Embedded insurance is just getting started and Babylon's IPO

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If you ever get asked if you want to join a virtual roundtable by the Capco guys, the answer is yes.

Last week we joined up to talk ‘Incrementalism vs Innovation’.

Great guests, great conversation but the food. Oh the food. Who knew there could be such a 3-course delight contained within a cardboard box? Thank you Capco. And thank you Jimmy Garcia.

If you’re running virtual events or are in London over Christmas, check out Jimmy’s pop ups in Somerset House and on the South Bank. The chap is a cheffing magician.

Let’s dive into some market news.

Embedded insurance

What better place to start than with embedded as it continues to grow in significance? In fact, keep an eye out over the next couple of weeks for our Q3 Insurtech Briefing – we’re taking a deep-dive into the topic.

A quick whistle-stop tour from around the world:

Spain’s super early stage insurtech Weecover has just raised €2.3m in Seed funding.

They launched in 2019 with an API-first platform which integrates insurance solutions in online shopping processes. They serve a range of sectors including mobility, retail, payment protection to health and pet.

Definitely one to keep an eye on. Founded by an ex-Zuricher, Jordi Pagés, they’ve bold plans to build across Europe and bolster the talent in the business.

Heading east and bolttech has partnered with Philippines’ financial services and digital payments company PayMaya.

The plan is to give Filipinos easier access to affordable microinsurance and services delivered on the PayMaya app powered by bolttech’s insurance exchange platform.

With insurance penetration rates so low across the Philippines, it feels like a winning combo.

And in the US, real estate tech company, Rhino is getting into the embedded action with a partnership with Cover Genius.

The partnership will see them create an insurance offering, enabling renters and property managers to easily understand and select insurance options through the process.

Data unlocking new underwriting models

Keeping with property and interestingly nearly 30% of our Future50 Americas report featured startups using image data to better predict the risk of environmental factors on property.

One of those, TensorFlight, which uses geospatial imagery, satellite, aerial and street level imagery to better assess risk exposure of portfolios, has just landed a second Series A.

From property to floods and Descartes Underwriting – one of our Future50 Europe startups – has just announced a new partnership with ICEYE, a leader in ongoing monitoring of flood hazard data.

Descartes specialise in climate risk modelling and parametric insurance products. The partnership will rapidly add capability to their business, designed to improve insurers underwriting process.

The last one that caught my eye was TigerRisk entering a new partnership with Pinpoint Predictive.

Data augmentation/enrichment is a super interesting space at the moment. Pinpoint uses behavioural economics and AI to enable carriers and MGA’s to better quantify risk and persuade people to take positive actions. Seriously good and one to dig into a little more.

Health of the people, health of the planet

Last week Babylon announced it had secured a conditional investment of up to $200m and today it has announced it will start trading on the NYSE.

I’ll come back to the IPO another day. What drew my attention was the recent investment coming from Albacore Capital Group who have a strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus.

Interestingly, as part of Babylon’s funding announcement, Charlie Steel (Babylon’s CFO), stated: ‘ESG is central to Babylon’s mission which is to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for every person on Earth.’

Whatever your view on Babylon, and I appreciate there’s mixed opinion about them, you can’t fault the ambition.

Another, taking this one step further is Bupa – a partner of Babylon (and a much loved customer of Sønr).

It was great to see Iñaki Ereño’s pledge for Bupa to become a Net Zero business by 2040.

In his LinkedIn post, the CEO of Bupa started with: ‘Like many fathers and mothers, I worry about my children. I worry about their safety, their health, their jobs but, most of all, I worry about the planet they have inherited from us and what kind of planet they will hand down to their children.’

Actually, whilst chatting Bupa, check out yesterday’s talk on embedding agile culture. It featured Mark Glenn, their Group Chief Transformation Officer, who has also helped judge our Future50 series and the upcoming Insurtech 100. It’s a good one.

Making personalised healthcare a reality

One from this morning – 23andMe is set to acquire Lemonaid Health, an on-demand telemedicine and prescription drug delivery business, for $400m.

I find this fascinating. There’s a lot of talk about the need to shift from protection to prevention. This is a great example of that trend playing out.

Anne Wojcicki, the CEO and Co-Founder of 23andMe said: “By starting with genetics as the foundation, we will give patients better information about health risks and treatments, opening up the door to prevent as well as better manage disease.”

Early-stage investment still pouring into Health insurance

A couple that caught my eye this week.

In the US, AI-powered healthcare platform Insurights has raised a $22m Seed round. That’s a pretty big number so early.

