M&A accelerating embedded & Insurtech Insights Europe

View this email in your browser


I’m writing this from central London having met up, in real life, with a bunch of clients I’ve only spoken to through a screen.

I’d forgotten how good it was.

Even better, there’s more to come – travel, events, realisation that people are a lot shorter/taller than you thought.

One I’m looking forward to in particularly is Insurtech Insights Europe mid March.

On the Tuesday I’m moderating what promises to be a brilliant session: Open Innovation – the value of partnering with startups.

I’ll be joined by Olivier Jaillon of Wakam, Emma Huntington of Admiral Pioneer and Masashi Namatame of Tokio Marine (subject to confirming a couple of travel plans). It’s currently lined up for the main stage, early afternoon. Be sure not to miss it.

I’ll also be moderating a roundtable on Innovation in Underwriting exploring both technology and culture. More on that here.

For now though, let’s dive into some of the innovation we’re tracking around the world.

Why are Israeli Insurtechs able to scale so quickly? 

Someone else who is definitely worth connecting with at Insurtech Insights is Kobi Bendelak.

Kobi has brought together the Israeli Insurtech scene and is definitely helping put the nation’s talent on the map. We caught up with him and three great entrepreneurs to better understand what it is about Israel that’s making them such a powerhouse of innovation. And what it is about both the local market and culture that lends itself to such successful global businesses.

For more information on each of the businesses featured you can check out their Sønr profile:

M&A accelerating embedded

There’s plenty of chat out there about Trōv’s technology, as well as most of its team, being acquired by Travelers. But it’s no real surprise, right?

Over the next few years, we’re going to see a tonne of this.

Partnerships and acquisitions (often the former leading the latter) are the fastest routes of innovation. As the pressure to innovate continues to build for incumbents, they’ll continue to scout for startups and scaleups who can help create new opportunities.

It’s the reason we built our business Sønr to help companies do just this.

Back to Trōv though as they’re an interesting one.

Founded in 2012 they definitely had their moment in the sun. Focused originally on on-demand insurance they then zeroed in on developing an Embedded Insurance Platform.

It’s this embedded tech which will now be put to use within Travelers’ personal insurance segment.

Other interesting acquisitions in a similar space include Bolttech’s acquisition of broker AVA Insurance.

The plan is for this to accelerate the deployment of Bolttech’s insurance exchange in Singapore. The move comes a few months after Bolttech, which already serves 30 markets, completed its series A of $247m.

And in India, B2B2C business RenewBuy is set to acquire Artivatic.AI – a company which helps insurers build personalised risk profiles of their customers. The purchase will enable RenewBuy to expand its operations and solutions across the value chain.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you scout, create new opportunities for either partnership or M&A, drop me a line. Always happy to explore this stuff.

Embedded Insurance: tackling the opportunity

As part of our Insurtech 100 series, we’re hosting a live panel discussion with Eric Schuh, Chief Insurance Officer and CFO of Element at 5pm GMT on the 9th March.

We’ll be discussing the experiences, challenges and an outlook on tomorrow’s insurance world and will be joined by Yuri Poletto from the Open Insurance Observatory and Sabine VanderLinden from Alchemy Crew.

If you’d like to tune in, get in touch with Matt Ferguson and he’ll send you an invite.

The scaling European Insurtech scene

I feel talking about the scaling of European Insurtechs has become a weekly staple of SøNws.

Let’s start super local.

Zego has now officially launched in Netherlands. Already present in six countries, Zego’s employee base has grown from 300 to 637 in the past 2 years and there’s still plenty we’ll be seeing of these guys, I’m sure.

Keeping with the Netherlands and Insify has landed a $17m Series A which will help its expansion into new European markets as well as build out its data capabilities.

The company, founded in 2020, targets SMEs and entrepreneurs in e-commerce, leisure, and construction, offering quotes in just two minutes. Since its launch, the company has attracted more than 1,500 customers.

My favourite of the week though has to go to Julian Teicke and Wefox.

Berlin-based Wefox announced its entrance into Italy in by partnering with AC Milan FC. Brilliant.

Wefox will be the club’s first back-of-shirt sponsor and the club’s official insurance partner. Julian’s quote supporting the move “We’ve not only got the backs of the AC Milan players, but together, we’ve got the backs of the millions of AC Milan fans”.

