June already. The summer breeze has brought plenty of insurtech investment this week, with some record-breaking cash-raising going on. Here’s our exclusive weekly quick overview below and some more nuggets of insurance news from Alastair Walker.
IT’S A DEALS FEEDING-FRENZY
That’s what one insurance insider told Insurance Edge mag this week, although we have to report that observation was off the record. Maybe it’s being too harsh, but the funding is impressive right now.
This week saw Bought By Many raise $350m as they eye the US market. Pet insurance has a low take-up in the USA, despite the profusion of Lionel Hutz-style lawyers out there, so Bought By Many have a chance to really grow their brand.
Meanwhile Wefox raised $650m to take its project forward and as revenues increased to $152m last year, the investment isn’t too spicy at about four times annual revenue.
Back in the UK Urban Jungle, the renters insurance specialist, raised another £8m as it looks to press on with offering new cover products that suit the on-demand lifestyle of renters, who basically just want their latest high value stuff insured – not the carpets, sofa and curtains.
TALKING OF CURTAINS
Travel guru Simon Calder tweeted this week; `June 3rd 2021: the day the travel industry died?’
The chaos over Portugal highlights the deeper problems everyone in the travel insurance faces. Stubben Edge thinks there will always be demand for cover, even if the end of super-cheap holidays is on the horizon. Maybe the answer is more bespoke cover lines that insure trips out to manage second properties, villa-based breaks or even Instagram Influencer work/leisure breaks.
Fact is tourism accounted for 10% of GDP in Spain, something like 17% in Portugal, back in the good ol’ days of 2019. Hard to see countries simply walking away from revenue stream, no matter what the World Economic Forum might say link.
One interesting pre-Series A funding round took place this week for PlanetWatchers, a crop insurance specialist. The story attracted over 200 page views in one day.
Now here is a genuinely exciting insurance growth area – no pun intended. Why? The pressure from activists to change the diet of the developed world to plant-based products is gaining momentum. Add on China’s purchase of arable land in Africa and elsewhere and you can see food chain/crop production becoming a very important activity.
Obviously, arable land is going to increase in value, which means insurance cover. Plus, the value of crops will increase as supply & demand is managed by command economics, imposed by governments, not food manufacturing giants or consumer demand.
All that opens the door for insurers and brokers at every level, to offer micro payment crop insurance, with the risk calculated automatically using local weather data, flood mapping, fire incident history etc.
LIVE CHAT ADDS VALUE
Salvage specialist e2e added a live chat feature to its website this week, which is not exactly a `Hold The Front Page’ moment of course. But it does remind everyone that adding value can sometimes be a basic problem solver. In a post-pandemic world where people are WFH a live chat is easier than a Zoom call, and slightly faster than an email in terms of response too. In short, it gets stuff done quicker.
Adding that feature for your customers can make them feel someone is there looking after them, especially when it counts during the stress of claims. Worth thinking about.
If you’re interested in creating loyalty or reward programmes that add value for your clients, Stubben Edge can help through our new Distributor platform. Contact us for more information on how we can help you Start, Run and Grow your business: firstname.lastname@example.org