Costanoa Ventures Leads US$13.5m Shepherd Series A Funding

There is an urgent need for innovation in the commercial construction insurance industry, says Justin Levine, CEO and Co-Founder of Shepherd

Shepherd is on a journey to making construction safe and sustainable through innovative insurance products, by combining insurance capacity with fast underwriting, risk management software and a construction software marketplace to streamline tedious processes and workflows. Headquartered in San Francisco, Shepherd’s risk management platform helps contractors reduce losses and save on premiums.

In the first 18 months after the company’s launch in 2021,  the company achieved five-fold growth in Gross Written Premiums year-over-year and expanded from a single product offering (Excess Liability) to four, encompassing all three primary casualty lines (General Liability, Commercial Auto and Workers’ Compensation). Now, the construction industry’s top retail insurance brokers rely on Shepherd’s technology-enabled underwriting process for its 24-hour submission-to-indication turnaround — which is weeks faster than anything else available. 

“There is an urgent need for innovation in the commercial construction insurance industry,” says Justin Levine, CEO and Co-Founder of Shepherd. 

“Our mission at Shepherd is ambitious but simple: to create the first comprehensive platform that combines top-tier insurance offerings with world-class software to help commercial businesses manage risk and prevent losses.” 

AI-assisted insurance software

In a funding round led by Costanoa Ventures, Shepherd has raised US$13.5m to expand its underwriting and software team, accelerate product development and scale its software offerings for the US$10tn commercial construction industry. The company’s newest offering is Shepherd Compliance, an AI-assisted software designed to streamline and automate vendor compliance review. The software is optimised for Shepherd policyholders and also integrates with project management platforms, like Procore, ensuring ease of use across existing systems.  

“Commercial construction is a central and vital driver to the overall economy, yet has been overlooked by technology providers for years,” said Mark Selcow, General Partner at Costanoa Ventures, and newly appointed board member for Shepherd.

“High insurance costs and even unavailability of coverage plagues a sector already struggling with tight margins and business risk. The team behind Shepherd is taking a technology-forward approach, developing innovative insurance products that use modern software and data techniques to create a vastly superior insurance offering. Shepherd delivers better priced, better fit policies for clients, thanks to its data and tech advantages."

Also backing the funding round are Intact Ventures, Era Ventures, Greenlight Re and Spark Capital. 

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