Amazon launching auto insurance
This month we hear Amazon is launching auto insurance through India’s Amazon Pay. It’s a big step and one I’ve a feeling we might be looking back on for years to come.
For the UK readers, you might remember in 2014 Tim Steiner, CEO of the online supermarket Ocado, saying the company’s biggest future competition will come from Amazon rather than one of the big four supermarkets.
Looks like he called it right.
This week Amazon launched free, same day delivery to London-based Prime members. Their ambition is to roll this out across the UK by the end of the year.
In response to the news James Bailey, the CEO of Waitrose, said ‘it feels like the nuclear button has been pressed because [Amazon] have nuclear capacity behind them’.
How long do we give it before Amazon rolls out insurance across Europe and the US?
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Right, time to dive into some market news from the past couple of weeks.
Investment into a world of scaling Insurtechs
I’m going to keep this one pretty short. As always, plenty of activity around the world.
Keeping with India and Policybazaar is planning an IPO in 2021, citing a valuation of $3.5bn+.
It’s aiming to raise a quarter of a billion in new capital and, if everything goes to plan, it would make it one of the biggest IPOs for an Indian startup.
And in the US SaaS company Duck Creek, having recently raised $230m, has filed for a $200m IPO.
I caught up with one of their team last week and it sounds like their sales have continued to grow despite the pandemic, and it looks like the IPO will allow them to invest in business growth as well as to buy back equity from certain existing investors.
A market that might well become my next obsession is LATAM. There’s so much emergent tech being spun up and one that caught my eye this week is Chilean life insurtech Burn To Give, which has raised a $8.5m Series A.
If you don’t know these guys, definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re in the health/life space.
As the world demands greater CSR and we see a rise in purpose-driven entrepreneurship, Burn To Give presents the perfect balance of insurance with positive impact – from extra cover for walking more to donating food to families in need every time their customers exercise.
In the US, there’s the usual glut of activity.
Last week Lemonade rival Hippo raised a $150 million in Series E funding, valuing its business at $1.5bn post-financing. The company has had a headline-hitting year, and its total written premiums have grown to $270m - an increase of 140% YoY.
Home and auto insurance company Branch has raised a $24m Series A to support its plans for a strategic nationwide expansion through next year. They can quote a bundled home and auto policy in 60 seconds. Nice.
Claim Genius has also raised a Series A - $5.5m for those guys. The startup, which leverages AI and computer vision to assess vehicle damage after an incident, plans to use the funds to scale development and launch new products.
And Safehub, a real-time, building-specific, earthquake data provider has raised $5m in Seed funding.
Safehub leverages sensors, analytics and third-party data to measure ground motion and estimate damage and business interruption losses for individual properties, within minutes of a quake.
Last but not least, Israel’s Cybellum announced a $12 million Series A. The startup in an automotive cyber security company which has developed a unique cyber risk assessment technology. As our cars get smarter so does their vulnerability to attack. All pretty terrifying really.
Time for some market news
A few headlines that caught my eye this week.
QBE North America has announced a strategic partnership with Flyreel - a leading AI platform for property insurance. It’s part of QBE’s drive to enable customers to conduct home inspections themselves, at their convenience and on their terms.
And in the UK insurtech Anorak has partnered with Open Banking fintech Snoop. Anorak's life insurance platform will provide Snoop customers with access to regulated and digitally-provided advice about protection.
Also in the UK, it was interesting to see two of the eight companies involved in the FCA’s business interruption test case have started using claims platform 360Siteview to customise and anticipate any judgement and outcome in September.
Who nose what to make of this?
I’ve heard so many ‘future of pet insurance’ pitches. But this one is the BEST.
Our friends at ZhongAn have launched noseprint recognition tech. That’s right. Sadly, for all hamster and goldfish owners, this is currently only available for dogs and cats. I know, tough times.
Apparently pets’ noseprints are similar to human fingerprints in that they are unique. And with the technology, ZhongAn can create an exclusive electronic file for each pet and use the information to verify a pet's identity before completing a claim.
Oh, and it exceeds 99 percent accuracy. Just. Brilliant.
When the lemonade gets too sweet
On Monday, something unusual happened to Lemonade.
It’s lead underwriter, Goldman Sachs, initiated coverage of Lemonade Inc. stock on Monday with a sell rating and a $44 price target with analysts saying the insurer's risk profile is not reflected in its valuation.
And so the stock was last trading down 7.6% albeit at the time of writing this is still sitting on a market cap of $3.5 billion.
Insurtechs just wanna have sun
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