For those who may not have clocked it, the 2021 Insurtech 100 is now available.
Now in its fourth year, the Insurtech 100 is a celebration of the leading startups, scaleups and innovators driving change across insurance. It’s a free report and is genuinely an incredible read.
A huge congratulations to all those featured. No easy feat this year.
As with all these things it’s been months of work by the Sønr team, researching, analysing and connecting with tens of thousands of companies around the world. This allows us to create a long-list which is meticulously scored by a set of world-class industry experts:
A huge thanks to all involved. A big shout out to our partners on this – EY, and to Element and Tractable for their support. Together we’ve made something pretty special happen.
I encourage you all to get a copy. It’s an exceptional run through of the 100 leading insurtechs globally and includes some great analysis from Penney Frohling, one of the Partners over at EY.
Over the coming weeks and months we’ll deep-dive into some of the analysis and record a few interviews with the startups included. Watch this space.
Right, let’s get into some market news.
Actually, before I do, for those new to SøNws, welcome. I write this update every couple of weeks and try to bring together all the insurance innovation news (well, the interesting stuff at least) from around the world.
My hope is to provide an insight into changes in the market that will be impacting your business tomorrow but also to shine a light on what’s coming further down the track.
Enjoy and please do share with your colleagues and networks.
Life insurance. No questions asked
When I caught up with Luca Schnettler a few weeks back he alluded to ‘something big’ in the pipeline. Just a little too early to announce at the time.
Well, it’s now official.
Qumata (formerly known as HealthyHealth), known for their ML/AI underwriting solution, has entered into an agreement with AIA to deploy their tech across their Asia business.
This is big news for Qumata, as it is for the wider industry. It’s the first time a major insurer has signalled their move to digital underwriting using no questions, rather digital data.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how this plays out. How AIA continue scaling this. How others respond. And ultimately how it improves the customer experience not having to answer lengthy questionnaires or visiting the doctor.
Whilst on the matter of data, the Digital Health Engagement Institute (DHEI) – set up by Peter Ohnemus, Founder of an Insurtech 100 company dacadoo – has launched a survey this week to better understand what factors influence consumer engagement with digital health platforms.
Research shows we could reduce the global health burden by over 40% in the next 20 years by using known interventions, adding $12 trillion to the global GDP. Crazy numbers and definitely worth getting involved – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DHEI_1121
Popstar pop-ups and Brazilian scaling
Keeping with life insurance a little longer and Azos has raised $10m Series A to enhance access to life insurance in Brazil. Azos offers consumers coverage and benefit options that fit their individual needs.
As per the Brazil Spøtlight in our recent Q3 Insurtech Briefing, there’s plenty of growth opportunity out in LatAM and companies like Azos are well placed to tap into it.
Jumping over to Asia and one I particularly enjoyed reading about is FWD Insurance launching a pop-up store in Hong Kong to celebrate a new protection plan and a digital platform.
It all started as a treasure shop themed TV commercial starring Cantopop boy band, Mirror (they’re pretty big out there!) which then led to the ‘Treasurance Roving Vehicle’ and now a shop! Who says innovation needs to be digital?
The shop displays a wide variety of insurance solutions as daily necessities, showcasing how insurance is incorporated into people’s daily lives. Divided into four zones, namely “Health”, “Life”, “Living” and “Travel”, the shop features popular insurance products welcomed by these celebrity shopkeepers.
Not sure how the strategy would play out in the European market but I’d love to see someone give it a try!
A few interesting super early-stage businesses bringing in money this week.
In the UK Rnwl, a platform which intends to improve the current buying and managing insurance process, has smashed its fundraising campaign.
At the time of writing this it was at 213% of its $200K crowdfunding target with 20 days left to run. Still time to get involved!
Part of their pitch reads:
‘…imagine the calm of having your insurance world at your fingertips. If your car breaks down, you get all the details you need with just one tap. Or when your renewal is due, you get a timed reminder to get the best prices, an easy way to compare the new deals and an easy way to cancel your previous policy.’
Okay, it’s not a pop-up shop but this stuff isn’t rocket science either. It’s simply working from the customer backwards and sounds great. Good luck to those guys.
A little further ahead, Israeli startup LeO has completed a $5m Seed round.
LeO, which was launched in 2017, has developed an AI sales assistant platform to make information more accessible for salespeople, insurance agents, and other officials. It plans to use the money to expand its operations the US market.
She’s super on the Israeli Insurtech scene and a good person to know in this space.
The steady rise of embedded insurance
What’s SøNws without talking embedded, right?
