A big week for UK/European Insurtech


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What a week for UK and European Insurtech 🚀👏👊

Two businesses, both alike-ish in valuation,
In fair Europe, where we lay our scene…

Huge news for UK pet insurer Bought By Many, which reached a $2bn valuation after a $350m Series D.

The insurtech, which entered the US market earlier this year, covers around 500k pets globally and has doubled its GWP for three consecutive years, reaching $220m+ in the past year.

Many congrats Steven Mendel and team. Absolutely chuffed for you guys.

And the other? Germany’s wefox, but of course.

With a massive $650m Series C raise (oversubscribed by 4x), the insurtech is now sitting on a post-money valuation of $3bn.



And whilst that alone is big news, I can’t wait to see what’s next for co-founders Julien Teicke and Fabian Wesemann. The plan is to launch 20 new products in 2021 and to sell across P&C, pet, health and life. Love it.

If that wasn’t enough to celebrate, yesterday was the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2021.

And the Global Innovator of 2021 goes to…



Congratulations to the Generali team for scooping not only the #1 spot but also picking up gold in Workforce Transformation, Customer Experience and Insurtech 2021 categories. A quadruple crown (if that is such a thing).

Later this year we’ll once again be publishing the Insurtech 100. For the first time we’ll also be including incumbents from around the world and stacking them up against the leading Insurtechs.

It promises to be a great read and if you feel the company you work for is driving the way in innovation and has launched products/services/business worth featuring, let me know.

As of next month, we’ll be reaching out for interviews.

UK attracting investment into Life & Pensions innovation

Keeping with the European vibe, let’s kick off with a few new raises in the life and pensions space.

London’s fully automated life insurance advice platform Anorak brought in £5 million.

Anorak’s solution integrates with existing software so that people can access life insurance options via tools used on a daily basis. Namely digital banks, online mortgage brokers, investment platforms and challenger banks.

With partnership already in place with Starling Bank, Snoop, Clearscore, Canopy etc, the new funding will be used to acquire more clients, specifically those that do not traditionally sell insurance products. Very interesting.

Another European Insurtech, is the $10m raise by Qumata, formerly HealthyHealth.

The company’s API solution allows life and health insurance applicants to share their digital health data instead of having to complete time-consuming questionnaires or invasive medical exams. And off the back of this Series A it’s the usual next steps – world domination and broadening out the product set. Love it.



The last from the UK is full-stack pension app provider Penfold.

These guys have closed an $8.5m round, half of which from a crowdfunding campaign.

Targeting the growing freelance sector, Penfold’s pitch is to simplify the pension experience, allowing users to set up, manage and track pensions easily online and via an app.

A big space, a much-needed simplification and one to keep an eye on.

Telehealth IPOs & big healthtech $$

Lets move into the world where healthtech meets insurance.

In one of the biggest floats for a European tech company in 2021, the telehealth scaleup Babylon Health said it will go public in the US via a SPAC. The deal will give the healthtech a pro forma equity value of a whopping $4.2bn.

Whilst on IPOs, it’s worth mentioning US insurtech Bright Health Group last week announced it had filed its S-1. Interesting to read it now serves approximately 623,000 consumers, of which 515,000 are commercial, and about 108,000 are Medicare Advantage consumers. Plus, it now generates over $1.2bn in revenue, with $874m in Q1 2021.

Another European telehealth business which got some great press this week was Sweden’s Doktor.se.



Apparently ‘the 2nd most downloaded app in Europe in 2020’ (?!) the company raised €50m to help expand into 7 new markets across 2021. This was off the back of delivering 1.2m tele-consultations last year.

In Germany, digital healthcare startup Ada Health raised a $90m Series B.

It plans to use the funds to further expand into the US expansion (where it currently has 2m users) and move beyond symptom checking, helping its users take a proactive approach to their health. It now has 11m users around the world. Not bad.

And pushing beyond Europe (unless we’re taking a Eurovision Song Contest view of who is and isn’t in Europe), Israel’s Synzi has been snapped up by AMN Healthcare for $42.5 million.

