We asked Europe's biggest tech investors to pick the disruptive insurance startups they think will blow up in 2021. Here are the 26 they chose.

  • We asked prominent tech investors to tell us which European insurance startups will be big in 2021.
  • Last year more than $7 billion went into insurance startups globally, according to CB Insights. 
  • The largest raise in Europe in 2021 could soon come in the form of a raise from London-based Zego. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Startup founders and venture capitalists are looking to take on the staid world of insurance.

2020 saw record amounts of capital flow into the space, amid an IPO for mobile insurance startup Lemonade and medical backup firm Oscar Health.

This year began with a massive $125 million round for Sidecar Health, and the largest raise in Europe in 2021 could soon come in the form of a raise from London-based Zego, as Insider recently reported. 

Insurance as a sector covers everything from underwriting, distribution, claims, and product, with individual disruptors aiming to upend a largely traditional and digitally deficient industry. 

In 2020, annual “insurtech” funding reached an all-time high of $7.1 billion across 377 deals — marking a 12% increase in funding and a 20% increase in deals compared to 2019, according to CB Insights. 

We asked some of Europe’s top venture capitalists to name the most exciting insurance startups on the continent. Check out their picks below: 

Inzmo

Cited by these VCs: Kartik Varma, MD at Techstars 

In the Techstars portfolio? No

Total raised: $7.9 million

What it does: “Inzmo aims to simplify the insurance process with its full-stack platform combining all steps from purchasing a policy to filing a claim in a user-friendly, digital-first manner.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “The insurance sector’s lack of agility has created an opportunity for nimble, full-stack insurance startups like Inzmo to offer creative property and casualty products fit for modern consumers’ needs.”

Cachet

Cited by these VCs: Kartik Varma, MD at Techstars 

In the Techstars portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $1.7 million 

What it does: “Cachet offers gig economy workers personalized insurance that takes into account individual car usage and driving habits, helping to promote and boost the sharing economy.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “The gig economy is reinventing the dynamics of work faster than traditional insurance companies can keep up. Estonian insurtech Cachet is providing gig workers with insurance products that are tailored for this sector, making a bold move on a fast-growing industry where incumbents haven’t been paying attention.” 

Indeez

Cited by these VCs: Toby Coppel, partner at Mosaic Ventures

In the Mosaic Ventures portfolio? Yes

Total raised: Undisclosed

What it does: French insurance startup Indeez provides income protection solutions for gig economy workers. 

Why it’s hot in 2021: “The pandemic was a wake-up call to the importance of income protection insurance,” Coppel said. “The proportion of independent workers is expected to grow from one third to well over half in the next decade and Indeez provides a safety net they can fall back upon. The experienced team from AXA previously built a protection product that insured all of Uber’s drivers in Europe and other parts of the world against loss of income. And they have just released the first ever COVID-19 insurance policy.”

YuLife

Cited by these VCs: Remus Brett, partner at LocalGlobe, and Itxaso del Palacio, partner at Notion Capital 

In the LocalGlobe and Notion portfolios? Yes

Total raised: $18 million

What it does: “YuLife is a tech-driven insurance company on a mission to inspire life and turn financial products into a force for good,” says del Palacio. “By harnessing the power of gamification, lifestyle medicine and the latest behavioural science, YuLife is building a new insurance model focused on risk prevention, not claims compensation.” 

Why it’s hot in 2021: “By rewarding everyday activities such as walking and meditation with tangible rewards such as vouchers and treats via their gamified app, YuLife customers are incentivized to take care of their physical and emotional health, with a long term benefit,” LocalGlobe’s Brett agrees.

“Ultimately, YuLife is helping companies to support their employees beyond financial reward by building happier, healthier, more motivated and resilient teams.” 

Luko

Cited by these VCs: Remus Brett, partner at LocalGlobe and Oliver Holle, Speedinvest

In the LocalGlobe portfolio? No 

In the Speedinvest portfolio? Yes 

Total raised: $147.9 million

What it does: Luko focuses on the property insurance market in France, serving both homeowners and renters. 

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Luko has a bold vision to redefine home insurance for both homeowners and renters,” Holle said. “The startup delivers a best-in-class onboarding and claims experience and wants to proactively prevent damages before they occur with home care solutions like a Luko water meter to detect leaks.”

“Luko is B-corp certified and its pricing and growth model is built around its Giveback programme, meaning 70% of Luko’s premiums are pooled with other customers and this pool is used to pay compensation, with 30% going towards Luko’s management costs,” Brett added. “Consumers love the model and the business now supports more than 100,000 customers.”

