Pier receives US$14.5m from Latin American VC fund monashees
Founded in 2018, Pier is distinguished in the Brazilian market through its artificial intelligence (AI) based technology and an intuitive user experience. Its particular emphasis on next-gen tech is propelled by its leadership, which includes an ex-NASA employee, AI specialists and several executives from the global startup ecosystem.
Priding itself on the ability to issue refunds to customers faster than its competitors, Pier reportedly “refunded a mobile phone insurance claim in just 38 seconds.”
Making major investments
Last year, the company expanded by adding auto insurance to its core portfolio, spurred on by data that suggested only 30% of Brazillian cars have active policies.
According to Igor Mascarenhas, Co-Founder and CEO of Pier, further exploration of this market will form the company’s primary focus in 2021: "With the received funds, we will make major investments to increase the auto market.
"We offer the best flow to buy auto insurance in the world. There is no one who can approve an auto insurance policy as fast as we do, and in such a simple way. Not even insurtechs that are references all over the globe. We have developed an extremely robust technology and added a very refined anti-fraud predictive capability.”
Expanding fintech in Latin America
According to the official press release, this investment represents an overture to potentially larger investments in the near future, with a Series B round reportedly due to take place in 2021.
Monashees, which has been an active participant in Brazilian Series A and B funding rounds, as well as a champion for the burgeoning startup scene, is confident that it has the ability to foster Pier into becoming a world leader.
"The insurance market is very large and presents several opportunities for innovation through the use of technology, whether in customer experience, product design, distribution or use of sensors,” said Marcelo Lima, Partner at monashees.
“As in other financial segments, this market will accelerate a lot. Pier has an excellent team and is very well positioned to lead this movement, offer great value to customers and become a giant company.”
The Brazilian market is currently the continent’s insurtech incubator, containing approximately 100 startups. As the sector matures and catches up with markets such as the US, Europe and China, it is not unfeasible that Latin America will become a significant player in the revitalised insurance industry.
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