Synzi offers virtual care and remote patient monitoring platforms in the home health and outpatient arenas. These solutions enable organisations to conduct virtual visits and use secure messaging, text and email for communications between clinicians as well as with their patients.

Consolidation of the market is definitely the next chapter in the health/healthtech space as major carriers jockey to update their service provision. Watch this space for more.

Finally, one we definitely can’t claim as a European insurtech – Singaporean dental startup Zenyum has announced a $40m Series B.



With a target market estimated at $300m market across SE Asia their product set includes 3-D printed ‘aligners’ and a digital experience to reduce the reliance on clinic visits, therefore reducing overall costs.

Looking after our mental health

A space that’s getting some serious funding and much needed focus, is mental health.

Starting local and ICAS World, a global provider of mental health and employee wellness services has acquired the NHS-commissioned mental health tech startup, Hello Tomo.



The acquisition is the first milestone for ICAS as it launches its new global digital health strategy, tapping into the $121bn mental wellness market.

In the US mental health scale-up, Lyra Health which raised $187m back in January is rumoured to be courting a further $200m. This would give it a valuation of $4.6 billion – a figure that’s effectively doubled in 6 months. It’s alright for some.

Finally, India’s mental health chatbot startup, Wysa has announced a new funding round – raising a cool $5.5m. A great little business in a big market and another to keep a track of. They now have around 3 million users of which a claimed 90% come to them with issues which can be treated without further medical consultation.

Auto – the big, the small and the simple

Let’s change gear (sorry) and dive into some automotive news.

Another great moment for European insurtech this week was the announcement that UK’s Wejo, a global leader in connected vehicle data, is to list in the U.S.

Backed by General Motors, it’s another SPAC, which values the company at $800m, in turn raising $300m for Wejo.

A few stats for the numbers folk: Wejo collects in near-real-time 14.6 billion data points, and analyses 66 million journeys across a network of 10.7 million live vehicles, from a supply base of over 50 million connected vehicles.



Decent numbers, right?

A couple of other investments that caught my eye.

Brazilian insurtech Justos has raised a $2.8m seed round. Interestingly Hippo founder Assaf Wand and Nubank founder David Vélez were amongst its impressive list of investors.

The startup plans to use mobile phones to collect telematics data and improve auto insurance policy pricing in Brazil. It also plans to use computer vision and AI to process claims more quickly.

And US-based Mile Auto has landed a sizeable $10.3 million Seed round for its acutely (overly?) simple pay-per-mile proposition.



Simply send Mile Auto a photo of your odometer every month and they’ll calculate what you owe based on an agreed cost per mile. No black boxes, no apps, just a quick snap.

Finally it was good to see Sweden’s predictive risk insights insurtech Greater Than announcing plans to set-up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Japan.

Greater Than, which recently announced plans to develop a predictive motor risk index, already has several partnerships in the regions, including one with the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group.

Parametric & commercial insurance

Two this week.

Firstly, Parametrix, which offers SME business downtime insurance, raised a $17.5m Series A.

The parametric insurtech has developed a monitoring system for third-party IT services, alerting the company to any service disruptions within a second, and a personalised pricing model which helps companies estimate how much financial risk is attached to downtime incidents.



I’m a big fan of parametric and great to see how it’s being used here.

And secondly, US-based Corvus Insurance raised an additional $15m extension to its previous $100m Series C round.

Corvus leverage big data and AI to provide tools and insight for commercial insurance brokers and their clients that help them predict and prevent loss. The company stated it would use the funds to further expand operations and business development.

Property insurance building nicely

Again, keeping it local, and Sweden’s property and renters insurer Hedvig has announced plans for further expansion.

The company grew over 200% across 2020, and currently insures over 50k people in Sweden and Norway. Next step, Denmark (and a move beyond property).



Interestingly, Spanish insurtech Bdeo, which to date has offered visual intelligence for auto insurers, has launched a new product focused on property insurance claims automation. It aims to reduce the number of people involved in the claims process by half.

