The start of something new

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It looks like 2022 is shaping up as promised.

Plenty of M&A, insurtech redundancies and failing businesses. And yet still a tonne of capital getting allocated, crazy growth numbers and some exceptional innovation coming out of incumbents.

What a world we live in.

If you’d like to go any deeper on the key trends impacting the industry, expectations for 2023+ or a deep-dive into any of the companies shaping the future of insurance, feel free to reach out to one of our analysts.

Or enjoy a free trial of the Sønr platform.

Right, let’s get into it.

Getting to the root of a viable business

Some more tough news for the folk at Root Insurance with redundancies impacting 20% of its workforce (160 jobs).

The expectation is this will lower run rate expenses by $50m per annum. It’s the second round of layoffs for the company this year.

And in Spain, small business insurtech SingularCover has had to close shop.

Launched in 2018, early on it raised $7m in a round backed by Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures and was looking to secure another round but failed in doing so.

Something we’ll be hearing again and again over the coming months I reckon.

No ruff ride for pet insurance

It’s all looking paws-itive for pet, with Napo securing a decent $17.8m Series A.

Founded in 2021 it offers pet owners everything that’s fast-becoming table stakes for the sector – quotes in minutes, 24/7 online video consultations, money to find missing pets, dental care etc.

On the M&A front it sounds like US Trupanion is looking to acquire Czech’s PetExpert, having already taken on Smart Paws which operates in Germany and Switzerland.

If you’re not familiar with the latter, it was set up in 2017 and was the first online-only pet insurance company in the Czech Republic.

Other pet related news is Dai-ichi Life has made an offer to purchase ipet Holdings.

Founded in 2004 ipet has around 500 employees. It has been said that the Japanese life insurer will pay around $278m.

Interestingly, the two companies previously partnered in 2019 when Dai-ichi teamed up with ipet to distribute its pet insurance products. What it found was a decent number of customers which bought pet insurance also decided to add life insurance.

A great example of partnerships leading to acquisitions.

Incumbents continue to drive innovation

Let’s kick this one of with a new client.
In fact, our first Danish client.

Tryg has launched a tool to provide a 360-degree picture of current insurance cover for SMEs and handily informs them when changes occur that affect risk and, in turn, insurance needs.

It’s called Trisky (which gets my vote from the off) and is being offered to all small businesses – whether they are customers of Tryg or not. Nice, right?

The app combines the data from the company, Visma e-conomic (a super popular accounting software across Denmark), Tryg itself and public data, to advise on risk and insurance needs.

Closer to home it was good to see Hiscox extending its contract with Ondo for its Leakbot product.

I’m sure everyone knows Leakbot but just in case, it’s a small sensor that prevents damage from water leaks and Hiscox integrates it into their home insurance offering.

Actually relating to this, I saw a great comment from a LinkedIn post from Hélène Stanway yesterday.

She was at Insurance Innovators (which looked great btw) and shared a comment from Ben Luckett, Chief Innovation Officer at Aviva:

Aviva have not had a claim in 700 days in the buildings where they have deployed IoT devices. And there are 100s of buildings that have been IoT enabled.

Amazing. I genuinely love stuff like this and good job Aviva.

Validating in the UK. Scaling in the US

It’s a strategy right out of the Sønr playbook.

Something I touched on last time; we’re seeing more and more UK (and European) insurtechs validating their business models locally and then heading both East and West to conquer new markets.

One such is parametric flood insurtech FloodFlash launching a new North American operation led by Mark Hara as CEO.

And whilst it’s still early, they’ll soon be building out teams and forging partnerships with brokers across all the US.

Another is insurtech Send which has just secured a $10.6m Series A with the intent to further expand in both the UK and the US markets.

The company’s core product is a SaaS underwriting workbench designed to streamline operations, automate admin-heavy tasks and free up underwriters. Definitely worth looking at (mostly if you’re an underwriter!).

Finally, Akur8 (alright I appreciate this is a French insurtech, not from the UK 🤷) has teamed up with US-based Tokio Marine Highland.

TMH will deploy the Akur8 solution to create a more effective pricing process and Akur8 will further expand its presence in the US through the agreement.

Win. Win.

CAPS LOCK: Preventing Logins Since 1980

If there was one thing that came out of the Insurtech 100 it’s cyber is here to stay.

With a global cyber insurance market set­­ to grow from $12.8bn to $63.62bn by 2029, it’s no wonder we’re still seeing plenty of capital and innovation focussed on the space.

Let’s start with Island which has extended its Series B with another $60m to further develop its enterprise browser.

The company’s current valuation stands at $1.3bn and it has already raised a whopping $270m.

The company’s core product is its enterprise browser which helps organisations protect users and data at every point of their digital journey, including when they interact with SaaS and internal web applications.

At a somewhat early stage – and hey, it’s important to track this stuff too – UK’s cyber intelligence startup Lab1 has attracted $1.1m.

Lab1 develops software that looks for data breaches and supply chain risk. It uses AI to scan forums, messaging platforms, file-sharing websites, code repositories, dark web for possible data breaches. Smart.

