocket or their desktop.

The Barclays partnership

Waffle was part of the 2018 New York Accelerator class and is the first company to receive finance from Rise Growth Investments.

Although insurance has not traditionally been a core activity for Barclays, there’s high interest in the US retail banking space where our US Digital Consumer Bank has an opportunity to think innovatively and can drive differentiation through new products and new markets – like insurance.

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