Jumping over to the US and on the investment front, insurance for landlords insurtech Obie has raised $10.7m Series A funding.

Obie’s platform matches SMB landlords with quotes within minutes – the company has provided insurance for over $3bn-worth of property in the past year, and its premiums have reportedly reached around $10m.

And finally, US-based property maintenance company Super has raised a $50m Series C.

The startup offers a monthly/yearly subscription that covers repair and maintenance across electric and mechanical systems, appliances and plumbing in the home. Users simply call or select a service on the app when they have a repair or maintenance need, and the company sends a vetted maintenance worker. I’d definitely use that.

Embedded insurance starting to pick up

In the US B2B insurtech Boost has raised a $20m Series B to fuel growth of its platform, new product development and partner marketing.

Boost’s integrated insurance-as-a-service platform enables companies – from any industry, to build, embed, and manage P&C insurance programs for their customers. And they can do this in just two weeks.



It already works with dozens of insurers/insurtechs including Hippo, Cowbell Cyber and Aon’s CoverWallet.

And Australia-based insurtech Kanopi has raised AUD $4m and rebranded (formerly Expense Check) in anticipation of its US market launch. The embedded insurance platform anticipates consumer needs, providing them with insurance within minutes, when and where they need it.

Finally, some other Insurtech news I couldn’t find a home for:

France-based Acheel has launched, and it has also announced a €29m funding raise.



Founded last year, the venture offers home, health and dog/cat insurance. Acheel stated it would use the fresh funds to recruit and develop its offering.

Israel-based insurance software company Novidea has closed a $30m Series B round.

The insurtech platform enables brokers, agents and MGA’s to drive operational efficiencies and growth across the entire distribution lifecycle. I know, it’s classic marketing speak but do check them out. There’s some clever and well executed tech in there.

Bupa – a call out for startups that improve people’s health & the health of the planet

One of our clients, Bupa, is on the lookout for potential partners to develop solutions that bring benefits to people’s health as well as the planet’s.

Bupa has the firm belief, and one that I share, that the health of the planet/environment is inextricably linked to the human health and the health outcomes of their customers.



And so I strongly urge all startups in this space to check out the programme, the challenge areas they’re focussed on and get your applications in. The first round of pitches is mid-July.

Ageas placing sustainability at the heart of their business

Whilst talking sustainability it was great to read Ageas’ new 3-year strategic plan – Impact24.

Whilst it talks about the next stage of their development as a Group, it recognises the importance of their choices and investments for the long-term not just the next three years.



With this, sustainability now sits at the heart of their business model and will impact the way they design products, make investments, and build long-term partnerships.

Great to see and another client we’re proud to work with.

A couple of shout outs

What’s the good of having a newsletter read by so many if you can’t occasionally help a friend’s business?

Two to check this week:

1. For the insurance data nerds out there, I’d strongly recommend checking out Insurance DataLab.

Founded by two ex-Insurance Times journos, the new business ‘is a powerful new benchmarking platform, focusing on the performance of insurers, Lloyd’s Syndicates, MGAs, and brokers based in the UK and Gibraltar’.

I had a tour around the platform a couple of weeks back. It’s well worth a look.

2. A local bunch to us is The Engage Partnership.

These guys are working with a load of insurers, helping on the recruitment front.

From data, design, dev, dev ops, digital etc. Actually, I now realise I should have probably done some kind of quid pro quo before putting this shout out. We’re about to advertise a whole pile of new roles.

If you work for an insurance company and haven’t yet checked out Sønr or who we work with, please do.

You can also take a 14-day free trial where we’ll welcome you with open arms (and provide a unique insight into the changing market trends and innovation driving that change!).

Right, that is me. Done. The dog is currently lying in the sunshine fast asleep. Think I might have to go bring him in before he cooks.

Have beautiful weekends and I hope the sun is shining wherever you are in the world.

Matt


MATT CONNOLLY
Founder & CEO
www.sonr.global 

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