Some serious money has been sent the way of various insurance startups over the past week. Investors backed cutting-edge commercial lines and cyber insurance products as well as advances in texting communications, producer management and licensing compliance, and digital risk management for financial institutions.
Here’s a wrap-up of some recent major funding commitments as reported by Carrier Management.
Corvus Insurance is prepping a major expansion and surge in its commercial lines and cyber product development now that it has secured $100 million in new venture capital financing.
Insight Partners led the Boston startup’s Series C funding round, with participation from Telstra Ventures, Obvious Ventures, .406 Ventures, Bain Capital, Hudson Structured Capital Management and MTech Capital.
“With the biggest fundraising round of a cyber insurance company to date, we will continue to realize our vision in making our world a safer place,” Corvus CEO and founder Phil Edmundson said in prepared remarks.
Corvus, launched in 2017, is a managing general agency providing commercial insurance products through artificial-intelligence-driven risk data. The company plans to use its new funding to double down on its underwriting, product development and go-to-market strategies. It will also focus on expanding its Crowbar digital platform, which is designed to provide cyber risk data through an “exceptional digital experience” to brokers and policyholders.
With those AI capabilities, Corvus hopes to better predict and prevent loss, and reimagine how policyholders, brokers, underwriters, and reinsurers can incorporate data science into the commercial insurance marketplace.
Corvus previously raised its $33 million Series B round in 2020. To date, the company has pulled in $147 million in venture capital investment. With the new round, Corvus claimed its valuation is now at $750 million.
In addition to new product development, Corvus has an eye on expanding its product footprint “to all major U.S. regions” and to expand its hiring. A spokesperson noted the company currently employs 140 people, a number that grew 172 percent in 2020 along with some senior hires. With the new funding, Corvus hopes to more than double its headcount in 2021.
- Related: Corvus CEO Edmundson: InsurTech and Cyber Cover Offer a Potent Mix
- Related: Expecting the Unexpected: Cyber Lessons from COVID and What Could Be Ahead
More on AI, Cyber
Cowbell Cyber nailed down $20 million in new venture capital financing from multiple investors. The managing general agency provides multi-faceted cyber insurance and related services to small and medium-sized businesses using a digital platform that relies on artificial intelligence.
The new capital will be used to fund product development, expand risk engineering, sales, marketing, and increase Cowbell’s footprint nationwide. Jack Kudale, Cowbell Cyber’s founder and CEO, said that his company’s emergence is at a crucial time for cybersecurity awareness.
“Cybersecurity is now a risk management issue that is critical to the future of the insurance industry and is evolving at a pace that insurers have rarely seen,” Kudale said in prepared remarks. “Cowbell Cyber has capitalized on businesses’ accelerated digitization and an ever-changing threat landscape.”
Brewer Lane Ventures led the investment round and Brewer Lane managing partner Martha Notaras will join the Cowbell board of directors. Notaras previously was a partner at XL Innovate, a P/C insurtech VC fund that invested in Lemonade, as well as Cape Analytics and Slice, among other companies.
Pivot Investment Partners also participated in the financing, along with Avanta Ventures, Markel Corp., and existing investors ManchesterStory, Tri-Valley Ventures, and Holmes Murphy. Akbar Poonawala, co-founder at Pivot Investment Partners, will join Cowbell Cyber as a board observer, the company said.
The investment follows Cowbell Cyber’s September 2020 launch of its Prime 250 program, which allows insurance agents to issue personalized cyber policies – a program that has since expanded to 38 states.
Cowbell uses AI as the basis for its standalone and tailored programs designed to protect businesses from crippling cyber threats. The company touts its “closed-loop” approach to cyber risk as being especially helpful, as it bundles cybersecurity awareness training, continuous risk assessment, and pre and post-breach risk improvement services. Its cyber policies help policyholders to be proactive about managing cyber risks.
Cowbell’s continuous risk assessment services, Cowbell Factors, are available free, on-demand to all businesses.
Source: Carrier Management/Cowbell Cyber
Hi Marley raised $25 million in new funding it will use to fuel further expansion of its AI-enabled texting platform for the insurance industry.
