Jun 7, 2021

Rory McIlroy backs US insurtech startup, Kin

rorymcilroy
kin
homeinsurance
Investment
3 min
Kin’s recent financing round raised US$69m and was backed by champion golfer McIlroy’s investment vehicle

Northern Irish champion golfer Rory McIlroy has thrown his support behind the North American home insurance startup, Kin through Symphony Ventures, McIlroy’s Dublin-based investment vehicle.

The Series C funding round for Kin raised $69m and was also backed by Flourish Ventures, asset manager Hudson Structured Capital Management and the Senator Investment Group.

According to reports, the Chicago-based Kin was launched in 2016 and is a cutting-edge home insurance company that customises coverage and prices by leveraging thousands of property data points. 

Whereas legacy insurers rely on outdated, inflexible technology, Kin's proprietary platform allows the company to price risks in real time and ingest more data than competitors. Kin's technology also reduces general and administrative expenses, which constitute roughly 15% of premiums at legacy homeowners insurance companies. Finally, by selling its products directly to consumers, Kin eliminates the expense of paying outside agents.

The startup has gained recognition for its streamlined and simple user experience and offers cover for homeowners, landlords, mobile home insurance and condos. 

The company also has the Kin Interinsurance Network (KIN) a reciprocal exchange owned by its customers, who share in the underwriting profit. The insurtech direct-to-consumer model is also able to provide cost-effective products and services. 

Kin and severe weather cover

McIlroy, who lives in Florida, has won 28 international tournaments and has ranked number one in the Official World Golf for 106 weeks. He is also a partner in Symphony Ventures, which has an investment portfolio of technology companies across health, wellness and golf. 

McIlroy explained, "Our focus in Symphony Ventures is to partner with technology companies that have a digital-first approach and who are truly innovating our day-to-day lives.

"As a Florida resident who has toured the world on the PGA Tour, I've seen the devastation that severe weather and climate change can have on communities. This is why I am delighted to invest in Kin to help expand their offerings to new geographies, providing simpler solutions direct to the consumer."

Kin home insurance growth strategy

Currently, Kin analyses over 10,000 property data points to customise coverage and prices. The company operates in Florida and Louisiana – a strategic decision to focus first on regions most impacted by climate change and natural disasters because they need affordable solutions now. Priority regions for expansion include Texas and the Gulf Coast, and hurricane-prone regions that touch the Atlantic Ocean.

Speaking about the insurtech’s latest funding round, Kin’s co-founder and chief executive, Sean Harper said "As climate change continues to impact many regions like Florida and Louisiana, access to affordable home insurance is a priority that is often overlooked. 

He added, “With Kin, we analyse more than 10,000 property data points in comparison to the mere hundreds assessed by legacy insurance providers, which makes us better equipped to evaluate the risk and price policies fairly."

 

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Jun 15, 2021

Startup: iLife, the digital platform for insurance brokers

Insurtech
iLife
Insurance
brokers
2 min
InsurTech Digital takes a closer look at Californian startup iLife, which is providing insurance brokers with a fast, easy digital platform and enhanced CX

A relatively fresh insurtech on the scene, iLife was founded in 2019 by CEO Nelson Lee. Bringing together a team of engineers, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs, Lee wanted to help finance professionals increase revenue, decrease costs, and provide a better customer experience (CX). 

iLife hones in on the life insurance market and aims to make buying and selling it as easy as possible. It accomplishes this through a unique digital platform featuring over 60 million collected data points from leading carriers. Product information can then be analysed by iLife and compared to others in the market.

This highly transparent process provides customers with more choice and therefore builds stronger broker-client relationships, the company says.  

Automating insurance sales

For brokers, iLife states that its platform eliminates the need for ‘cold calls’ and the frequent rejection that such approaches generally entail. It offers the following benefits:

  • Real-time lead referral systems
  • Automated digital presentations of key information to clients
  • Expedited underwriting
  • Up to a 90% reduction of operating expenses

iLife’s platform is available in three distinct packages, each with different features and associated monthly cost:

iLife raises $4mn

The company’s seed funding round closed on 14 June and netted a total of $4mn. Led by prominent investment firm Foundation Capital and also featuring Cherubic Ventures, as well as others, this new capital brings iLife’s total raised to $5mn.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Business Journal, Lee said of the company’s $99.99 Professional package that it was “cheaper than hiring 50 software developers. We don’t want to talk to a bot when we buy a policy. Neither do you want to get stuck with a person coming to your home wearing a suit. Neither is enjoyable.”

“We don’t ever interact with consumers. Our software is sold directly to insurance agencies and brokerages. If the website has a browsing capability, and there is a live chat, that is likely powered by us.”

Lee’s comments reflect both the power of modern automation tech and the shifting consumer preference for fast, digital, and online services. As the development of this form of CX continues, brokers who stick rigidly to traditional methods could find themselves increasingly at a disadvantage.

Image source: iLife

 

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