Home Insurance Insurtech Hippo Buys Home Services Startup Sheltr

By | November 25, 2019

The insurtech said it acquired Sheltr, a San Francisco-based tech-enabled services startup that provides home wellness checkups. The cash and stock deal adds Sheltr’s eight employees to the 200-plus already working for Hippo, which declined to disclose the specific price it paid.

Assaf Wand, Hippo’s co-founder and CEO, explained to Carrier Management that Hippo has been looking at several targeted acquisition opportunities in recent months. He said that Sheltr stood above the rest because it fit into Hippo’s overall strategy and offerings.

“We just felt it was the right thing for our company,” Wand said.

Sheltr just launched in 2018, and raised its first $3.2 million in seed financing in May 2019. Sheltr co-founder Andrew Wynn describes it as a home maintenance software company that lets Sheltr members schedule and pay for twice annual home checkups performed by “trained and trusted” home professionals. They conduct preventative maintenance tasks such as replacing furnace filters and changing smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries, and also do tech-driven home assessments that catalog appliances, monitor a home’s exterior condition and give proactive recommendations for home services.

Wynn, who is now Hippo’s director of home services, noted that since its founding his company had worked with Hippo and others, including homeowners, brokerages and other insurtechs. While startups typically aren’t sold so soon in their life cycle, Wynn said that this deal made sense.

“When we started working with Hippo we saw really, really clear and deep alignment in that shared vision of improving the way we live in and protect our homes,” Wynn said. “It is atypically early [to sell] but that speaks to the value of our product as a single offering as to why we decided to do that.”

]Sheltr currently operates in the San Francisco Bay area and the Dallas, Texas metro area. Plans call for expansion in those areas and other new states into 2020.

Hippo, launched in 2015, has raised $209 million in venture financing to date, including a $100 million financing round disclosed in July 2019 designed to fuel U.S. expansion of its super-quick online homeowners insurance. Hippo made its debut in the insurance marketplace in April 2017 and currently does business in 20 states.

About Mark Hollmer

Hollmer is a veteran business journalist and editor of CarrierManagement.com's daily e-newsletter for the property/casualty insurance industry C-suite. He may be reached at mhollmer@carriermanagement.com. More from Mark Hollmer

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