Claimsforce

Cited by these VCs: Itxaso del Palacio, partner at Notion Capital 

In the Notion Capital portfolio? Yes 

Total raised: $8.5 million 

What it does: “Claimsforce is a claims management platform for processing property and casualty (P&C) insurance claims.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Claimsforce puts insurers and their third parties on one platform to create a single source of truth, drive productivity, improve the collaboration between different parties and bring more transparency to the process which in consequence significantly lowers costs, speeds up the processes and ultimately improves the customer experience to drive retention and up-sell.”

Zego

Cited by these VCs: Itxaso del Palacio, partner at Notion Capital 

In the Notion Capital portfolio? No 

Total raised: $65 million 

What it does: Zego is the self-described “new mobility” insurance provider, offering coverage to food delivery drivers, couriers, private hire drivers, and small businesses.

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Zego was the first UK insurtech to be awarded an insurance license. More recently, Zego was accepted into the Tech Nation Future 50 2020 cohort and won Tech Company of the Year 2020.”

Hi.health

Cited by these VCs: Lucanus Polagnoli, managing partner at early-stage European fund Calm/Storm 

In the Calm/Storm portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $3.6 million

What it does: “Hi.health revolutionizes health insurance by creating a seamless user experience,” says Polagnoli. “Customers can submit medical invoices via the app or web platform and then Hi.health takes care of the rest – processing, billing and customer service. Claims below €100 are instantly paid out to the user – even before the insurance company reimburses the claim.” 

Why it’s hot in 2021: “I have a huge amount of respect for the founding team, which includes Fredrik Debong. He also co-founded MySugr, a diabetes management app and one of the first healthtech companies to make a major impact on the digital health industry. It was sold to Roche in 2017 and became one of the biggest exits in Europe.”

Alan

Cited by these VCs: Lucanus Polagnoli, managing partner at early-stage European fund Calm/Storm 

In the Calm/Storm portfolio? No

Total raised:  $152 million

What it does: “Alan is a French startup focusing on health insurance for businesses.” 

Why it’s hot in 2021: “I’ve long been an admirer of what Alan is building. They’ve made navigating insurance as easy as using Instagram — it’s taken a lot of pain out of the system for customers. And the product is constantly evolving and offering new products to customers.

“That ongoing innovation is something to be admired and they’re certainly an insurtech business on track to break even more boundaries in the future.”

Clark

Cited by these VCs: Nicholas Stocks, general partner at White Star Capital.

In the White Star Capital portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $128.1 million

What it does: “Clark offers digital insurance management options allowing users to see their insurance choices in one place and helps to identify better offers through its platform.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Via a tech-driven, customer-centric approach, Clark’s aim is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance to find the best products for them. Their recent Series C round following rapid growth to over 300,000 users last year is a testament to their current success in their mission,” Stocks said. 

“With incredibly strong foundations in Germany and a top team, I have every confidence that they will go on to achieve their goal of becoming the largest consumer insurance broker in Europe.”

Anorak

Cited by these VCs: Michael Niddam, cofounder and managing director, Kamet Ventures

In the Kamet Ventures portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $12.6 million

What it does: London-based Anorak helps users make informed decisions about their need for life insurance.

Why it’s hot in 2021: “The pandemic has left an overwhelming percentage of the population unsure about where they stand with regards to income protection and whether they need to take out a life insurance policy.

“With industry jargon at an all-time high, it’s refreshing to see a startup committed to educating its potential users and helping them make the right decisions for them rather than what’s best for the company.”

Getsafe

Cited by these VCs: Christian Nagel, partner at Earlybird Ventures

In the Earlybird Ventures portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $52.9 million

What it does: “Getsafe is a digital insurance platform that allows customers to find suitable insurance cover from their phones.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Getsafe’s modern spirit is embodied in fresh, user-friendly design and branding that’s built upon great tech. Combined with machine learning, Getsafe creates a seamless and smart insurance experience that’s 100% digital – meaning that everyone can easily get coverage via their smartphone.

“After backing them on their Series B in 2020, we’re excited to see Getsafe expand across new European markets and this definitely makes them one to watch in 2021.”

Afilio

Cited by these VCs: Christian Nagel, Partner at Earlybird Ventures

In the Earlybird Ventures portfolio? No 

Total raised: Not disclosed

What it does: Afilio is an internet platform for the preparation and administration of pension and estate documents.

Why it’s hot in 2021: Afilio has identified an underserved pain point of creating and managing preventative healthcare documents such as patients’ advance directives,” Nagel said. “On the back of their first product (a document creation and management platform), the team started to serve related needs and has built a comprehensive platform to educate and insure their clients. We’re excited about their big vision to revolutionize preventative healthcare and we believe the team is worth watching.”

Marshmallow

Cited by these VCs: Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital and Nicholas Stocks, general partner at White Star Capital.

In the Passion Capital portfolio? Yes

In the White Star Capital portfolio? No

Total raised: $31.2 million

What it does: Marshmallow provides insurance products via proprietary pricing algorithms and specializes in auto insurance.

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Marshmallow is the ideal example of insurtech bringing about better customer propositions to market. They’ve brought transparency, better pricing (originally benefiting expats and immigrants who didn’t have UK driving history and were therefore penalized with the highest premiums, but now for all UK drivers) and best-in-class customer support to stodgy auto insurance.” 

 

BondAval

Cited by these VCs: Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital

In the Passion Capital portfolio? No — though for full disclosure, the CEO is Burbidge’s partner.

Total raised:  $1.7 million

What it does: BondAval provides credit security via a digital platform to replace bank guarantees and other traditional collateral instruments. 

Why it’s hot in 2021: “I’m naturally biased given my association with the founding team, but I’m excited to see insurtech innovation, transparency and digital-enabled product propositions coming to B2B insurance,” Burbidge said. “We’ve seen how much has been modernized for consumers with B2C insurtech, and I think we’re at the tip of the iceberg on B2B with BondAval as a great example targeting retailers and wholesalers across sectors.”

Tractable

Cited by these VCs: Oliver Holle, Speedinvest

In the Speedinvest portfolio? No 

Total raised: $60 million 

What it does: “Tractable develops artificial intelligence to accelerate accident and disaster recovery. Its solutions use photos to automate damage appraisal, allowing insurers to improve accuracy, reduce turnaround time, and deliver a better customer experience, while accelerating how quickly people’s livelihoods can be restored.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Tractable is a wonderful example of leveraging AI to improve people’s lives for the better. The startup’s accident and disaster recovery technology has been applied to speed up insurance-related response times for car accidents and natural disasters by as much as ten-fold.

“With customers across nine markets, Tractable is making an impact on hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. And, in addition to its offices in London and New York, it recently opened an office in Tokyo — with the aim of serving new clients across Asia.” 

By Bits

Cited by these VCs: Stephen Brittain, director and director of incubator Insurtech Gateway

In the Insurtech Gateway portfolio? Yes 

Total raised: Undisclosed

What it does: “By Bits’ software products – which either plug into insurers’ existing systems or operate as an entirely stand-alone ‘engine’ – offer state of the art risk pricing and policy management.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “The technology gives insurers real time data and insight to experiment with. Opening a host of new opportunities to establish more meaningful, long-term relationships with customers and deliver a sharp increase in customer retention.”

Fathom

Cited by these VCs: Stephen Brittain, director and director of incubator Insurtech Gateway

In the Insurtech Gateway portfolio? No 

Total raised: Undisclosed

What it does: “Fathom is on a mission to make flood risk modelling more widely available and that can only be a good thing.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “We need better flood models based on more granular risk data. Fathom, an insurtech born out of the Hydrology Research Group at Bristol University have been on our radar — or, rather, sonar — for a while now.

“We look forward to seeing how their work develops and how this could enable fairer pricing and more targeting solutions.”

Insify

Cited by these VCs: William McQuillan, partner at Frontline Ventures 

In the Frontline portfolio? Yes 

Total raised: Undisclosed 

What it does: “Insify focuses on providing insurance to freelancers and SMEs. The segment requires more support than consumers, yet premiums paid do not cover the high overhead that traditional players require to service business customers.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Insify focuses on changing the industry on two fronts: providing an end-to-end digital customer journey — which surprisingly does not yet exist for most of the SME segment — and accurately pricing risk. The result: a super simple and fast sign-up combined with sharp pricing.” 

Exante

Cited by these VCs: William McQuillan, Frontline Ventures 

In the Frontline portfolio? No 

Total raised: Undisclosed 

What it does: “Exante uses forecasts as parametric triggers allowing them to pay policy holders before losses. This helps financially vulnerable policy holders to mitigate or avoid losses, reducing claims, improving outcomes for society, and improving outcomes for the individuals and their families.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Mastercard is an investor in Exante, and the company leverages Mastercard technology to disburse payments instantly. Exante has offices in Dublin and Hong Kong and their initial focus is on natural catastrophes in the USA and Taiwan.”

Wrisk

Cited by these VCs: Reece Chowdhury, founding partner at RLC 

In the RLC portfolio? Yes

Total raised:  $12 million 

What it does: “At its core, Wrisk is a platform enabling companies to build, launch and operate white-labelled insurance experiences for their customers. They have a strong focus on the mobility sector and have partnered with RAC to streamline and improve customer experiences.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “”We are excited about the ongoing wider trend of businesses offering more integrated financial experiences for their customers, and we believe that Wrisk plays a huge role in this going forward.

“RLC backed Wrisk in their seed round, and we firmly share their belief in the need for more personalized and flexible insurance products in every industry.”

Laka

Cited by these VCs: Reece Chowdhury, founding partner at RLC 

In the RLC portfolio? No

Total raised: $9.4 million 

What it does: Laka offers insurance specifically for cyclists, including third-party liability, injury, damage, and international trips. 

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Laka is manifesting some of the wider verticalization of industries, and building a community-driven offering for cyclists. They don’t charge customers a fixed sum and instead calculate monthly contributions based on the collective’s claims.

“This is a really different model and enables them to offer more relevant perks, partnerships and experiences aligned with the communities interests. I think there is a lot more of this to come within dedicated communities everywhere.” 

Hepster

Cited by these VCs: Michael McFadgen, partner at Element Ventures

In the Element portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $5.7 million 

What it does: “Hepster, headquartered in Rostock, Germany, is an insurtech that provides embedded insurance to companies in both established and nascent industries.

“Established in 2016 to shake up the slow, encumbered insurance market, Hepster’s mission was to create an agile, fully digital, API-driven platform that fits policies to customers, and not the other way round.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “Hepster is taking a sledgehammer to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ insurance model. New sectors and industries are emerging, and the companies within them need more flexible, bespoke insurance than what the market is currently capable of providing, and Hepster is emerging as the leader within this space.

“For me, Hepster is the breakout company in insurtech, period. Their focus on embedded insurance is paying dividends already — despite the pandemic, Hepster was able to grow revenues by 600% last year, as a result of tie-ups with large micromobility providers.”

Coincover

Cited by these VCs: Michael McFadgen, partner at Element Ventures

In the Element portfolio? No

Total raised: $850,000

What it does: “Coincover is an API-driven platform that provides crypto-focused insurance offerings to crypto-exchange and wallet providers, as well as infrastructure organizations, helping them to keep investors safe from scam, fraud and cyber-crime.”

Why it’s hot in 2021: “As crypto becomes more mainstream, users need tools to help manage the unique risks involved with holding crypto assets. Coincover works with major wallets to provide key storage coupled with an insurance wrapper – giving end users a new product to safely and securely manage their crypto assets.”

Concirrus

Cited by these VCs: Jessica Bartos, investment manager, AlbionVC

In the Albion VC portfolio? Yes

Total raised: $43 million

What it does: Concirrus provides proprietary behavioral data and predictive models that significantly outperform traditional risk assessment and underwriting techniques in the insurance market.

Why it’s hot in 2021: “We believe we are still in the early innings of bringing modern data analytics and machine learning to bear on the underwriting of insurance risk,” Bartos said. “Concirrus is using these technologies to help insurers better underwrite marine insurance.

“Concirrus’s real time datasets and ML models analyze insurance risk-based behaviour rather than historical demographics. 2020 demonstrated the success of this data-first, digital-first approach to insurance with the successful IPOs of Root and Lemonade.”

Qover

Cited by these VCs: Jessica Bartos, investment manager at AlbionVC

In the AlbionVC portfolio? No

Total raised: $18 million

What it does: Qover provides digital insurance products for companies like Revolut and Deliveroo.

Why it’s hot in 2021: “We believe embedded insurance is a win-win-win for insurers, tech and consumers alike. In this space, Qover is a rising star. They are live with multiple embedded insurance propositions in bike, travel, purchase protection, rider accident and liability and ticket cancellation and are already covering more than 800,000 people.

“We’re intrigued by the mix of partners like Revolut, Deliveroo, Decathalon and Wolt. And importantly their products are fully digital and modular resulting in high customer satisfaction — the most important part of fixing what’s wrong with insurance today!”

Source: Read Full Article