Q1 Insurtech Briefing

View this email in your browser


It’s done the client round. Now it’s all yours 👊🏻

It’s free and a seriously insightful read: Sønr’s Q1 Insurtech Briefing

With $11.4bn invested across 214 deals we set our analysts to work to draw out some of the key market trends:

  • Motor continues to drive interest
  • Property building momentum
  • Health still firmly on the agenda
  • Life continues to grow

In addition we dive deep(ish) into the scaling European tech scene – definitely a hobbyhorse of mine at the moment.

And as you’d expect there’s a tonne of QoQ, YoY analysis; we look at early vs late stage investments to help paint a picture of the future of the industry, and we call out a few deals/startups that are worth keeping track of.

Also, a big thanks to Ant Middle who shares how Ageas UK are scouting and innovating with Insurtechs, and George Kesselman of Insurtech Asia who explores the current trends he’s seeing in the Asian market. Both great reads.

If you’d like to get more details on the data behind the report – or the trends and companies driving change across the market – drop me an email here.

At Sønr we have the most comprehensive access to this stuff anywhere in the world. We’re always happy to explore how and where we can add value to your team.

The best 24 minutes 24 seconds of your day. Probably

If there’s one thing you should watch/listen to today, it’s this:

There are very few people out there of Rob’s calibre. Nor are there any Insurtechs that match the scale and growth trajectory of bolttech.

•    $44bn of premiums through their exchange
•    Unicorn status off the back of a Series A, within 12 months of launching
•    Licences to operate across the world

The best bit? This interview marks their 2nd birthday.

It’s one of the most open, candid and insightful conversations I’ve been part of. We talk the highs and lows of leading a business, how they’ve managed to hit such incredible milestones, and their plans for the next 5 years. Clue – they’re big and bold.

This interview forms part of our Insurtech 100 series.

Kicks and bling

Two Insurtechs I aspire to need…

The first, Assurely, which has teamed up with Unboxed to launch a new solution to insured Unboxed users’ sneaker collections. Love it.

The second, BriteCo, a jewellery and watch specialist has secured a $9m Series A. The plan is to build the customer base and also fulfil its mission to digitalise jewellery insurance experience.

Remind me about these guys when I start my Rolex collection.

Motor continues to drive interest 

And so for the first time in long while, motor attracted more investment in Q1 2022 than any other sector. Including health. Interesting, right?

Have a read of the briefing to get the download on the big deals.

This week I thought I’d share some of the newer, more emergent and less covered innovation from around the world.

Close to home, early stage Peppercorn has raised $2.3m in its Seed round.

Initially entering the UK motor market, the UK-based startup looks to take the usual pain/suffering out of the insurance policy processes by combining underwriting rules, technology, state-of-the-art data, AI and re-imagining the CX.

We spoke with their founder and serial entrepreneur Nigel Lombard early last year. Great to see these guys progressing.

In the US, Sigo Seguros, an insurtech selling to the hispanic community has closed their Seed round of $5.4m. As we’re hearing frequently from companies seeking to meet the needs of underserved communities, their auto insurance product removes biased rate factors which can negatively impact minorities.

And to keep it truly global, one I really enjoyed from Nigeria.

Super early-stage ETAP has secured $1.5M to rollout its new mobile app – enabling drivers to select and buy insurance in 90 seconds.

With an estimated 80% of registered vehicles NOT having insurance, there’s a chunk of under-penetrated market to go after. ETAP uses machine learning to build intelligent risk profiles to determine the right premium for drivers.

Love it.

Partnerships opening new markets to motor insurers 

At Sønr we don’t just track investment activity. We also look at who is working together and why. Our clients find this stuff hugely valuable when tracking what their competitors are up to.

In the last couple of weeks we’ve seen a pile of collaborations. The interesting connection between all these is that they’re all forming to help tap into new or underserved markets.

In the UK, the online used car marketplace heycar has partnered with insurtech Wrisk to launch an embedded car insurance offering – heycar motor insurance. 

Find a car, spend a few minutes building your WriskScore and get yourself a monthly rolling insurance subscription. No comparison sites or brokers. Nice.

Another is the teaming up of Swiss data science company Kasko2go and insurtech Amodo.

The plan is for Kasko2go’s risk assessment solution to be integrated with Amodo which enables insurers to create and brokers to buy usage-based insurance. And with this, to reach new market groups and broaden their offering.

Finally, another from Africa.