Emergence Capital led the Boston-based insurtech’s Series B financing round, after which founder and general partner Gordon Ritter is taking a seat on Hi Marley’s board. Returning firms Underscore, True Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures and Greenspring also participated along with additional investors including Brewer Lane.
“Our goals, which [Ritter] and the Emergence team are poised to help us achieve, are to continue to expand across the enterprise, with new ways to communicate while surfacing valuable insights that ultimately help insurers create more lovable experiences,” Mike Greene, CEO and co-founder of Hi Marley, said in prepared remarks.
Hi Marley is deigned to make it simple for insurance carriers to communicate with policyholders via text. Its platform centers around a smart SMS platform built for the insurance industry, inside of which carriers, agents, brokers, service providers and customers can all communicate.
Hi Marley’s plans for its new financing round include creating new features for its platform, ensuring the platform scales across the enterprise, and adding to Hi Marley’s engineering, sales and customer success organizations, among others.
Source: Carrier Management/Hi Marley
AgentSync pulled in a $25 million round of financing, money it plans to use for expansion of its producer distribution management and licensing compliance software.
“We’re solving for some of the most inefficient processes bogging down the trillion-dollar insurance market,” AgentSync co-founder and chief executive Niji Sabharwal said in prepared remarks. “Our core product is already creating positive change for our customers, and we’re excited to keep building for an industry that’s eager to adopt innovative, automated technology to work smarter, not harder.”
Elad Gil, a former Twitter executive, led the Series A round along with David Sacks’ Craft Ventures. Marc Benioff, Caffeinated Capital, Operator Collective, and Nine Four Ventures also participated.
With the new financing, AgentSync claims its valuation has reached $220 million – 10 times higher than after its seed funding round in the middle of 2020. The Colorado-based startup launched in 2018.
AgentSync Manage is the company’s first product. It uses automation and technology to facilitate producer management and licensing compliance. Built on the Salesforce platform and direct integration with NIPR (National Insurance Producer Registry), it is designed to create efficiencies and enable carriers, agencies, and MGAs to grow and scale. AgentSync claims some well-known early customers including Hippo Insurance, Lemonade, Hub International, Embroker, iptiQ (a subsidiary of Swiss Re), Beam Dental, Centene and Rippling.
AgentSync is developing a comprehensive platform with tools both upstream and downstream of its core licensing compliance product to position the company to meet a full range of needs, it said.
Source: Carrier Management/AgentSync
Allianz’s technology investment arm is committing $75 million to WeLab, a Hong Kong-based fintech focused on virtual banking, consumer financing and other related digital services. The deal also includes a strategic partnership.
The insurer’s Allianz X digital investment unit committed the money as part of WeLab’s Series C financing round. Allianz said the company is now one of a number of Asian startups in its investment portfolio.
Plans call for using the funds to fuel WeLab’s further expansion and development of its technology platform.
Also, Allianz and WeLab are now deepening their strategic cooperation. The companies expect to jointly develop digital products and services in areas including wealth management, starting in Hong Hong. Eventually, they are eying an expansion of their cooperation into Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
WeLab first launched in 2013. Its services include digital banking services and loans for private customers, a digital lending platform to connect lenders and borrowers, and a number of technology-driven services to support financial institutions in their lending processes. WeLab currently operates in Hong Kong, mainland China, and Indonesia. The company touts nearly 50 million retail customers and 600 corporate customers. Its WeLab Bank in Hong Kong launched in 2019 and is one of the first fully-licensed digital banks in Asia, the company claims.
WeLab’s technology includes a proprietary risk management system based on artificial intelligence and a patented privacy computing product that ensures the secure transfer of sensitive data.
Allianz X’s other recent Asian investments have focused on telemedicine company Halodoc; digital real estate brokerage 99.co, and GoJek, a digital company that offers a wide range of services on its platform, from taxi rides to food delivery and mobile payments. BIMA, a digital insurance provider in emerging and developing markets, is another Allianz X portfolio company with extensive business in Asia, Allianz noted.
Source: Carrier Management/Allianz
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