Insurtech startups are leveraging rapid growth to raise big money

The investment landscape for insurtech startups is off to a hot start in Q2 2021. Since the end of the first quarter, we’ve seen several players in the broad startup category announce new capital, including Clearcover, Alan, Next Insurance and The Zebra.

But, as anyone who’s familiar with startups that offer insurance-related products and services knows, the sector is enough of a mixed bag that one needs to segment down to get clarity on how constituent companies are performing. So while Clearcover’s $200 million round from last week, Next Insurance’s $250 million round from the first of the month and Alan’s $220 million round from yesterday are interesting, this morning we’re going to focus a bit more on The Zebra’s side of the insurtech house. 

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The Exchange divides insurtech startups into three categories: neo-insurance providers, insurtech marketplaces and insurtech enablers. (You can see why we need to segment the insurtech genre!)

Briefly, neo-insurance providers are companies like Root, Metromile and Next Insurance, which use technology to underwrite and sell insurance in an updated manner; these companies also often have optimized mobile experiences.

Marketplaces like The Zebra, Gabi, Insurify and others provide a way for consumers to better identify their insurance options. And, finally, there are companies like AgentSync, which fit neatly into our third category of firms that help other companies in the insurance business digitize their operations or otherwise modernize. 

Insurtech marketplaces came back into our view when The Zebra put together a $150 million Series D earlier this month and released a host of metrics regarding its growth, and Insurify dropped the news that it is partnering with Toyota.

This morning, let’s discuss insurtech’s 2020 as a whole, peek at some preliminary 2021 venture data and then dive deep into what we’ve collected regarding growth among insurtech marketplace players. The Exchange has data and other details from The Zebra, Insurify, Wefox and more. 

Covering longitudinal progress of specific startup categories is one of our favorite things to do. So, please, walk with us!

2020 to today

PitchBook data regarding the insurtech category in 2020 underscores how large the startup niche has grown. Per the data company, $18.3 billion was spent last year on insurtech startups across venture capital, private equity and M&A activity. That was a billion dollars under its 2019 result, but given the pandemic’s onset, 2020’s final result is somewhat impressive — who expected insurance investing to hold up during an unprecedented global catastrophe?

This year is proving lucrative for the insurtech market, at least from a venture capital perspective. Normally I’d make a joke about how unprofitable some neo-insurance providers are at this juncture, but because our focus is elsewhere, bringing up the fact that, say, Lemonade’s adjusted losses in the final quarter of 2020 were around 150% of its revenue is kind of irrelevant. So we won’t!

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