26 November 2019

Insurtech weekly: Vouch Insurance; RAC; The Hartford; Openly; MiddleGame Ventures; Nucoro

Vouch Insurance raises $45M, launches in California

Who’s involved: Vouch Insurance, a US platform offering business insurance for startups, and investment fund Y Combinator Continuity.

What’s happening: Vouch Insurance has announced a $45m series B investment round led by Y Combinator Continuity. Vouch also announced its launch in California.

Significance of development: With the new investment, Vouch has raised $70m in financing to date from Ribbit Capital, SVB Financial Group, Y Combinator, Index Ventures, and 500 Startups.

After launching in Utah and Illinois in September 2019, the company said it is launching in California as the state represents 50% of the business insurance market and is the centre of the fast-growth technology and start-up industry, which spends $44bn per year on commercial insurance.


RAC invests in insurtech Wrisk

Who’s involved: London-based insurtech Wrisk, which allows brands to co-create, launch and operate customised insurance products; and the RAC, UK automotive services company.

What’s happening: The RAC has become a strategic investor in Wrisk.

Significance of development: The RAC and Wrisk are trialling a mileage-based car insurance product which enables customers to only pay for the miles driven each month, plus a flat fee for when their cars are parked.

The monthly subscription insurance plan is designed to give customers flexibility and choose the cover they need.


The Hartford expands IoT capabilities

Who’s involved: US property and casualty insurer The Hartford.

What’s happening: The Hartford is expanding its Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Lab and capabilities.

Significance of development: Dan Campany, head of The Hartford’s Internet of Things Innovation Lab, said: “The Hartford sees significant opportunity to apply insights from IoT data to enhance our entire value chain from product and distribution, to underwriting, to risk management, to claims.”


Home insurance provider Openly secures $7.7m in funding

Who’s involved: US-based digital home insurance provider, Openly and Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund. It also involves investors and reinsurers, such as Greenlight Re, PJC, Techstars Ventures, and The Hanover Insurance Group.

What’s happening: Openly has secured a $7.7m seed round of funding led by Gradient Ventures.

Significance of development: With the funding secured, the insurtech startup is now operating in Illinois and Arizona. It plans to expand in other US states including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Tennessee in the next few months, along with four more states in the near future.


MiddleGame Ventures launches $165m fintech-focused fund

Who’s involved: MiddleGame Ventures (MGV), a fintech-focused investment firm. FinTech investment veteran Pascal Bouvier is co-founder of MGV along with Michael Meyer and Patrick Pinschmidt.

What’s happening: MiddleGame Ventures (MGV) has raised a new fund, MGV’s Venture Fund I, targeting post-seed, series A and series B lead investments in Europe and North America. The portfolio has achieved its first close with a target size of $165m.

Significance of development: MGV’s Venture Fund I will invest in and partner with B2B and B2B2C startups to help transform financial services. Its remit extends to enabling technologies such as regtech and crypto-enabled infrastructure across insurance, asset management and banking.


Nucoro to target insurers with wealth management technology offering

Who’s involved: Nucoro, a fintech company providing white-labelled technology to help deliver wealth management solutions for third parties.

What’s happening: Nucoro plans to target the insurance sector with its offering.

Significance of development: The company believes more insurers are considering offering wealth management services to customers as they look to increase engagement, create greater brand loyalty and develop new income streams.

Nucoro says digital wealth management is extremely cost effective, allowing it to reach a large part of an insurer’s customer base including people on lower income, which the provider argues a traditional wealth manager could not afford to do.