Generative deepfakes and ‘Effing Rich’ Gen Z

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Trump is guilty on all 34 counts.
Elon Musk’s startup xAI secures $6bn.
Sønr launches Accelerate AI.

It’s all big news 😉

New York next week. Amsterdam the week after.
If you’re in either, and fancy a coffee or catch up, let me know.

Right, let’s get into it.

UK fin/ins/techs (🤷) building global scale

UK’s Vitesse has raised £73m Series C as it looks to push into the US.

Based on the number of the Vitesse team I bumped into in Chicago last week, it looks like they’re not waiting around.

If you don’t know these guys, they provide carriers and claim admins with integrated treasury and payment solutions. They set up back in 2014 with the aim to fix the opaque, costly and outdated payments process.

Roll forward 10 years and they’re offering a single connection to a network of domestic clearing systems for fast and full‑value payouts to claimants. And doing a pretty good job of it.

Another British insurtech, Bondaval has struck a deal to raise just shy of £15m.

Bondaval provides a security instrument backed by its insurer partners’ balance sheets, administered via its own digital platform (or the ERP of its customers via API).

With offices in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada, the new funding will be used to launch a reinsurance vehicle called Bondaval Re, allowing it to partner with reinsurers as well as insurers.

‘Effing rich’ Gen Z to microfinancing rural female entrepreneurs

Exploring the somewhat blurry intersection of fintech and insurtech further, two more news stories that grabbed me this week.

Frich has raised $2.8m. And it’s pretty unique.

Frich stands for ‘Effing Rich’ (the URL is and they self-label as ‘social finance for Gen Z’.

The premise behind the company is that Gen Z is tired of inauthenticity. Unrealistic portrayals of financial success are displayed all over social media and it leaves people wondering how they truly compare to their peers financially.

How it works is users ask questions anonymously on the app to get a better understanding of how their peers are doing. They can also anonymously share financial data to get a comparison.

Frich then makes money by partnering with banks and other financial brands. It’s been around since 2021, has 100k+ users and is nearly at $1m ARR.

It’s smart. That’s for sure. And it seems to be tapping into a particularly hard-to-reach crowd and building some pretty valuable data around it. One to watch.

In a VERY different space, India’s Fusion Micro Finance has secured a $25m loan.

With 3.8m customers across India, comprising mostly of women living in rural and semi-urban areas, their focus is to provide financial services to female entrepreneurs belonging to the economically and socially deprived section of the society.

Just. Love. This.

Actually, one more. I lied.

On the acquisition side and another great business focussed on the underserved.

Howden has acquired MiCRO – a microinsurance specialist that designs and implements parametric insurance coverage for underserved populations in Latin America against natural catastrophes. It’s not a new narrative, but (unfortunately) one that’s here to stay.

End-to-end evolution. Not revolution.

FintechOS has landed a $60m Series B.

These guys provide a low-code platform, focusing on enhancing existing core infrastructures rather than replacing them entirely. And the numbers would suggest their approach is working.

  •  40% YOY growth
  • 170% up operating margin.
  • 300% growth since the last funding

Another fundraise, this one a CAD $18.5m, was by APOLLO, which simultaneously announced the creation and launch of FinShore – a wholly-owned buy-now-pay-later subsidiary.

FinShore provides a fully embedded monthly payment option to over 100,000 Canadians insured with APOLLO. Nice.

The not so Caha! moment for Direct Line Group

We’ve got ships, trucks and cars. Keep reading if this is your thing.

Ships – Orca AI, a Tel-Aviv based AI shipping specialty company, has landed $23m following a strategic partnership with marine insurer North Standard. Good work team Orca.

Trucks – Cover Whale has announced a $27.5m round of mixed debt and equity. Interesting to read the investment rationale from Nick Nocito, Executive Director of Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital:

“We believe Cover Whale is a rare instance where the team has built a large-scale insurtech MGA and achieved consistent profitability while remaining capital efficient.”

Cars – Direct Line Group has made the call to shut down Caha!, its car ownership app.

Caha was launched in 2023 to bring together different aspects of car ownership – fuel prices, reminders, parking finder, EV charging, car valuation, etc. It didn’t work but full marks for trying. It’s a space a few have played around with and there’ll be some learnings in there I don’t doubt.

What’s that Lassie, a pet insurer is growing at 300%? 

Ah, the rollercoaster of pet insurance. Buckle up.

Sweden’s Lassie has announced it is expanding into France after reaching nearly 100k customers in Sweden and Germany. Nice work Lassie.

These guys offer preventative care as well as insurance. The company revealed that since it launched in Germany in 2023, it has grown 300%.

In not so good news (if you own a pet in the US), Nationwide is stopping coverage for about 100,000 furry friends across the country. They put this down to inflation, cost of veterinary care, and ‘other factors’.

But don’t worry, there’s hope yet.

Mylo is now offering pet insurance in partnership with Safeco, a Liberty Mutual unit.

Confusion. Confidence. Health.

First up in the health space is Amino Health which has landed a $10m raise.

These guys recommend high quality healthcare providers based on objective, proprietary clinical data.

This is their homepage message:

Ironically it took me a few goes to get past their ‘Are you human?’ test, leaving me a whole load more confused and not terribly confident I was, indeed, human.


On the partnership side, Aflac has come together with Nayya. The goal of making Aflac customers aware of their Aflac benefits during the claims experience.

And finally, Mexican healthtech Welbe has raised a $7m round.

Welbe Care offers a comprehensive occupational health and medical platform for companies and their employees. Through a B2B2C model, Welbe Care focuses on the population struggling to obtain basic health care services.

Custom avatars with generative voice models

A space we’ve been doing a lot of client research in recently is deepfake.

A seriously interesting (and terrifying) trend to get across both personally and professionally.

An example, just this week we saw the partnership between Synthesia and ElevenLabs. Possibly two companies you’re not yet familiar with. Let’s get into them a little more.

Synthesia’s platform employs AI to analyse real people in videos and then generate simulacra, or entirely imaginary humans, to perform from a script. This alone is pretty common. They just happen to be very good at it.

The new partnership will provide more advanced generative voice creation models. Users will have the option to clone their voice with greater speed and efficiency, and therefore create more engaging, personalised and immersive video experiences.

You can see the good and the bad, right?

It’s incredible innovation and there are already some crazy examples of how this type of tech has already been misused to illicit $billions.

If you’d like to know more about Deepfakes, the opportunities and risks it brings, drop a note to our research team and they’ll walk you through some of it.

Back to protecting against this Zurich Insurance and BOXX who have been working together for a few years now, have launched a new cyber protection app in Switzerland.

Designed to help individuals and families to prevent scams and other digital threats, it will be available to Swiss customers via an app, offering a range of tools and access to experts.

Right, that is me.

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And finally, if you’re about in the NYC or Amsterdam in the coming two weeks, drop me a line. If you’re in Singapore, drop Matt F a line.

Have a good weekend all.


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