Whilst your regular host is sunning himself in Cornwall (lol) it falls to me; ‘the other Matt’ at Sønr to bring you this week’s SøNws.
Heavy lies the crown.
In any case, I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of time with our customers talking about what tech innovation means for them. It’s a fascinating place to be and wow, it feels like a world that’s busier than ever and not least due to the flurry of IPO announcements. So, here’s what’s particularly caught my eye in the past fortnight:
New best friends
Kicking things off is news from the world of partnerships and acquisitions:
United Health have announced the acquisition of virtual pharmacy, Divvydose. The deal, rumoured to be in the region of $300million, will help further extend the health giant's digital service proposition.
Nationwide’s partnership with Cambridge Mobile Telematics has grown to include CMT’s driver distraction product. They’re citing nearly 66% of accidents being caused by driver distractions (eek). I was recently chatting to Ted Chen from Lifesaver-app about their solution too – worth a look if you’re interested.
Sticking with the Claims AI theme, Admiral's Spanish brands and Tractable are set to work together – further adding to Tractable's customer list.
It's pretty interesting to look at what's of value to both parties here. Arguably for startups the incumbent's scale (and therefore distribution) is an obvious benefit. From the incumbent's perspective the ready made product, development roadmap as well as validated product/market fit will all be valuable.
Cutting the corporates out of the picture is insurtech Bold Penguin who have acquired RiskGenius for an undisclosed amount. RiskGenius will become part of Bold Penguin's insurance intelligence effort as part of their workflow processing product. The two plan to 'combine efforts and identify plans to increase the velocity of features being produced'.
And finally, looking for partners is Claim Technology, which launched its 1-Click Insurtech marketplace this week, and is offering interested new partners up to £200,000 in funding to help accelerate deal flow. Check them out.
Ding, ding, all change
With Iñaki Ereño being announced as Bupa’s new CEO I’ve been looking forward to hearing what’s in store on his watch. His description of being on a journey to ‘healthcare that is more digital, more preventative and closer to people.’ really struck a chord. Not least due to the increasing breadth of services we’ve been tracking but the cash being poured into the sector too (over 30% of all investments in Q3).
Next up is AXA UK who’ve announced the merging of three of their health and wellbeing brands under the new banner: AXA Health. Following the recent senior hires they’ve been making it’ll be interesting to see what comes next.
When two become one Crowdcube and Seedrs are set to merge, a move which would see the creation of one of the largest private equity marketplaces in the world. Since 2011, roughly £2bn has been invested on the platforms' collective campaigns, helping more than 1,500 startups raise funds.
I need breakfast cereal, a lawnmower and health insurance.
Walmart Insurance Services is go! The retail giant will be selling health plans through its new brokerage in a move set to capitalise on the growth seniors Medicare. After all the ‘could they, will they, should they?’ type speculation it’ll be fascinating to see how they get on against stiff competition from the incumbents. And who'll be next from the world of tech/retail giants...
Insurtech IPO’s - the new normal?
Following in the footsteps of Lemonade and Hippo (which has plans to go public in 2021), are not one, not two but three newly announced IPOs:
First up is Root Inc who’ve raised $523 million (plus a chunk of debt financing) and has a valuation of $3.65 billion. Leading with telematics-based auto policy products they’ve since expanded to renters and home insurance.
Cashing in on demand in the healthcare space are Clover Health and Doctor Care Anywhere.
Medicare Advantage insurer, Clover Health has announced it will become publicly traded via merger with Social Capital Hedosophia with a valuation of around $3.7billion.
Doctor Care Anywhere has also announced a planned IPO of $75million. The healthtech’s customers include AXA, Aon and HCA Health and the news comes after an unsurprisingly busy 2020 including a $27million Series B in March.
Big congrats to all, although high-fives aside, there’s been some really interesting commentary on the valuations and whether they’ll hold up. Only time will tell, although Lemonade seems to be trending north once more.
Life and death Bank of America has launched (nationally) its digital Life Plan tool to help customers set and track goals based on their life priorities. Trying to out-Fintech the Fintechs is perhaps table stakes for large financial services organisations and BoA are claiming positive engagement - with over 80,000 users since its pilot started last year. The integration with their banking services helping drive customer engagement with the brand and products more broadly.
Back over the pond we come.
I love it when you see a brand’s personality provide cut-through and DeadHappy does just that. The irreverent Life insurance brand is currently fund raising but if you want to get in on the action you’ll have to be quick - their Seedr’s round ends today. Congrats to the team though - it’s already oversubscribed – nearing £2.7million from over 1,100 investors. Check out their campaign video too on their Seedrs page.
Another thing that makes me very happy is when tech simplifies things. Particularly when those things are complex and/or happen at difficult times. I don't think I've ever used the term 'deathtech' before but here's Glasgow-based Exizent who've announced a £3.6million raise for their digital platform to reduce the stress of managing people's affairs once they pass.
Well a week couldn't pass without a mention...
Helping you to avoid these products for as long as possible is the world of healthcare. It was the most heavily invested in sector in the first half of the year – a trajectory that’s continued in Q3.
AXA Hong Kong has launched the "Pink Medical Insurance Plan", a holistic solution focused on women's health. As well as providing medical protection needs, AXA Hong Kong will also offer value-add services some as cosmetic treatments, fertility solutions and maternity care through selected partnerships. I’m interested to see how far the definition of ‘holistic’ goes here as there’s growing startup activity in this space owing to the historically narrow definition when it comes to ‘women’s health’
Healthtech Your.MD has raised £23m in funding to scale its self-care platform with clinically-validated 'health hubs' and further expansion planned across the UK, India and the US. The platform has seen 350% growth after launching tools to help monitor Covid-19 symptoms.
Corporate healthcare benefits and wellness platform, HealthMetrics have announced a $5million Series A. The investment will help them grow their regional footprint as well as extend their product lineup to include telemedicine, digital wellness and preventive programs.
Finally, and possibly due to the barrage of media images of uni students on lockdown is US-based Hazel Health. The on-demand telehealth provider for students have raised a significant $33.5 million They play squarely in the preventative space citing the value of the scheme being: “With Hazel’s early intervention, most common healthcare problems are addressed immediately and the child safely returns to class. Parents don’t get called out of work and kids stay in school…” If you'd have asked me 1 toddler ago if this was an interesting proposition I'd probably have shrugged my shoulders. But now?
And so, that concludes our little round-the-world trip for another fortnight.
It never ceases to amaze me how fast the world of tech innovation’s moving. And if you’re feeling the same just give us a call – we’d love to chat. Not only can we help you access the most up to date and comprehensive global data but we’ll help you understand where the value lies for you and your plans.
It’s been lovely chatting, next stop is my last catch up with a Sønr customer, swiftly followed by a beer. Possibly two.
Have a great weekend and hopefully speak to you again soon.
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