Hi everyone and a big fat happy Friday to you all.
Spoiler alert. If you get halfway through this and detect a glitch in the matrix, then guess what – you’d be right. Whilst Matt C enjoys a holiday, this week’s SøNws is brought to you by me, ‘the other Matt’ (F).
So, with that disclaimer in place, let’s get to it…
Real people. In person.
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to next week’s Insurtech Insights event and for so many reasons. If you’re heading that way then look us up on the Brella app, head over to the Future50 lounge or drop us a line at [email protected] – it’ll be brilliant to meet.
But if you’d prefer to just see us in action, then head over to Stage 1 on Tuesday at 2:55pm where Matt will be moderating a cracking session: Open Innovation – the value of partnering with startups.
Oh, and he’ll also be moderating a roundtable on Innovation in Underwriting that includes exploring both technology and culture.
Another reason to look forward to ITI is meeting up with Kobi Bendelak. And this week we’ve got part 2 of our conversations with him and two of the region’s leading startups – Ravin and Binah.ai:
If it’s a space that’s of interest then do talk to us – we’re cooking up plans for how we can help bring this to life for you.
What else have we been up to? Oh, there’s the small matter of a brilliant panel session yesterday titled: Embedded Insurance: Tackling the opportunities. If you’re wrestling with this then, definitely one to check out.
Watch this space – we’ll be sharing it with you, shortly and just shout if we can make any intros.
Right, onwards to some news…
Cyber, cyber, cyber… cyber.
There’s just so much going on in this space at the moment (anyone catch Google’s $5.4B acquisition of Mandiant..?) and some real challenges for the industry. Amid growing attacks, we’re also seeing rocketing costs and reduced levels of cover on offer as insurers seek to manage risk. The result? Arguably growing protection gaps – especially in Europe.
Enter SoSafe. Following a $73M Series B in January, the German cyber startup is helping to tackle cyber exposures (inadvertently) caused by employees with a digital coaching platform. They’ve announced plans to target rapid expansion to the Benelux region, Nordics, Southern Europe and the UK.
Next up is London-based Red Sift who raised a healthy $54M Series B after seeing ARR double in the past 12-months. They launched in 2015 and provides an integrated cloud email security and brand protection platform with plans to extend their global reach. Unsurprisingly they work across industries – including insurance.
Heading to Israel now, is CardinalOps who raised a $17.5M Series A. Their platform helps monitor and optimise existing cyber security solutions. They quote an average 86% gap between existing threat coverage and those defined by the MITRE ATT&CK framework.
That’s a big gap to optimise your way out of alone, but love the principle of maximising return on your existing investment.
Jumping from Israel to the US with VISO TRUST, which automates the process of compiling third-party cyber risk. 3rd party solutions have many, many benefits, but also present challenges when it comes to mitigating cyber risk. They’ve raised $11M to expand their AI-powered security due diligence platform, which will help businesses do just that.
Big wheels keep on turnin’
If the (poor) headline didn’t give it away, we’re switching over to Motor news now.
First up is Zego. After announcing they were rolling into the Netherlands, they’ve announced a multi-year partnership with Aviva. The deal will see them provide tailored fleet policies to trades and haulage businesses – bringing more fair and flexible approach to fleet insurance.
Great for customers and great to see such high-profile brands coming together.
Next is data analytics platform Verisk who have acquired UK-based, AIS. This includes BAIL – AIS’ automated motor claims liability assessment solution. This provides valuable data such as weather, traffic and highway restrictions to help inform claims decisions. The impact? A claimed 30% reduction in claims processing time. Nice.
Finally, here’s Hastings Direct, who’ve partnered with location technology startup, what3words. The partnership will tackle the long-standing issue of gaining exact location data – for example on dark or featureless roads. In the event of a breakdown or accident this sounds like a win for customers and insurer alike.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed
As (another poor) headline suggests, the world of health continues to be in fine fettle.
Digital employee health and benefits platform, Nayya has doubled its valuation after raising a $55M Series C. In a world of complex cover options, rising healthcare costs and expectations of increasing personlisation, it seems like US-based Nayya’s got a recipe for success. Reflected perhaps in the 7x revenue growth they saw in 2021.
