Insurtech. It’s just getting started.

View this email in your browser



Nothing says Friday quite like diving straight into insurtech investment data, right?

A couple of days back I had the pleasure of joining Jonathan Kalman of EOS Venture Partners and Dr Andreas Nemeth of UNIQA Ventures to talk on an Insurtech Insights webinar titled ‘Who will be the next insurance unicorn’.

I always love these kinds of sessions as it forces me to geek out on our data beforehand.

So I thought I’d share some top line stats with you.
All timeframes are the past 6 months and all data maps to insurtech.

Investment totals and number of deals is up Q on Q

  • Total investment share: US 75%, Europe 13.5%, Asia 10%
  • Number of deals: US 57%, Europe 28%, Asia 12%

Still much bigger ticket in the US and it remains the dominant market.

Also particularly interesting was the balance of early vs late stage, the thinking being that the early stage investment is what will impact the industry in the next 3-5+ years.

  • Early stage (Series B and below) = 49%

This continued focus on early stage, coupled with ever increasing capital availability means we’ll see more emergent innovation and a quickening of change across the market. And this is exciting.


We’ve a tonne of deeper trend insights – e.g. what’s really going on in your line of insurance or where are the opportunities for your business – so please do get in touch if of interest.

We’ve also an army of researchers and analysts that pull this stuff together for our clients regularly so happy to help.

Right, let’s kick off today’s SøNws with some health news.

Health continues to attract the big bucks

Let’s start with the Sweden’s Kry…also known as Livi in some markets.

It has raised a whopping $300m at a valuation of $2bn. For any of you who haven’t come across Kry yet, it offers telehealth across multiple countries in Europe and expanded into the US last year.

It plans to use the new funding to expand further, explore M&A and add a mental health offering too.

And talking mental health, New York’s Headway has raised $70m to fund its nationwide expansion, earning an updated valuation of $750m.

Headway’s free tool enables users to find and connect with therapists that are accepted by their insurers, making support much more accessible and affordable. The platform has connected more than 2,000 patients to a therapist since its 2019 launch.

Lastly, on the funding front, wellness ring company Oura has raised $100m in Series C for R&D and expanding its team after a crazy growth spurt over the last few years.


Interestingly much of their growth has come from the adoption from across major sports leagues including the NBA, UFC and NASCAR. It’s now sold more than 500k rings.

A couple of other health releases I came across this week.

It looks like China’s Waterdrop hopes to raise around $360m in its NYSE IPO.

And if you want a good read about life as an entrepreneur, it’s worth checking out Zach Reitano’s journey through six businesses before he came up with Ro – a US healthtech now valued at $5bn.

Finally a big thanks to both iFHP and the Future Health Summit 2021 for inviting me to speak at their respective events this week. It was great to share our insights but even better to hear just how engaged the audiences are with the world of health innovation.

Open innovation accelerating life insurance

The fastest way to innovate is by partnering.
It’s true across insurance and life insurance is no exception.

On the basis there’s way too much to cover in SøNws, I’ve pulled together 3 very different examples:

In Canada, Allstate has partnered with online will provider Willful, enabling Allstate customers to easily access estate planning tools.

Since its 2017 launch, Willful has helped over 50,000 Canadians. The pair hope to help the 59% of Canadians who want to be more prepared to face emergencies after Covid-19.

In the UK YuLife has partnered with Beam, a crowdfunding platform that supports people who are homeless find their way back into society.


Beam creates opportunities so people can find training in different fields, and so far, have supported more than 250 people in various skills, such as plumbing, security, carers and more.

What I love about the partnership is YuLife members can now exchange their YuCoin – the reward currency given to those who track daily activity – for vouchers that will sponsor someone’s campaign.

And finally, solutions provider Atidot has partnered with Sapiens to help insurers scale value from their current books of business.

The joint solution combines Atidot’s AI and predictive analytics platform with Sapien’s CoreSuite enabling insurers to generate real-time, dynamic, actionable insights that will help in personalising policies, risk reduction, and enhance overall profitability.


Planes, trains (well bikes) and automobiles

Keeping with open innovation a little longer and what SøNws is complete without a mention of Wakam joining forces with yet another startup to innovate in yet another space.

This time it’s MondialCare which has used Wakam’s new self-service platform to set up and create their new flight delay insurance in just a few days.

Wakam’s white-label solution enables partners to integrate easily and configure products with just a few clicks.

Keeping with planes and Icelandair is aiming to help alleviate Covid-19 worries by partnering with Cover Genius to offer embedded ‘Covid Plus’ medical protection for travellers.