Their platform uses NLP to provide direct and clear answers to specific questions regarding healthcare plans. Amazingly, the lack of understanding around health coverage costs the economy and employers nearly $50bn a year from employees calling insurers to understand coverage.

How about that?

Another interesting business I’ve closely followed for a while is Canadian startup Lydia AI which focusses on the life and health markets.

They have just raised $8m to launch its health score technology in Taiwan in its bid to target the APAC insurance market. Lydia AI started in 2014 and has built a deep learning-based risk scoring engine trained on health data that generates health benchmarks for insurers.

Spøtlight – Qumata

For those in the life and health space, particularly any underwriters amongst you, I caught up with Luca Schnettler, the Group CEO of Qumata, to learn more about his business.

Luca talked through the data science that powers the company, Qumata’s experience breaking into Asia, and how the company differentiates itself by exploring how consumer activity potentially impacts future risk.

It’s a great conversation and well worth a watch/listen.

Insurtechs focussed on end-of-life admin

Another business to keep an eye out for in life insurance is Empathy, who are aiming to ease the challenges of end of life and estate planning and management.

Their proposition is a digital assistant aimed at helping bereaving families navigate the difficult period resulting from the death of someone close to them. They offer a diverse range of services, from providing links to counselling to helping plan estate paperwork and taxes.

They launched earlier this year, raised a $13m Seed round in April, and have just raised a $30m Series A. Impressive just on those numbers alone. Investors include Shai Wininger (CEO & co-founder of Lemonade) and Micha Kaufman (CEO & co-founder of Fiverr).

To the other side of the world and Aussie will-writing platform Safewill has announced a new $2.2m Seed round.

With a growing customer base (c.10,000 wills having been created in the past 18 months) it highlights the opportunity for simplification of a traditionally complex (and costly) process. Interestingly they operate both a D2C and B2B2C proposition – enabling charities to generate donations via their wills.

Tesla insurance getting gamed

We have fixed mortgages. We have tracker mortgages. Why not the same for car insurance? Especially if we can control the variable?

I’m sure you’ll have seen that Tesla now offer a new insurance product for its customers in Texas using real-time driving behaviour to calculate premiums.

The premium is based on a number of elements, including a Safety Score which assesses:

  • Forced Autopilot Disengagement
  • Hard braking
  • Aggressive turning
  • Unsafe following distance/time
  • Forward collision warning

Have a read of their support page for more info.

It’s certainly dividing opinion across the industry commentators. It’s also generating a whole load of YouTube videos of people gaming the system by rebooting the software (holding down the left and right steering wheel buttons for a few seconds)!

Personally, I’d love this level of personalised control. I may have to switch out to a different insurer as Elon realises my driving isn’t up to scratch, but let’s see.

Beyond Tesla and a couple of notable investments into early stage Insurtech.

Hot off the press and Claim Genius has landed a $6m Series A3. These guys are pushing the concept, and in part reality, of ‘touchless claims’ in the auto insurance space.

Closer to home and London-based startup Humn has secured a £10.1m Series A to create a real-time fleet insurance.

According to the company’s CEO Mark Musson, the fresh funds will be used to boost teams and hire new staff across commercial, sales, marketing and customer success sections. Humn was launched in 2017 with the mission is to improve road safety by processing data in real-time.

And in LatAm startup Crabi which has successfully raised a $4m seed round.

With 50 million cars in Mexico and only 30% of them being insured compared to an average 50% in LatAm, Crabi states that it is the first Mexican startup to obtain the license to be a risk-carrier and full-stack auto insurance company.

Interesting times in LatAm.

In next SøNws keep an eye out for our Brazil Spøtlight – I caught up with Samy Hazan from Insurtech Brazil and a couple of exceptional entrepreneurs mixing things up down there.

From Teslas Fords to Fjords

A second Spøtlight this week. This time an interview with Axel Sjøstedt, CEO of Cloud Insurance.

Cloud Insurance has developed a platform for insurance providers to manage the entire insurance customer life cycle. The platform enables clients to launch fully digital customer journeys and enrolment processes, manage renewals, and automate claims.

It launched in the UK in September 2020, then at the start of 2021 in Finland, and in June 2021, it entered South Africa.

With 138% YoY revenue growth it’s one to keep an eye on.

Right, that is me. I am done.

As always do get in touch if you’d like to talk insurtech scouting, open innovation or want to access the latest trends in your industry. Always happy to help.

Keep well. Have good weekends.


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