Commercial Lines Insurtech Bold Penguin Acquires E&S Brokerage Tech Platform xagent

January 2, 2020

Bold Penguin, a commercial insurance exchange technology platform launched in 2016, announced it has acquired xagent, an independent, single-entry, multi-quote platform for standard and surplus lines business insurance market.

Bold Penguin said the transaction will allow it to better serve Insurance carriers, brokers and agents through “increased scale and a single choice in the market, while maintaining its commitment to simplifying the commercial insurance process.”

The company said the xagent technology for agents will be integrated with Bold Penguin’s Exchange, which connects businesses, agents and carriers and allows for the quoting and binding of commercial insurance to happen in hours or minutes versus the traditional methods which sometimes take weeks.

“We are obsessed with upgrading the commercial insurance ecosystem, helping it evolve to meet the needs of all the players and catch up with the pace of technological innovation,” said Ilya Bodner, founder and CEO of Bold Penguin.

Bold Penguin and xagent declined to disclose the acquisition purchase price or other financial details. A Bold Penguin spokesperson said the company would keep xagent’s eight employees and add them to its staff of 137. Xagent’s Reston, Virginia office will stay open, but now as part of Bold Penguin’s broader operations in Columbus, Ohio.

This past September, Bold Penguin completed a $32 million Series B funding round, bringing the total capital it has raised to more than $50 million since it started in 2016. The participation included growth equity firms Hudson Structured Capital Management, Lightstone, Guggenheim Insurance, Lockton, existing investors and individuals from Stone Point Capital.

The company said the additional capital would be spent on engineering and platform enhancements including adding more flexibility for enterprise customers, expanding in excess and surplus lines, and facilitating admitted carrier integrations.

Bodner said that xagent shares this vision “so instead of forcing the market to choose between our divided solutions, acquiring xagent gives customers one simple, comprehensive solution to trust.”

He also said the acquisition reinforces Bold Penguin’s strategic focus around expanding access to excess and surplus lines and building out a flexible and customizable tech stack. The company’s platforms connect a fragmented industry via one integration.

Bryan Baird, president and CEO of xagent, said xagent is also focused on simplifying the commercial insurance buying process “Both of our business models back the ‘trusted advisor’ or agent, and our technology platforms keep things simple and enable the human connection people still want when buying insurance,” he said.

The offering from xagent connects agents to excess and surplus lines insurance carriers, offering the ability to quote and bind policies with multiple carriers. The company maintains that agents can earn more commission than what they would with a direct carrier appointment because it offers a fully-automated quoting system that eliminates labor costs, paperwork and overhead.

Bold Penguin has opened access to its own agency technology, the Agent Terminal, in cooperation with key carriers including Nationwide, Hiscox and CNA and with Attune, a managing general agency. Previously the Agent Terminal had only been open to the top 100 commercial lines brokers.

The Agent Terminal gives agencies a tool to write commercial insurance quickly, accurately and more profitably, according to the company.

The option is now available in all 50 states across most business categories for coverage types including general liability, workers’ compensation, professional liability, business owner’s policy (BOP), and bonds. As a result of the wider adoption, the company said in September that it had doubled its size over the past year and now handles more that 950,000 small to midsize commercial quotes.

Insurtech M&A

The deal is another in a recent series of insurance technology and insurtech-related mergers and acquisitions.

In December, leading insurance technology firm Applied Systems agreed to acquire digital insurance technology startup Indio Technologies, a move that will enable Applied Systems to integrate Indio into its popular agency management system Epic.

In November, global insurance broker Aon agreed to acquire CoverWallet, a leading digital insurance platform for small and medium-sized businesses.

In August, Insurance Technologies Corp. (ITC), a provider of comparative rating and management software, acquired Columbus, Ohio-based Smart Harbor, which provides digital technology products and services to insurance agents.

Prudential Financial Inc. is set to buy online insurance startup Assurance IQ Inc for $2.35 billion.


Topics Mergers & Acquisitions Carriers Agencies InsurTech Commercial Lines Excess Surplus Business Insurance Tech

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