The tailored product will mean their customers are protected should they contract the virus, or if they need assistance whilst overseas.

On the bike front Aviva has partnered with insurtech Ripe to offer a bicycle product – Cycleplan. Cycleplan currently already has ~ 25k policyholders, a number which I imagine will grow pretty quickly for them now.


And as for cars, More Than has launched a new usage-based product after their research unsurprisingly revealed one in four drivers expected to commute less now compared to pre-pandemic times. I do hope that research wasn’t too expensive to commission.

The new auto insurance product was developed in partnership with IMS, and uses a connected smart device to record mileage. The two companies have previously worked together on More Than’s Smart Wheels Black Box product.

And one I particularly liked is super early stage auto insurtech Sigo which raised $1.5m this week.

Their plan is to launch a product that removes biased rate factors from the underwriting process. Its plan is to enable customers with limited insurance or credit histories to get basic auto insurance. This, I like.

Finally, something that’s definitely worth a read is Kaenan Hertz’ breakdown of Root’s 2021 Q1 numbers. It’s good. He’s a smart chap that Kaenan.

Property insurtechs continue to attract investment

Property data startup and AmFam spin-out Arturo has raised $25m in Series B funding to expand its technical team and expand its coverage to Europe and SE Asia.

The company also reported it has increased revenue over 300% in the past year after securing new deals with leading insurers in the US and Australia.


Arturo can extract more than 70 property data attributes from aerial photographs, and offers predictive analytics based on its proprietary data sources for residential and commercial properties.

And commercial property data and analytics venture Archipelago has raised a £34m Series B to further scale its product and team, and expand the availability of its platform to insurers and brokers. Archipelago’s platform, which launched to the public mid-2020, digitised property risk data from unstructured sources such as documents, images and schematics. It currently has over 330k commercial properties on its platform.

Claims finally moving into the spotlight

Unsurprisingly we continue to see more and more innovation in the world of claims. It’s traditionally been an area of high cost coupled with poor customer experience. This is slowly changing but boy do things move slow in insurance sometimes.

The good news, is there are a few leading the way…

This week SCOR announced a new strategic partnership with Snapsheet.

Through the partnership, SCOR clients will have access to Snapsheet’s end-to-end claims management platform, digital payments platform, motor virtual appraisal offering, and a comprehensive set of third-party integrations.

Sounds very 2021.

AI-powered vehicle inspection startup Tractable is expanding its partnership with French insurer Covéa to accelerate auto claims processing nationally.


Tractable’s computer vision enables insurers to speed up decision-making and simplify vehicle recovery. It evaluates damage and offering automated recommendations and guides for the best course of repair.

And interestingly insurtech Shift Technology has secured a ‘landmark partnership’ with the UK’s Insurance Fraud Bureau.

The plan is to develop a fraud detection system for the UK insurance industry, which will launch in 2022. It will aim to dramatically reduce the £3bn that fraud costs the economy every year by leveraging AI to scale and accelerate operations.

From an investment perspective, claims automation startup has raised $11m in Series A funding, just over a year after its $2.5m Seed round.

The insurtech already works with a number of insurers across Europe, South America and APAC providing an NLP and OCR-powered claims engine that resolves claims quickly.

Changing market dynamics

A couple of announcements I enjoyed this week were from Qover and Ignatica, both of whom are worth keeping an eye on.

Qover raised $25m in Series B funding to accelerate the company’s development in Europe and worldwide.

If you don’t know these guys already, they operate an open-API platform which enables them to launch and embed almost any insurance product and offer it across borders at speed.

The company, which counts Revolut, Deliveroo and Wolt as partners, is currently live in 32 countries in Europe, and covers more than 1m people.

And much earlier in their journey, Hong Kong’s Ignatica has raised a $7m Pre-Series A round.


After experiencing ‘stunning growth’ in the past 18 months, the SaaS venture, which helps insurers build and launch products at low cost, said it would use the fresh funds to further growth in SE Asia, China, Japan, and expand into Europe and North America.

Pretty much everywhere but Africa, right? That’s alright, they’ve got their own thing going on. See below.

Actually before diving in to what’s going on in Africa, I got sent this in the week. ‘Transformation in 60 days’ from our friends at Go-Insur/Pancentric. Worth a read if you’re needing a helping hand.

Africa insurtech is on the rise

I’ve a feeling we’re going to see more and more insurance innovation coming out of Africa. As with India and South America, it’s been a hugely underserved market, crying out for innovation that leapfrogs traditional models.

