Digital small business insurer Next Insurance has closed its first acquisition, buying Juniper Labs, a Denver-based provider of data and underwriting technology.
With the acquisition, Next said it will focus on innovation in workers’ compensation and general liability product offerings through the use of machine learning technology.
Next’s acquisition announcement comes less than three months after it expanded its workers’ compensation offering into 24 additional states, bringing the total number to 30.
“This strategic acquisition of Juniper Labs’ technology and expertise in workers’ compensation will deepen our investments in relevant technologies such as machine learning, which will help scale pricing and decision making,” said Sofya Pogreb, Next Insurance chief operating officer, in prepared remarks.
Neither side disclosed financial terms. Next raised $250 million in new financing in September, which it said would fuel continued national expansion of its digital small business insurance offerings. The company, launched in 2016, has raised $631 million in venture capital to date and is thought to be a candidate for an initial public offering.
Next already deploys data analytics and machine learning. Juniper Labs co-founder and CEO Lance Poole and his team will join Next’s machine learning and data analytics group to form Next Insurance Data Labs, which is intended to combine human-centric design, actuarial science and machine learning to develop products and risk-based pricing.
Juniper Labs launched in 2019 by founders Poole and John Stevenson.
Nearly 400 employees work for Next at this point, and three are with Juniper.
Pogreb said Next won’t rule out future acquisitions. “We’ll continue to look for strategic acquisitions that we think can add value to the customer experience and that furthers us in our mission to be the one-stop-shop for small business insurance,” Pogreb told Carrier Management.
Next isn’t the only insurtech involved in an acquisition this year. CoverHound, a digital property/casualty insurance marketplace, was recently acquired by the insurance broker Brown & Brown. Buckle, Coalition and Hippo have also closed acquisitions in recent months.
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