Branch raises US$50mn to offer API home and auto insurance
Branch Insurance, a start-up company based in Ohio, has announced that it has raised US$50mn in Series B funding to offer bundled home and car insurance using an Associate in Personal Insurance (API).
The funding, which was led by Anthemis Group, now sees Branch’s total funding reach US$82.5mn since its 2017 inception. Acrew, Cherry Creek Holdings, and existing backers Greycroft, HSCM Bermuda, American Family Ventures, SignalFire, SCOR P&C Ventures, Foundation Capital, and Tower IV also participated in the round.
Branch claims that it is a “unique company” with the ability to provide customers with an “instant insurance offer for bundled home and auto insurance within seconds”. Co-founder and CEO of Branch, Steve Lekas, said: “The industry is structurally flawed and it harms consumers. Complicated policies, rising costs, and marketing warfare all contribute to a vicious cycle that results in overpriced insurance. We are a full-stack insurance company transforming the way people think about their home and car insurance”.
Insurance through an API
Lekas claims Branch is the only company capable of binding insurance through an API, as well as the only one that can also “bundle auto and home insurance in one transaction”. Branch has also partnered with companies such as Rocket Mortgage and ADT to integrate insurance as soon as their products are sold. This means a customer purchasing a home has the opportunity to purchase the Branch insurance for it at the same time.
Steve Lekas said: “Every home or car policy starts with another transaction,” Lekas said. “Insurance is a product that exists only because of the other transaction. It’s never before been possible to embed in that primary purchase before.
“In just two clicks, a consumer can have home and car insurance or just home, and we’ll cancel the old insurance on their closing date, and transmit all the data to their existing mortgage”, he added.
Increased growth and momentum
Before the end of 2021, Lekas predicts that Branch Insurance will be available in more than 80% of the U.S., and has witnessed increased momentum since it raised US$24mn in Series A funding in July last year.
The company claims to have grown its partner channel at a rate of 435%, in addition to a 660% growth in active insurance policies, and a 734% rise in active premium. It claims that this happened “less than one year after its last raise”.
Branch has also created the non-profit organisation, SafetyNest, to help people who are either uninsured or underinsured.
Akur8’s US$30mn Series B to fuel US and APAC expansion
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 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