Genuinely chuffed for Daniel Schreiber and team. Congrats to you guys.
More broadly I’m excited for what this does for insurance. In particular how this will undoubtedly attract new entrepreneurs into the industry and act as a marker in the sand for those already here:
I thought Scor’s Adrian Jones summed it up well:
25 million new customers during the pandemic
Earlier this week I caught up with Alan Lau of WeSure. I’ll get a transcript up soon but in the meantime have a watch/listen.
These guys are 2.5 years into their journey with 100m registered users, 40m active customers, and they doubled customer acquisition between Q4 ’19 and Q1 ’20. Huge numbers. The best bit? According to Alan, they’re just getting started.
He talks at length about their WeFit product (very similar to what we see from Vitality), the growth opportunities from developing products at a lower price point, and their responsibility to insure those who might be ill already.
What, sadly, didn’t make the edit was the moment Swifty’s ginger cat jumped up on the table and managed to blend perfectly into his ginger beard. Personally, I’d have left that in.
Keeping with health, there’s been some big money sloshing around this past fortnight. Interestingly mainly in US businesses.
Following its strategic partnership with Cigna in January, Oscar has raised a further $225m. The health insurer stated the cash would drive growth of its c.$2bn revenue base - expanding access to more affordable healthcare.
DispatchHealth announced a $135m raise to expand its in-home medical treatment service. A medical team will reach customers within 2 hours and can be requested either by patients or medical professionals via an app or good old-fashioned phone call. With 30% of US healthcare costs related to facility-based care, this marks a continued growth in (non-critical) out-patient care models.
And last week we saw two Series B rounds - IoT platform provider, BrightInsight landed $40m to support its goal to provide the Infrastructure of a digital health ecosystem. And mental health startup Big Health raised $39m to build on its automated programs for anxiety (Daylight) and sleeplessness (Sleepio).
A few others that caught my eye more locally:
UK’s Canopy, who I always imagine we’d hear more about, has raised £2m. The digital rental platform, which focuses on making the financial aspects of renting easier, plans to use the latest capital to accelerate partnerships and grow its product portfolio.
Germany Elucidate has raised a €2.5m seed round to further develop its FinCrime Index (EFI), a financial crime risk analytics tool. The investment came from a VC in Liechtenstein who I hadn’t come across before - Seed X Liechtenstein.
I forget the home of medieval castles, alpine landscapes and hilltop villages is also the world’s richest country per capita and has a pile of VCs.
Sweden’s Insurello, having helped more than 85k consumers receive the correct claims pay-outs from insurers, brought in $8m+ and have plans to expand across Europe.
And MGA startup SingularCover, which works with small businesses, freelancers and the self-employed, has raised a €4.5m Series A - one of the top financing rounds for a Spanish startup so far this year.
Where to start? There has been so much activity in the past week or so.
Let’s go with Laka. We’ve got to know these guys well over the past few years and I enjoy their reframing of traditional insurance. Positioned as a community-based insurer of cyclists, they’ve launched Recovery - a new policy for both mind and body.
Priced at £11 per month, and backed by Zurich, the accident and injury policy also offers specialist advice and psychological treatment.
Keeping with wheels and another brand reframing how we traditionally buy insurance is Jaguar Land Rover. It’s launched PIVOTAL – a new subscription model where customers pay a monthly fee for the vehicle’s rental, which covers the cost of insurance, tax, servicing and any repairs needed. Very Drover.
Last, but certainly not least for UK news, is Bupa which has expanded its range of remote health services. Whilst perhaps unsurprising given that COVID-19 has made many people reluctant to leave home to access healthcare, it’s also consistent with the market’s interest in virtual/remote care as a way of managing healthcare costs.
Bupa From Home customers can now get 24/7 advice from nurses on everyday health concerns, treatment from GPs, physios and mental health therapists, and fast access to diagnosis and treatment for critical conditions such as cancer, cardiac and mental health.
Another health-related service I noticed this week was CNA launching their The View From Home - a new program to help long-term care policyholders age independently at home for longer. It’s been created in partnership with the insurtech The Helper Bees, in particular using their Care Concierge product.
Shifting to life insurance and Japan’s Dai-ichi Life is set to become the first big life insurer in Japan to sell policies digitally. The new service, which will use a chat app and video conferencing tools, will launch later this year.
In a culture where face-to-face distribution is so important, and Dai-ichi alone has more than 40K sales representatives, this is big news.
Finally, I mentioned Wefox a little earlier and it’s just announced the launch of a new venture - its developer-first API platform, Koble. It’ll be super-interesting to see how this is adopted by insurers – arguably with the credibility of Wefox and burgeoning investment in hybrid infrastructure, and just how big a slice of the market they grab.
The announcement also revealed more information about the group's other companies, stating that distribution channel wefox has grown from $0 to over $100m in revenues in four years, and full-stack insurer One Insurance has grown from $0 to more than $30m in ARR in two years. Impressive stuff.
It can’t be long before they’re following in the footsteps of Lemonade.
Time to wrap up. For all those who enquired after my building of the climbing frame, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s all up and running. And still standing. Pictures available on request.
Some of you may have had a note from me on LinkedIn. I promised myself that I’d be a little more sociable this year and, on the basis I’m planning on not heading to any events anytime soon, I thought it’d be a good start.
If you’d like to connect and keep in touch, my LinkedIn handle is below.
Exploring the value of Sønr within your company
We’ve got some bandwidth for a few more enterprise Sønr trials over the summer.
Even if you wouldn’t be leading on this – an introduction to the right person would be hugely appreciated. We’re now working with some amazing clients and I’m keen to keep our momentum going.
Finally, our latest Spøtlight.
This week we caught up with Niels Thoné of Sprout AI who recently announced a Seed round of $2.5m ahead of a planned £10m round Series A later this year. If you don’t know much about these guys, definitely worth a read. Interesting Niels cites the press Lemonade was receiving back in 2018 as a nudge for the business.
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