Apologies for not writing SøNws a couple of weeks back.
It was like a scene from The Hangover at the Sønr Airbnb in Vegas. Just no tiger.
Hats off to the ITC Vegas crew for such a successful event. Proud to partner up.
Insurtech 100 launch
Who doesn’t love the Insurtech 100, right?
This year it’s bigger, better and bolder than ever. EY are back on board as the main sponsor. Thank you EY. And they’re joined by our much loved client, Generali – a company which has innovation running through its veins.
It’ll launch on October 19th.
If you’d like to be the first to receive a copy, register here.
Right, let’s get into some market news.
Buy, build or partner?
For anyone who knows me I love to bang on about this stuff.
The routes to driving change across a business – whether transformation or innovation, are pretty straightforward. You either acquire the capability, build it out or partner with someone who already has it.
Sourcing the right partner to work with or acquire is a little trickier. And bringing them on board in an efficient and effective manner, equally tough.
What’s been interesting, this past fortnight, is just how much conversation Lemonade hitting the UK’s shores has generated. Mostly down to the partnership it has struck with Aviva.
For a business that, a few years back, was the poster child of ‘insurtech vs incumbent,’ it certainly is interesting seeing that stance soften.
I genuinely don’t know enough about the deal – other than Aviva acting as the reinsurer, but imagine (and hope) there’s a whole load more value than what you see in the press release.
YAS was founded in 2019 in Hong Kong, and it is a blockchain-based insurtech company offering on-demand microinsurance.
What grabbed me was the funding statement which announced plans to start offering cross-dimensional insurance policies to the growing Web3 field. It’s another huge growth market with only $6bn of the $1tn market currently insured.
Another business which I really like, again underpinned by blockchain, is reinsurance company Re which has secured a decent $14M Seed.
Launched in 2020, the company was built on the Avalanche blockchain, providing investors with a way of backing insurance policies. Definitely one to check out.
And finally, capacity trading platform Stere has raised $5M funding from Vida Capital.
Founded in 2021, these guys offer a digital insurance ecosystem to help businesses find re/insurance capacity.
It also offers a library of APIs aimed at giving embedded insurance partners access to business channels to launch their insurance programs.
Don’t forget, if you’re ever keen to get a data-driven sense of where your market is heading and where greenfield opportunities lie, hit us up.
Sønr has unique access to this information, and it’s part of the value we’re bringing to insurance companies around the world.
ESG still topping the strategic agenda
Keeping with the next generation of Insurtechs, ESG is, rightly, playing an ever-critical role in future strategies.
I saw AON has teamed up with nature-based solutions provider Revalue Nature to scale the development of nature-based carbon credits to meet growing demand.
The voluntary carbon market has been rapidly expanding of late, and current conditions represent an opportunity to make a sizable impact. The market valuation is expected to grow to $50bn by 2030.
And on the investment side, satellite data company PlanetWatchers landed an $11m Series A.
Founded in 2016 it uses machine learning and AI for crop monitoring and then provides this data to insurers and the agricultural industry. And it’s seriously smart stuff.
Finally, flood intelligence platform Cloud to Street raised $12m.
Founded in 2015, Cloud to Street uses global satellites, advanced science and community intelligence in order to analyse local flood exposure.
Again, a pretty exceptional company and one I expect we’ll be hearing plenty more from over the years.
Life, Health and Wealth
A couple of investments for US life insurtechs.
But not your usual suspects.
Amplify has secured $22m from Munich Re Ventures. Amplify allows customers to invest in the public capital markets with their life insurance premiums, accessing tax efficient returns throughout their lifetime.
The other is Inclined which has raised a $15M Series A.
Founded in 2020 Inclined’s aim is to help whole life insurance policyholders realise more value from their policies.
And it’s an interesting play and something we’ll see more of as the worlds of health, life and wealth blur closer together.
Moving into health and great to see Peachy secure their first tranche of investment.
Founded by Amit Patel, Peachy has received $1.6m in seed capital from former Bupa, AXA and CII CEOs.
The company, started just last year, has an app through which it offers patients various health insurance options. I was given a product tour yesterday and it’s already super slick.
Amit was formerly Director of New Ventures for Bupa and is one of the new breeds of founders who truly understands the market he’s serving coupled with the innovation that’s required to deliver a differentiated and exceptional product.
And last, but not least, one from Canada.
Montreal-based HelloSafe has secured a $4.2m Seed round.
The company was founded in 2020 and develops insurance, investment, savings and credit product comparison solutions for individuals and businesses. Not too much to say on this one but keen to see how it gets on as the world of PCW evolves.
DIA Munich, Amélie Breitburd and Lloyd’s Europe
I’ve got to admit the last thing I really fancied, after a week in Vegas, was to head straight to DIA Munich whilst Oktoberfest was in full force.
But sometimes you don’t get a choice with these things!
What a corker of an event it was. Again, all credit to both the DIA and ITC Europe team for another exceptional gathering of insurance and insurtech folk.
We’ve been working with Lloyd’s Europe for the past couple of months, with DIA Munich being the perfect platform for Amelie to talk through their focus on the risks they’re seeing – in particular cyber and climate, and their role in addressing the protection gap.
And, as you can see above, they call out to work with European insurtechs to drive innovation which can serve the world at large.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend, or hear Amélie, you can hear more on her ambitions and future plans for Lloyd’s Europe on YouTube or as a pod.
Right, that’s me. I’m done.
Normally at this point, I sign off saying I’m off for a run or bike or something. Today, I’m lighting the fire and feeling sorry for myself.
I think 2-weeks of fun and games (and lots of work if the team is reading this) is finally catching up with me.
Before I go, a quick shoutout on behalf of the Hartford Crew.
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