The insurtech will be launching its products into the market in March.

C’est le bon temps for French startups

Plenty of activity within the French Insurtech scene at the moment.

SantéVet has just raised $170m to continue expansion internationally (beginning with the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and Austria) after a rise in pet ownership during the pandemic.

Akur8 continues its global collaborations, this time with Bought by Many.

The partnership will enable Akur8 to reinforce its presence in the UK and expand into a new line of business – pet insurance, if you hadn’t already guessed it. Founded in 2018 in Paris, Akur8’s core solution enhances pricing processes by automating risk modelling. It’s a good business.

And finally, Seyna has landed $37.5m, bringing the company’s total funding to $54.3m.

The money will help scale its service to brokers and merchants in Europe. Seyna was launched in 2019, its platform combines insurance products and productivity software.

From Turkey to “25 countries in 5 years”

This week we had the great pleasure to catch up with Cenk Tabakoğlu, CEO of Lumnion.

Lumnion develops state-of-the-art AI-based pricing platforms for the Non-Life Insurance Industry. They’ve had a pretty exceptional 12 months and are building a great business.

Have a read of the interview to learn more about the business, how they differentiate from others in the market and their plans for the next few years.

The rising profile of Cyber

There’s always so much going on in the cyber space. I thought I’d share a few which were mixing it up a little.

In the US, IoT security startup Phosphorus has closed the impressive $38m Series A. These guys are building to support enterprises against the growing threat of IoT-driven cybersecurity attacks.

US/Australian startup Cyble has also raised a Series A. Cyble monitors the darkweb and surfaceweb data in real-time across open and closed sources to map and monitor companies’ digital risk footprint.

An interesting one from India, where cybersecurity analytics startup Com Olho has raised a seed round. Com Olho was founded in 2019 and uses deep learning and clustering to analyse companies’ data and identify fraudulent patterns.

Health’s step towards Open Innovation

Much has been reported on the inordinate numbers invested into health over the past 24 months.

What hasn’t been so covered is the innovation we’re seeing from the incumbents. To balance that out, here’s a couple I’m genuinely excited about.

The first is Chaucer, Beazley and Atrium, partnering with Gaia. The plan is to offer a brand new solution for individuals who are undertaking IVF.

Gaia specialises in reproductive health, leveraging data to predict the personalised success of IVF treatment. The new product will cover eligible Gaia members for their treatment fees if their IVF isn’t successful.

The product is unique and it caters to a market expected to grow exponentially as fertility rates drop.

On a more corporate strategy front, Discovery Health and AIA Group are launching a new joint health startup business Amplify Health set to operate across Asia (except China).

Discovery will own 25% of the JV, AIA 75%.

The partnership comes amid a growing demand for healthcare services in Asia which is driven by “compelling fundamentals of rising wealth, ageing populations, greater focus on health and wellness”

Whilst talking health, I’m heading over to South Africa in May to speak at Big Ideas Week Africa.

It’s an event brought about by iFHP, bringing together private health insurance members, associations, innovators and solution providers. There’ll be a bunch of local and international big hitters exploring the challenges and opportunities available to African health funds and the wider tech ecosystem.

Find out more here: https://ifhp.com/big-ideas-week-africa/

And to hear iFHP board member and CEO of Hygeia HMO Obinnia Abajue explain why this event is so important for iFHP’s African members: This is your BIG Ideas Week Africa

Early stage health $$ still flowing in

Just so much money poured into health last year it’s a wonder that a) there’s any money left and b) there are any more early-stage businesses to invest into.

Well, seemingly there is no end.

An interesting one in the US is psychiatry-focused telehealth platform Minded.

Founded just last year, it has raised $25m in a pretty sizeable Seed round. The plan is to introduce new psychiatric offerings, including DNA testing for diagnostics and psychedelics for treatment.

Super early-stage mental health app Heyy has brought in a $550K in pre-Seed round.

Heyy’s based out in India and their app provides preventive mental health care for individuals and employees, offering access to a network of psychologists, called Helpers, who are available round-the-clock to speak with users, as well as additional educational resources.

Apparently one in seven people in India are thought to be dealing with a mental health ailment right now. Not too sure how accurate that stat is but if it’s even close, it’s a big old market.

Another mental health startup, this one MindFi out in Singapore, has secured a $2m seed round.

