Oyster nets $3.6mn to embed personal insurance at checkout

Embedded insurance startup Oyster has raised US$3.6mn in seed funding, as it seeks to embed P&C insurance directly at the point of purchase

New York-based embedded insurance startup Oyster has raised US$3.6mn in seed funding to launch its point-of-sale platform for personal insurance and emerge from stealth.

The company, which is attempting to modernise personal insurance by seamlessly embedding insurance offerings at the point of sale, has attracted the backing of New Stack Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Conversion Capital, Cambrian Ventures and others. It has also welcomed a number of angel investors as part of this seed round, including CRC Insurance President Garrett Koehn, Blend Founder Eugene Marinelli and Joe Schmidt, a Partner at a16z.

Oyster’s technology leverages proprietary data to handle insurance end-to-end in one unified platform. It means that – as an example – consumers can get insurance for a US$5,000 ring at checkout for just US$50 per year. Oyster provides full cover from theft, loss and accidental damage with deductibles as low as US$0. It is the latest insurance pioneer to tap into the potential of embedded insurance, where, instead of consumers coming to insurers, the insurance products they need are embedded directly where they need them. According to Oyster’s own research, this brings benefits to retailers too: 45% of consumers are more likely to complete a purchase from a merchant that offers insurance at checkout, Oyster found when it surveyed 9,000 US shoppers last month.

Oyster dragging P&C insurance into the digital age

Vic Yeh, CEO and Co-Founder of Oyster, says: “The property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry has historically been highly fragmented with low customer satisfaction and beyond this, getting insurance is still a tedious, manual process that's overdue for change. Consumers expect simple, transparent, and digitally-led experiences when interacting with everyday facets of their lives. We’ve built an all-star innovative team ready to drive innovation in the P&C industry.”

And according to Rex Salisbury, Founding Partner at Cambrian Ventures, which participated in the seed round, Oyster’s proposition will give consumers the peace-of-mind to start using high-ticket items from the moment they’re delivered without being left uninsured.

Salisbury says: "You can buy a US$5,000 e-bike or engagement ring online in just a few clicks and get it delivered the next day. Want to get insurance for that purchase? Good luck! It's an offline process that can take many days and lots of paperwork. Oyster is offering embedded insurance for high growth ecommerce categories to allow consumers to seamlessly insure some of their most important possessions at point of sale in a few minutes. It's a huge opportunity to move personal insurance into the digital age."

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