1 Cover Genius


$13.6 million




Angus McDonald, 40 and Christopher Bayley, 41

Head office

Sydney, NSW

Year founded





Information and consumer technology



This year’s Smart50 winner boasts a three-year revenue growth of 2606%, and founders Angus McDonald and Christopher Bayley have their eyes on further expansion.

Outside of China, Cover Genius says it’s the fastest-growing insurtech startup in the Asia Pacific, owning both car rental insurance distributor RentalCover.com and distribution platform BrightWrite.

The duo could see an opportunity for technology platforms to improve and grow global insurance distribution, but say that from the outset, convincing stakeholders to jump on board wasn’t easy.

“When we engaged Australian venture capitalists there was not a great understanding of the insurance industry nor the characteristics of disruption and innovation that would come,” McDonald says.

Then there was convincing stakeholders within the industry: insurance underwriters, potential partners and even staff the startup needed to come on board in order to grow.

Three years from launch, the Cover Genius team has seen huge revenue growth and can now cite partners including Priceline Group and Lastminute.com.

There’s still plenty of work to do, however: the startup is focused on acquiring more business-to-business partners, including a “small handful” of global partners each year.

Having spent years on ensuring a product market fit, Cover Genius is also focused on retaining quality staff.

“We are not your typical insurance company so our team has quite diverse backgrounds, all of them however are exceptionally talented,” McDonald says.

And how do they keep a strong team focused?

“Publicly recognise them for the excellent work they do …. reward them by their success with company success, and giving them a clear pathway for their own career advancement,” say the founders.