E-commerce giant Flipkart has revealed it will partner with Australia’s embedded insurance specialist (and Insurtech 100 venture) Cover Genius to offer insurance cover for damage on select furniture products sold on its platform. Alright, possibly not the most exciting but they’ve stated it would continue working with CoverGenius across other product categories.
And in the travel industry – Klook and ZA Tech have partnered in multiple markets to embed a full range of travel-related insurance products.
The new joint venture will see both companies integrating their operational and tech expertise, as well as marketing capabilities. Beginning with 9 of Klook’s markets, the partnership will enable global consumers to purchase digital travel insurance products seamlessly.
Finally, good to see Nigerian embedded insurtech Octamile raise a $500k pre-seed round led by EchoVC. If you don’t know Echo they’re a great team with the ambition ‘to be the Sequoia Capital for underestimated founders and markets’. How good and necessary is that?
Back on topic, I believe there’s huge potential for embedded out in underserved markets, including Africa and I can’t wait to see where Octamile can take their business.
Partnerships driving mobility innovation
Again, tonnes of Open Innovation activity taking place in the mobility space this week.
Keeping with the global tour of startup activity and Australia’s Ride Protect has launched a new service aimed at ride-share drivers to address coverage gaps in the on-demand ride-share and food delivery market.
Ride Protect was launched in 2021 and is expanding rapidly in Australia through partnerships with a variety of companies including Uber, Didi and Ola.
Singapore’s Igloo has strengthened its partnership with Vietnamese delivery firm AhaMove by the introduction of three new product offerings – cash allowance, transit insurance, and motor insurance products.
The new solution will cover 120,000 riders and 2 million customers.
And one you definitely will know (but where’s the fun in that?), Aon, is set to partner with US-based CarrierHQ. The latter focuses on usage-based commercial insurance programs, to launch Last Mile Delivery insurance.
The program, as you might have already guessed, will provide last mile delivery folk with coverage solutions which provide continuous cover but only charge a premium when vehicles are in use – meaning drivers don’t have to remember to renew policies every time they drive. Simple and nice.
Cyber leading the shift from protection to prevention
Commercial insurance provider Corvus Insurance has partnered with cyber risk analytics specialist CyberCube to better analyse and understand cyber risk.
As part of the partnership Corvus will use CyberCube’s Portfolio Manager, Single Point of Failure (SPoF) model and the Attritional Loss model as it seeks to take advantage of the growing cyber insurance market.
And in San Francisco Resilience has raised a $80m Series C to fund its expansion with mid-market customers in North America as well as expand globally.
Resilience provides all its policyholders with training, including a simulated ‘ransomware wargame’, as well as its patented continuous security monitoring. The wargame doesn’t sound much fun but nor does a cyber-attack, I guess.
SME, home and a Jacques of all trades
Something is afoot in Florida with Slide successfully closing an oversubscribed $100m Series A.
The catch? Slide has yet to fully launch to the public.
The company is headed by Bruce Lucas, who previously founded Heritage Insurance. The pitch is to create a full-stack insurtech which plans to use data, AI and ML to let homeowners create their own insurance policies. The new funds will be used to help the firm expand its development.
Whilst I imagine it’ll stay Stateside for the next few years it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. I imagine, with that kind of money, they’ll invest in a few experiments and hopefully push the industry forward en-route.
A couple of French companies to share with you too.
Paris-based Continuity, which focuses on SME underwriting, has raised $5.6m to develop their AI assistant.
Continuity’s SaaS platform uses Open Data and AI to detect insurance contracts that are either outdated or invalid across four product lines. Whilst not a unique proposition, it’s a good one and Continuity has already processed over 500k contracts, generating millions of euros in additional premiums for insurers.
Finally French insurtech Leocare has raised $116m through equity and debt financing.
Leocare’s angle is ‘to handle all your insurance needs under a single roof’. The startup can insure your home, your car, your motorbike and your smartphone. And it believes consumers want to subscribe to new insurance products using a mobile app because it’s more convenient and it opens up new features.
The company, which currently has 65,000 customers aims to generate more than $100m in revenue next year. It also intends to add new insurance products and expand to new markets, beginning with Southern Europe.
Before signing off, one last shout out.
This one goes to Capco for their recently Capco Institute Journal #54. With a focus on insurance they’ve brought together some seriously knowledgeable folk from around the world. It includes some brilliant contributions with research, analysis and opinion on risk, technology and regulation and of course what it means for the future.
They very kindly invited Sønr to share our observations on the growing importance of Open Innovation. Definitely one to read and to share – to give some context to just how significant a piece of work it is, we feature on page 152 of 216!
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