Lagos-based Octamile has announced a partnership with mobility company DriveMe.NG.

The collaboration will enable DriveMe.NG to leverage Octamile’s APIs to provide embedded motor and micro health insurance products (amongst others) for drivers and fleet operators.

Health, wealth, and life

It’s fascinating seeing how just closely aligned these worlds are becoming.

From health moving to wellness, to financial health being a critical enabler to mental wellbeing, let’s take a look at what’s going on out there.

A super early-stage Irish fintech which I like a lot is Dimply which has both announced a €1m Seed and its first commercial deal, with Mercer no less.

Founded a couple of years back their pitch is to help people think and feel better about money. And in doing so, to power a healthier financial future for them, and for the world.

What I particularly like is its intention to bridge the gap between the digital offerings from banks, insurers and wealth managers, and their customers, creating a unified and personalised advice hub.

Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Another I thought really interesting is out in Singapore where SingViva announced a new partnership with – one of the largest WeChat communities for Chinese who reside in Singapore.

SingViva is a deeptech company which blends medical science and blockchain technologies. In turn, their belief is that everyone should know their own risk profile and take an active role in managing their health.

It’s kind of where the world is moving, right? Love the idea of tapping into WeChat communities to meet the needs of the audience in their preferred channel.

Actually, that reminds me. Definitely have a read of George Kesselman’s piece on the Asian market in the Q1 Insurtech Briefing. He talks loads about the omni-channel approach out there and how it’s evolution in relation embedded insurance. Fascinating stuff!

We’ll also be publishing a video of the full interview with our very own Matt Ferguson next week – so drop him a line if you’d like you’re very own shiny copy.

One from the US now, and EvolutionIQ has landed $21m to further develop the streamlining of insurance claims processing using AI.

And great to see Canadian life insurance startup, Emma, announce a CA$6m Series A. This is off the back of some pretty impressive growth in the past 12 months – of more than 500%.

I often feel the Canadian market is the poor, younger cousin to the US when it comes to funding. It’s good to see a few of the Insurtechs out there gaining traction and being their journey to scale.

University friends ≠ home insurance entrepreneurs

Again, let’s bring some news you might not have read about already.

In the UK, a new insurtech has launched – Insuristic.

These guys are founded by Rob Faulkner – a chap I randomly (and somewhat awkwardly) connected with years back as he was the namesake and doppelganger of an old uni mate. Their initial focus will be on unoccupied home insurance.

And in the US, early stage Armadillo has landed a $3.5m Seed round. Their platform provides subscription-based protection for home appliances and systems.

Coming back to the omni-channel reference earlier, the interesting thing about these guys is their approach to distribution – partnering with real estate agents, P&C brokers as well as carriers.

The new and changing VC/CVC landscape

It was great to see one of Sønr’s clients, Tokio Marine, launch their $42m CVC fund just this week.

With a focus on early-stage investments in insurtech, fintech, mobility, health care, cybersecurity, AI/ML, climate risk and sustainability, the plan is to write cheques/checks (depending on which side of the pond you are) between $500K and $3m for seed and Series A rounds.

Another, this one a pure VC, is insurtech focussed Markd which has raised $100m.

It is yet to make an investment but again is looking for early-stage companies.

Finally something that I found of particular interest is a new, London-based firm, D2. Whilst it’s not insurtech focussed, the model may appeal to many founders out there.

It has just launched a hybrid financing option that lets startups raise money against a share of future revenue streams instead of giving away equity.

The fund is $20m and taps into a trend we’re seeing for founders to more frequently bootstrap the early stages of their business (Sønr being a great example of that).

D2 is aiming to invest in around 20 businesses; the assumption is that around half the portfolio will go for standard equity funding and half would take up a Hero (hybrid equity or revenue option).

I’m looking forward to seeing how this model plays out and the uptake it gets.

Right, that is me done.

I feel there’s a tonne of travel about to hit me in the next month or two so if you are based out in Johannesburg, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Singapore or Amsterdam, let me know.

It’d be great to grab a coffee/beer and connect.

Actually on that note, the first trip is speaking at the BIG Ideas Week in Jo’burg.

If you or a colleague are in the health space and nearby at the end of May, get in touch with Nicola as there’s still space (at the time of writing) for a couple more delegates. It should be a good ‘un.

Have a good weekend all.

Please do share the Q1 Insurtech Briefing with colleagues and peers. Until next time.





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: