Broadening markets, curated collaborations and punishing negronis

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If you inhabit the world of insurance innovation (which I’m kinda assuming you do…or you may want to stop reading now 🤷) you’ll have seen a tonne of content from this week’s Insurtech Insights event. 
My summary: 

  1. A lot of people
  2. A lot of content
  3. A lot of drinking 

And I mean this in the most positive of ways. Even the drinking. I think. 
There’s a genuine and very beautiful sense of community amongst those driving this industry forward. Whether you work for the largest of carriers or the smallest of insurtechs, there’s a real openness to connect, explore and learn from one another. 

A somewhat more insightful summary: 

  1. Emergent innovation – there’s still a remarkable amount of new innovation hitting the market. This isn’t just new companies on the block (of which there are plenty) but new products, pivots, and evolutions across the board.   
  1. Beyond insurance – it’s not just about insurtechs <> insurers. The market is changing. Broadening out. There were a number of people walking around the event representing large corporations I never imagined would be exploring the insurance space. Equally, plenty of young tech companies are entering the market, having cut their teeth in other verticals.
  1. Multi-party collaborations – a carefully scouted insurtech may represent an opportunity for growth. BUT a carefully curated mix of insurtechs may add the multiplier effect to that opportunity. If I was a betting man, this is where I’d put my money for 23/24.

There’s still plenty of activity. 
It’s a noisy and broadening space. 
Sønr can help you cut through the noise, track competitors and find the right partners. Better still, through the Sønr platform (please do take a 14-day free trial), we can help you track this stuff, as well as your own internal innovation activity. 
Genuinely wonderful to catch up with so many clients and friends (note, these aren’t mutually exclusive 😳) this week.

A big thank you to our partners Alchemy Crew and Sheffield Haworth, who helped pull our Wednesday night event together (I hear it was a cracker even though I wasn’t able to make it!). To the Lloyd’s Lab team, who helped us organise a tour for the Connecticut Corridor and DIT delegates.
To my fellow panelists – Danilo Raponi, Frank Desvignes, Bob Duy, and Cindy Weisscher, for being such an engaging and fun group.

And a big thanks to the Sønr team who were talking on panels, hosting dinners, compèring stages, and generally working super hard on little sleep. 
Also, somewhat related, there’s some VERY big Sønr x ??? partnership news to be announced next week. 
Watch this space.  

Generali Startup Competition
Q. What do you get if you mix a global insurer with nearly 200 years of heritage with hundreds of insurtechs applying for a PoC opportunity? 
A. Connections. Visibility. Fun. Learning. And possibly, most importantly, genuine opportunities to create new futures together. 
Over the past couple of months, we’ve been helping the Generali team scout and shortlist some of these exceptional startups. Yesterday it was a pleasure to see this all come together. 
Congrats to all those who presented. And a big thanks to all the judges.
If you didn’t make it to the Main Stage for the confetti guns and rapturous applause, the winner on the day was Companjon

To my earlier comment about how the insurance world is opening up to new players, check these guys out. They’re a B2B2C embedded play out of Ireland who are currently smashing it.
Right, time for some industry news.

Insurtech 100 cohort update
Interesting to see this year’s Insurtech 100 #3, Wefox, raising additional $55m from existing investors.  Particularly as they’re doing this less than a year after the initial closing of its $400m Series D round.
A big up to Flock which raised a $38m Series B this week. Super chuffed for them.

These guys use telematics to provide insurance cover to commercial fleets and have over 600 customers, among which are Jaguar Land Rover and car subscription company Onto.
[Actually, whilst on the telematics theme, a big thanks to the IMS crew for the great dinner on Wednesday night. I’m not sure I’ve had that much fun in a while.]
Open API provider Socotra – who seems to be everywhere I look at the moment – is planning a major push into Europe, starting with the UK, DACH, and France. 
The US-based startup reported strong growth last year, including a 71% revenue increase, a 75% growth in customers, and a 117% YoY increase in policies managed on its SaaS platform. 
And finally, you may have seen Lemonade announce that its losses have peaked. 
Gross loss ratio is now at 89% from 96% a year earlier. Despite this still representing a staggering amount of money, they were keen to stress ‘the toughest progress has now been made.’ 
Time will tell.