Launched in 2017, the company offers a guided self-care programmes and a smart matching system for coaches and therapists. There are also personalised recommendations available based on the person’s wellbeing profile.

The company will use the funds to drive product development and localise offerings in key markets, with the company present in 20 markets across Asia.

The future of life insurance with Dennis Barnes, RGAX

We’ve been tracking how the life sector has been evolving for some time now.

We recently caught up with Dennis Barnes – CEO, RGAX and EVP, CMO RGA to chat about his observations on the market and how discussions around the boardroom table have changed over time.

An interview with Dennis Barnes of RGAX

To access the full report where this interview is featured, you can download it here.

In other life related news, life and health underwriting solution provider Qumata has extended its Series A round to $23m.

The extra funding follows the team’s recent partnership with AIA Group, which will see the startup provide its services across Asia. Qumata collects an average of 600k data points to calculate a user’s risk of diagnoses for over 800 conditions, including extra mortalities and morbidities.

If you haven’t caught my conversation with Luca Schnettler, Qumata’s CEO, you can do so here.

And lastly, it was good to clock Swiss Re investing in a pre-Series A funding round LatAm’s Klimber.

Founded in 2016 in Argentina, Klimber created the first digital life insurance offering in the LatAm market. Via the investment, Klimber will be able to tap into the reinsurer’s wealth of experience and accelerate their growth.

15 seconds of claims tech

Who doesn’t love a bit of claims chat?

Claims specialist VCA Software has launched a new digital insurance claims payments which will be enabled by through the Real-Time Payment (RTP®) Network. Through the new solution, VCA’s insurance carrier and third-party administrator clients can ensure that claimants would be able to receive a payment within 15 seconds of issuance.

And in Chicago, CCC has acquired Safekeep, a specialist in claims management technology.

Safekeep’s acquisition will enable CCC to deliver a seamless claims management process by extending its AI-powered claims software to include subrogation management.

Flooding – from protection to prevention

There’s still plenty of activity taking place across climate related innovation.

One I think particularly interesting is parametric insurance MGA Descartes Underwriting partnering with Reask, a climate analytics and data company.

The pair will focus on expanding the former’s underwriting footprint on tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons, using parametric policies as a way to narrow protection gaps where data is limited.

Leveraging Previsico’s sensors and flood warning technology, Liberty Specialty Markets has launched a personalised flood warning initiative to help commercial clients better understand the real-time danger and impact of flooding.

The new scheme will see flood-affected commercial clients receive personalised warnings enabling them to better protect their premises from flood water.

And finally good to see Australian startup Floodmapp closing a $6m seed round.

Founded in 2018, Floodmapp provides property-specific flood forecasts and other tools to improve all phases of emergency management. Definitely worth checking these guys out.

Cargo and logistics

Amid a growing need for cargo owners to have a real-time insurance rather than rely on projected cargo volume and value, cargo startup from Finland Redkik has received an investment from Greenlight Re.

Founded in 2020, Redkik created an API-embedded solution and platform positioned between freight forwarders and insurance carriers which enables transport intermediaries to offer appropriately priced cargo insurance policies to their policies at the point of booking.

Another investment in this space is a $7m Series A round for GoComet, a vertical SaaS platform providing multi-modal logistics solutions to SMEs and global conglomerates.

GoComet is a multi-modal logistics and transportation platform powered by AI and ML. It allows organisations to reduce freight costs, track shipments in real-tim and optimise operations

Finally, kind of linked, UK fintech Vitesse closed a $26m Series B round.

With the ambition to become the payment partner of choice for the insurance industry, Vitesse is a cloud-based software solution designed specifically for the logistics industry.

The company says that its payment network is now available in 172 countries and serves more than 72% of London’s insurance market.

As always, thanks for reading. Do share this with your colleagues if you think there’s something in here of interest.

If you haven’t signed up to this already, you can do so here:

If you’re new to reading this and would like to know more about Sønr, you can check our website, take a trial of our market intelligence platform or drop me an email.

Next SøNws will be written by someone else in the team. I’m not too sure who that is yet.

My plan is to be in a cabin in the woods. Sadly not this one.

Don’t forget, hit me up if you’re going to be at Insurtech Insights and let’s say hello.

In the meantime, keep well and until next time.


SøNws is brought to you by Sønr.

Sønr is the world’s #1 insurtech scouting 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 © 2022 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: