Unicorn report: Oscar Health - disrupting health insurance
Currently serving over 250,000 individuals and businesses and with projected revenues of USD$2bn , the company has attained a valuation ; a rare feat and one which places it in the top echelon of companies in the sector.
Reflecting on Oscar’s humble origins, the company website claims that it all started from the personal experiences of CEO Mario Schlosser when dealing with the complexities of the US’ insurance sector:
“Confronted with a maze of insurance jargon and no practical way to identify the best obstetrician, their first meaningful experience with the health care system put them at a loss as to how to navigate care or hold anyone accountable.
“Mario’s friend Josh Kushner had recently had his own frustrating encounter following what should’ve been a routine treatment for an injury. Mario and Josh knew that their experiences were reflective of a larger problem in health care: consumers were powerless. That spring, they founded Oscar Health.”
Ushering in changes
Available in nine states across the US and staffed by over 1,000 employees, Oscar seeks to make a difference by actively engaging with its members through easy-to-use online and mobile apps, as well as providing high-quality care by partnering with 3,500 nationally-ranked doctors, 140 specialists 10 of the country’s best health systems.
Members are able to use the in-built resources of their smartphone (i.e. photos, videos, messaging, etc) to quickly provide information, which is subsequently reviewed and responded to within a very short time-frame.
Adaptable and flexible, Oscar was quick to add to its service, enabling users to track potential symptoms, perform an at-home risk assessment, find a testing centre and discuss their results with a doctor over the phone.
Image courtesy of Oscar Health
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