Once upon a time…. an Insurtech company in California managed to get a 25 million dollar loan out of some of the top investors in the fintech industry. Such amounts are not new to Silicon Valley, yet the amount that Hippo Insurance has succeeded in leveraging is still significant. Established in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Assaf Wand and Eyal Navon, Hippo aims to redesign home insurance. How? Through innovation, of course, using big data, for example municipal building registers, and cutting-edge technology, such as satellite visuals and smart home devices. This mega-funding – a B-Series round launched on 22 January – was led by Comcast Ventures and Fifth Wall, plus five other investors focused on technology applied to finance. So far, the startup has received funds for 39 million dollars in two separate rounds.
“Insurance for homeowners is an old-fashioned industry that has gone astray” says Hippo’s CEO, Assaf Wand. “Up to 65% of homeowners demand payment from insurance policies following catastrophic events. Whether it’s a hurricane or a fire, the last thing these people want is to embark on a tricky business fight with their insurance agent. We can immediately give our clients what they want, ensuring that collection procedures do not become another tragedy to deal with.”
In addition, Wand affirms that Hippo, currently operating in California, Arizona and Texas, can cover a number of emergencies not covered by standard insurance companies, including problems with telephone landlines or broken appliances.
Brendan Wallace, co-founder and managing partner of Fifth Wall, one of the investors, told us why relying on this company: “The platform is much cheaper and optimized compared to traditional competitors. Hippo is equipped to capitalize on the consumer’s transition to digital home insurance: top technology, high-skilled team and distribution partnerships out of competitors’ reach”.
The announcement of funding in Hippo follows SoftBank’s announcement a few weeks ago of an 120 million dollar investment in Lemonade, while a few months ago Jetty received 11.5 million in an A-Series round. According to Wand, the Ceo, Hippo differs from these two players as it focuses on landlords and not on tenants. “Lemonade and Jetty have developed business practices and customer services on tenant insurance, a product totally different from our own. Tenants seek insurance cover to replace their damaged property. Homeowners invest their life savings in their homes: it is the place where things they love are and where they live their lives with their families. It is a more complex situation requiring an all-inclusive product”.
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