UK cyber innovation
CyberSmart has raised $15m to expand cybersecurity solutions for small businesses. 
The new funds will be used to help grow the company internationally and build out its cyber insurance offering. The company is aiming to improve coverage for SMEs capable of resisting a cyberattack. 
And cyber-focused CFC has launched a nice bit of innovation with its policy encryption for cyber insurance policies after a successful pilot in the UK, stating it is the first cyber insurance provider to do so. 

The move to encrypt the policies aims to reduce leverage when a company is extorted. CFC services over 80k businesses, and has reported its premium is approaching $1bn.

ESG. All good things come in 3s
Three great companies to check out here. 
The first, carbon insurance specialist Kita. These guys have raised $4m Seed round, with investors including our much-loved client Chaucer Group.
Kita helps to reduce risk in carbon credit transactions with insurance products that safeguard the quality and performance of carbon purchases, which will enable carbon removal solutions to scale their impact much faster.

The second is carbon insurance company Oka has raised $7m. 
Oka is focused on providing insurance to replace invalid and destroyed credits. Its new funding is slated to help scale its product offering and support large US companies to address risks associated with carbon credits. 
And thirdly is UK-based microinsurance company Blue Marble which has extended its partnership with food giant Nestle with a new program in Indonesia. 
They will be trialling parametric insurance for smallholder coffee farmers in the Tanggamus District in Lampung. I genuinely love this kind of innovation (even though it’s through Nestle). You’re talking about communities super vulnerable to climate change where accessing affordable crop insurance has been nigh on impossible to date.

Traditional health models are unsustainable
Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen a few standout partnerships in the health and life space. 
One that caught my eye on the life side is between Fineos, a leading global provider of SaaS enterprise claims software, and Empathy, a platform for helping families after the death of a loved one. 
They’ve announced a partnership to extend a life insurers’ offerings to families dealing with loss. 
On average, families spend 13-months after a death completing necessary tasks, and the partnership will equip life insurance companies with the services they need to offer better support for this.  

 From a health perspective, great to see Dacadoo partnering with AdvanceCare a couple of weeks back. AdvanceCare Group manages more than 1.3 million clients so potentially a big deal as this gets rolled out.
Some nice thinking from José Pedro Inácio, the CEO at AdvanceCare within the press release: 

Prevention is already an inevitable priority in healthcare for the next decade for all insurers”
He also talked about the traditional approach to health insurance being unsustainable. 
I couldn’t agree more.

Convergence, collaboration, and consolidation 
Something I did like at ITI was the Claims Village – a group of symbiotic claims tech companies all clustered and brought together by Michael Lewis of Claim Technology
And to push the ‘collaborations are the future’ message a little further, here are a few standouts to keep track of. 
The first is between Hyperexponential and Supercede, which have combined their SaaS platforms with the aim of reinvigorating reinsurance dealmaking and to help price emerging risks. 
As well as improving productivity, the tech also improves the accuracy of risk pricing. The arrangement will see risk information extracted from Supercede’s reinsurance platform and put into the Renew platform from Hyperexponential.

I caught up with Ben Rose, one of the founders of Supercede this week and it sounds like they’re going from strength to strength. Including having the #1 podcast (of all podcasts!) in Bermuda ☺ Good work team.
On the corporate side, German insurer HDI Global has partnered with Cytora to accelerate and improve its service for brokers and clients. Ultimately it will increase automation levels and better control risk selection. Nice.
And with an M&A lens, Turtlemint’s B2B vertical Turtlefin has acquired insurtech SaaS startup Last Decimal
Decimal works with banks, insurers, brokers, and ecommerce players in India and the Middle East. 
Turtlefin provides end-to-end tech solutions to insurers and uses plug-and-play APIs to integrate tech solutions for insurers. The deal is expected to help Turtlefin expand its bancassurance business. 
Finally, it’s not all good news.
Freelancer insurance agency Dinghy, a UK-based insurtech offering, is to close down. 
The company was launched in 2018 and offered commercial insurance coverage through its online portal. Professional and public liability, cyber, and business equipment insurance were also offered. 

Right, that’s me. 

After having managed to abstain from alcohol at each and every dinner/party/after party/after after party this week, I buckled to the negronis last night. 
There’s nothing quite like a day or writing SøNws with a sore head. 
Have a good weekend. 
Drop me a line if you’d like to connect.  

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