The company was launched in 2019 and its platform has 24bn data points in its database of compromised or exposed data. Huh, some big numbers right there.

And back to the M&A rhetoric, cyber is no exception.

You have clocked Canada’s BOXX Insurance is buying Templarbit, a cyber threat intelligence platform.

The sum has not been disclosed.

Templarbit was founded in 2017 and its proprietary technology alerts companies when exploitable vulnerabilities have been identified. BOXX says that the acquisition will help the company to pursue its core mission of making the world a more digitally safe place.

Open Innovation pushing health insurance forward

A couple of great partnerships to kick this off.

Travelers partnered with Wysa, AI-enabled mental health support provider, to launch ‘Wysa for Return to Work’.

This is an app designed to promote the mental health of injured employees and also help them facilitate a more holistic recovery.

And DocDoc is teaming up with AON, and other insurers in Asia, to offer solutions targeted at members of employer health plans. DocDoc was founded in 2012 and its platform uses AI and clinical informatics to improve customer experience.

As part of the collaboration, DocDoc’s data-enabled health insurance solutions will be offered to AON’s clients across certain Asian markets with the launch in Singapore, followed by other markets in 2023.

Life and health, David and Goliath

Who doesn’t love a good Amazon update?

Three months after Amazon’s virtual care clinic for employees, Amazon Care, was shut down, they’ve launched a…wait for it…virtual health service.

Amazon Clinic provides services 20 related to non-urgent health needs – hair loss, heartburn, acne, dandruff and seasonal allergies.

Patients will be able to tap into a virtual consultation service that will allow them to select their condition from a list after which they’ll receive a personalised treatment.

It can’t be just me who loves this stuff.

At the other end of the scale, Lyfery is a super early-stage business coming out of Estonia – a tech hub that continues to output some great businesses.

A great founder, huge ambitions and a smart concept – providing you with the tools to prolong your healthily lived years and gain value from your life insurance policy from day one.

Definitely worth keeping an eye on them whether from the perspective of a VC, an insurer, a potential customer.

Southern hemisphere driving innovation

Two announcements worth calling out relating to motor.

Starting Down Under and Koba, an insurtech that came through the Insurtech Gateway Australia incubator, has secured $500k.

The company has developed a pay-per-km auto policy and is now targeting an ongoing $1 million equity crowdfunding campaign.

And earlier this month, Swiss Re teamed up with LATAM auto insurTech Jooycar.

Jooycar will offer its fleet management service “Fleetr by Jooycar” to the Mexican market. The company previously launched the product in the US and claims it was a success in the first year of its operation after six thousand cars were connected.

Whilst we’re chatting motor, a Spøtlight for you.

A few weeks back I caught up with Dries Olemans, Head of Strategy, Innovation and Communication for Ethias Insurance and Alex Gaschard, Founder of SereniMax about the launch of Trust My Car, a service they partnered on to secure C2C car sales.

We talked through a whole load of good stuff, including:

  • Their history together and how the new partnership of Trust My Car came about
  • How Trust My Car strengthens the Ethias brand through improved customer satisfaction
  • Learnings from previous collaborations to ensure this one was a success

It’s a great one, have a listen/watch here. Thanks to both for your time.

Claims – funding, partnerships and innovation

An area which continues to attract a lot of interest from our clients is in claims innovation.

A couple of days back Omni:us completed a $12.5m Series A+ round. Founded in 2015 the company provides intelligent insurance claim automation.

And on the partnership front, data intelligence provider Percayso has announced come together with Shift Technology.

Percayso was founded in 2018 and offers data enrichment services which can detect fraud as well as combat quote manipulation. Shift was launched a little earlier, in 2013, and its AI-based solution helps insurers to automate their decisions from claims to underwriting.

The partnership will provide insurers with fraud detection solutions. Nice.

A roundup of other good stuff

Ah, and no for the section of other good stuff I couldn’t find a natural home for.

Let’s lead with Beazley.

First, I clocked that it completed its previously announced share issuance, raising roughly £350m (£337m net) to support organic growth and fund attractive underwriting opportunities, while maintaining a strong balance sheet. This I like.

And secondly, they’ve partnered with Assureful to offer the industry’s first usage-based liability insurance solution specifically targeted at e-commerce companies.

Now this one is super interesting.

Assureful uses natural language processing and ML to convert live sales data into one structured record from which usage-based monthly premiums could be easily calculated. How smart is that? And so very simple (conceptually at least!).

The solution will be first launched in the US and I’m hoping we’ll see that taken up and broadened out pretty quickly.

Another nice bit of innovation is WTW’s collaboration with insurers Liberty Specialty Markets and Markel.

They’ve launched a pilot phase for a digital commercial insurance platform where the broker share data directly with underwriters. No extraction or rekeying. Nice.

And finally an interestingly play by bolttech which is strengthening its existing partnership with WindTre (a big ol’ Italian telco) by launching – a new ‘Reload exChange’ trade-in program in Italy.

With this new product, WindTre’s customers trade-in their used phones in-store and receive cash payments directly to their bank accounts.

Right, that is me. You are officially released to enjoy your weekend.

Have a good one.


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