Apr 13, 2021

Auto and homeowner insurtech the Zebra becomes a unicorn

William Girling
2 min
The Zebra has successfully raised US$150m in its Series D round, bringing its auto and homeowner insurance platform to a value of $1bn (‘unicorn’ status)
The Zebra has successfully raised US$150m in its Series D round, bringing its auto and homeowner insurance platform to a value of $1bn (‘unicorn’ st...

Based in Austin, Texas, the Zebra was founded in 2012 with a desire to simplify insurance through a superior comparison platform.

Initially handling car insurance before expanding into homeowner lines, the company also has plans to include renters, RV, and boat cover to its rostrum. 

So far, the Zebra has generated over 6.6 million quotes and its growth has not been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, its revenue grew 113.5% from $37m in 2019 to $79m in 2020.

The new funds, which will be used to sustain growth, came from a mix of new and existing investors. Among those named were Weatherford Capital and Accel.  

An insurance-focused tech company

With a 60% increase in staff over the last 12 months and monetisation unit economics continuing to rise 100% year-on-year, the Zebra appears to be on the path towards its goal of becoming a household brand.

"This investment is going to be used to grow our team and build our brand. We are accelerating our efforts to make The Zebra a household name and help educate, empower and advise consumers to find the best policies for their unique needs, no matter where they are in their lives," said Keith Melnick, CEO.

For some of the company’s early investors, who have tracked its progress from startup to industry unicorn, the Series D round represents a watershed moment; as the industry continues to become increasingly digitalised space, the utility of the Zebra will only increase.

"As one of the earliest investors in The Zebra, this inflection point in the company's history is something I've been eagerly anticipating,” commented Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur and Governor of the Dallas Mavericks.

“The Zebra is a full fledged tech company that is taking on - and solving - some of the biggest challenges in the $638bn insurance industry.”

Image source: The Zebra

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Jun 18, 2021

Akur8’s US$30mn Series B to fuel US and APAC expansion

2 min
Parisian insurtech Akur8 has raised $30mn in a Series B round, capital which will be used as it expands out of the EU and into the US and APAC markets

Still a relatively new company in the sector, Akur8’s progress since it was founded in 2018 has been characterised by cutting-edge tech, strategic growth, and a highly personable approach that clearly demonstrates the youthful innovation of insurtech itself.

The company strives to embody four key values:

  • Challenging a status quo that doesn’t benefit customers
  • “Disrupt the known, organise the unknown”
  • Provide artificial intelligence (AI) tech with a distinctly human edge
  • Create solutions that will endure the test of time

At the heart of Akur8’s business is its Transparent AI solution. Capable of empowering actuaries and pricing teams through better, faster decision making, the insurtech touts it as “the only solution that automates rate modeling while keeping full transparency and control.”



Transforming insurance pricing

In just two years, Akur8 has acquired over 30 customers in 10 countries - including high-profile insurers like Munich Re, Tokio Marine Kiln, AXA, and Generali - and established additional offices in London and New York. Now, the company is keen to develop its business in the US’ verdant insurance market and build its presence in APAC.

The Series B round, which comes just over a year after Akur8’s $12mn Series A, was co-led by returning investors BlackFin Capital Partners and MTech Capital.

“The BlackFin team is thrilled to see Akur8 continue to spread its wings and deploy its next generation pricing platform across insurance carriers worldwide,” said Julien Creuzé, Partner. “We have built a great relationship with the Akur8 management team and it’s a pleasure to welcome new investors and continue this journey with them.”

Guillaume Beraud-Sudreau, Co-Founder and Chief Actuary at Akur8, added, “We are humbled by the trust that our clients and investors have placed in Akur8. Building the future of insurance pricing powered by Transparent AI has been our goal since the first day of R&D. Now this vision has become reality and we can’t wait to accelerate our growth to become the global reference in insurance pricing.”

Cover image source: Akur8

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