Staying Stateside brings us to virtual specialty care provider, Story Health. Focussed on cardiology, digital health platforms like Story Health give specialists unprecedented scale by enabling remote monitoring and treatment.
Given the ongoing strain on health systems the world over, the need is acute. Their $22.6M Series A will help the company to further expand its cardiology offerings.
From the US to Chile now and Chilean digital wellness platform, Betterfly. Following their $125M funding round in Feb they’ve announced some ambitious expansion plans. Starting in LatAm, they will expand into the US and then Europe in 2023.
It’ll be interesting to see how they make the leap but impressive stuff from a business that’s still only 4 years old and already hit a $1B valuation…
Last, but by no means least is Susu – an Ivorian health startup who’ve raised $1M in a pre-seed funding. Aimed at patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease and higher-risk groups such as pregnant women.
There’s a hugely underinsured market of course, but they also offer a collective financing solution – ‘care bundles’, which enable family members to share the cost of care as an alternative to traditional financing models.
The Circle of Life
Actually, it’s less of a circle and more of an evolution. Whatever. Here’s news from the Life sector:
You can’t have missed the news this week from Xempus. The German Life and Pensions platform raised a cool $70M Series D. Excitingly, they’ve announced further European expansion plans and given the traction they’ve achieved domestically I can’t wait to see what happens next.
I feel like I’ve neglected the world of partnerships somewhat this week, so to redress that is news of Pendella.
The Life-focussed startup raised $5.2M in Series Seed-2 funding to help continue their growth – including the 30 partnerships they’ve formed in the past 12-months. Founded in 2018, Pendella’s core solution is an embedded, white-label individual life and disability insurance solution.
Speaking of neglected, I haven’t used the words Special Purpose Acquisition Companies for a while either. Weird how I don’t get invited to parties anymore.
Well, fortunately Epigenetics focused Foxo can help me out with their plans to go public via a SPAC with Delwinds Insurance Acquisition Corp giving a combined value of $369M. Foxo use AI and genetic technology (from saliva tests) to inform underwriting decisions. But the transaction will help them fund the launch of a D2C life insurance service later this year.
We took a look at a number of similar propositions a few months back. Genuinely fascinating stuff and could have profound implications for all of us. Give us a shout if you’d like to chat.
Right, we’re into the final furlong. Promise.
I have to give a shout out to subscription management platform, Chargebee. I’ve had so many conversations of late around payments and revenue operations that whilst the headline figures of a recent $250M raise obviously garner attention it’s reflective of real market interest.
Oh, and they also have a real-life-superhero in their ranks in the form of Michael Smink (sorry Michael). He’ll be at ITI so look him up if you’re interested in chatting about either aspect.
On to the weather now. Arbol, which provides global parametric climate risk solutions for the agriculture, energy, maritime and leisure sectors, has revealed it transacted $70m in gross premium in its first full-year of operations, and that it was cash-flow positive for 2021. It also announced it delivered a loss-ratio of less than 50% on capacity for transacted deals. Congrats to the Arbol team!
Next up is home insurance specialist, Kin who announced a $82M first close of its Series D and with an expected further $18M to come. They revealed growing managed premiums by 320% to around $105M in the past 12 months. Again, big congrats and an interesting journey ahead.
Claims news now and P&C fraud and risk solution provider, Friss has been shopping. They’ve acquired Polonious Insurance Investigations, which will enable Friss to er, well, improve claims investigations.
In a climate of rising challenges with fraud – both in volume and sophistication the acquisition makes a lot of sense. Not least when you consider the claimed increased case throughput of 38% and near 25% reduction in admin costs that Polonius deliver.
Right, that’s it.
Time to put the laptop down and start the weekend in earnest.
Hopefully I’ll get to catch more than a few of you all at ITI next week so again, please do drop us a line on Brella or [email protected] and we can grab something refreshing.
And needless to say that if you need a hand figuring out where opportunity may lie from this busy space or even seek out that perfect partner to meet that critical business need then we’d love to chat. Or, if you’d prefer to take a look for yourself then you can always dive into Sønr with our 14-day free trial.
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