Acko reaches $200m total investment following Series D round
“We’re excited to join forces with one of the leading digital insurers in India, as well as other investment partners, to help support Varun and his impressive team as they continue their journey,” said Oshri Kaplan, Director at Munich Re.
“As Munich Re Ventures’ first investment in India, we look forward to the positive impact that digitally native insurance solutions will have on the country, with Acko leading the way.”
Keen on dispelling perceptions of the insurance industry as being “beige walls and bleak souls”, the company strives to bring a “vibrant and vivacious” atmosphere instead.
Founded only four years ago, it has so far sold 50 million unique policies and secured a position as one of India’s fastest-growing companies in the sector.
Insurtech: overhauling the industry
Insurtech’s position in the market has experienced significant growth since the COVID-19 pandemic instigated a renewed interest in both insurance and digital technology.
As Ning Zhou, Head of Principal Investment and Acquisition for Asia, Swiss Re, commented:
“Waterdrop is well-positioned to tackle the pain points of traditional insurance and pave the way for future breakthroughs in the industry, such as the accelerated technological innovation and digitalisation of the industry worldwide that we have witnessed during the COVID-19 situation.”
Those pain points of the old industry - lack of transparency, convenience, relevance and sub-optimal service - are already being met by innovative companies in both the APAC region and globally. The quest to define insurance for the new normal continues.
Global investment in insurtech reaches all-time high
Global investment in the InsurTech sector reached an emphatic record during H1, 2021, as half-year funding of US$7.4 billion exceeded full-year investment in 2020, and in every other year, according to the new Quarterly InsurTech Briefing from Willis Towers Watson.
It was found that the latest quarter saw 162 deals yield more than $4,824 million in investment, a 210% increase over Q2, 2020. The enormous quarterly total, itself more than any annual total before 2019, was driven largely by 15 mega-rounds of $100 million or more. Collectively, these deals reached $3.3 billion, or two-thirds of total funding during the quarter. The money was raised predominantly by later-stage players seeking expansion.
A need for the insurance community to reflect digital changes
Series B and C fundraisings drove a large number of deals in the second quarter, but the number of early-stage deals also increased. They were up by more than 9% from the previous quarter, and 200% from pandemic-stricken Q2, 2020. As a percentage of overall deals, early-stage activity held roughly steady, at 57%.
InsurTechs focused on distribution accounted for 55% of start-up deals, and for 10 of the 15 mega-rounds. Most of the distribution InsurTechs target reduced dependence on agent channels. Of all Q2 deals, 73% were for P&C-related InsurTechs, while 43 companies raised funds for L&H technology. Funds were raised by companies from 35 countries, including new entrants Botswana, Mali, Romania, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
Dr. Andrew Johnston, global head of InsurTech at Willis Re, said: “As technology changes our lives, society will demand an insurance community that reflects and supports our changing, digitally empowered behaviours. Consumers and businesses increasingly expect insurance to be delivered when and how they want it, and risk carriers that fail to respond will fall away over time. To embrace technology is a minimum survival condition. Those that use it to redefine service in the insurance world will thrive. That means a positive future for InsurTechs that bring a truly differentiated business approach to our industry. Some of them will create untold long-term opportunities for themselves and the insurance sector.”