A couple of seed investments for Lami Technologies and OKO.

Kenyan based Lami raised $1.8m to expand geographically and enhance its insurance platform, which supports low-income populations.

Founded in 2018, the insurtech partners with businesses, enabling them to offer tailored digital insurance products via its API. The company has stated it has sold over 5,000 policies since launch.

And agricultural insurtech OKO has raised $1.2m to help protect African farmers’ incomes.

The company already has 7k customers in Mali and plans to use the funds to further expand along the Ivory Coast. Last year OKO, which uses satellite data and mobile payments to create parametric products based on adverse weather, helped more than 1,000 farmers who were impacted by flooding.

Slightly later stage, business and personal insurtech AlphaDirect raised $600k in a pre-Series A round with the intention to expand into Zambia and South Africa.

After making US$4.8m in revenue last financial year, the Botswanan company also revealed plans to close a bigger Series A round by June this year.

Last but by no means least is our friends at Africa Insurtech Rising partnering with Insuretech Connect to launch The Bridge, an international innovation program taking place this summer.

The program will provide mentorship, grant funding and networking for startups and founders. It will also showcase the insurtechs that can help shape new opportunities in the African insurance industry.

We interviewed Tunde, the CEO of Africa Insurtech Rising earlier this year and next week the tables turn as he’s invited me on to their podcast. I’ll be sure to post a link once it’s published.

Worth a read

Introducing HPIX™
Hudson Structured Capital Management has created a new index to measure the Insurtech sector’s performance in public markets. Super interesting (if you’re into this stuff).

Move fast and fix things: building the best hurricane response process in 12 hours.
After its recent announcement of surpassing $100m in annual recurring premium, Kin Insurance offers an interesting reflection on how they built their first hurricane response process. In around just 12 hours, after hurricane Irma struck, only four months after the company has been open for business.

Tokio Marine Group – Non-Affirmative Cyber Risk Assessment
The Cyber Centre of Excellence (CCoE) at Tokio Marine Group have collaborated with their discussion partners Munich Re and Gallagher Re to develop a non-affirmative cyber framework. The intent is to share their approach with others who might be looking at this complex and often misunderstood topic.

“How do you make money from SøNws?”

One of the joys of writing SøNws is the crazy amount of people who read it, share it and then subscribe. The downside is people thinking this is what I/we do for a living.

The question above gets put to me more than any other at the moment.

The truth of the matter is I’d be pretty rubbish at running a media business. Or at least not that interested in doing it. Maybe they’re one of the same.

But what I do run is Sønr.

And for those who haven’t been subjected by my subliminal (and often pretty overt) brainwashing over the years of reading these fortnightly rambles, Sønr is the world’s most comprehensive source of market intelligence on insurance innovation.

It is a subscription platform used by some of the best known insurers globally – Allianz, Bupa, Munich Re, Tokio Marine etc, as well as a whole bunch of others (who we love equally just in case they’re reading).

Sønr tracks the data across millions of companies around the world. And it provides our clients with insight on the latest market trends, the startups and scaleups reshaping the industry, and intelligence on how their competitors are innovating.

If it sounds good, you’re welcome to take a 14-day trial?
If not, I hope you enjoy reading SøNws nevertheless.

Right, that’s me done. Nearly.

Last call out for any incredible emergent Insurtechs from the Americas. If you know of one which you think must be in the Future50 Americas you can submit it here.

And for anyone exploring how insurers can optimise business processes, the Insurance Times are running a webinar on this next Wednesday. It’s free so get yourself signed up. I’m speaking alongside folk from ABBYY, Kingfisher and Zurich.

It’s Friday. Vaccine tomorrow.
As always get in touch should you wish to say hello.

Have a top weekend.


SøNws is brought to you by Sønr.

Sønr is the world-leading market intelligence and open innovation platform created specifically for the insurance sector. It provides you with the knowledge and tools to stay relevant, compete and plan for the future.

Try out a 14-day trial of Sønr to access intelligence on market trends, competitor playbooks and disruptive tech companies globally. Plus collaboration tools to help you track and manage innovation activity across your organisation.




Copyright © 2021 Sønr Global. All rights reserved.

If you enjoyed this email, please forward to a friend and suggest they subscribe. If you didn’t, feel free to unsubscribe from this list or let me know what you’d rather read about.


Subscribe to SøNws

Join 10,000s of others and keep ahead of insurance innovation news and activity from around the world: