New strategic partnerships. Hippo raises from Lennar.
Hi there,

Over the last year, we've covered a number of moves around the US small commercial space from pay-as-you-go workers' comp to gig worker-focused products to startups turning into full-stack insurers

Now, Progressive is making a bigger move into small commercial insurance that could have broader, long-term implications for the space.

Per its most recent earnings call:

"We...just rolled out what we call BQX, BusinessQuote Explorer. So that is insurance for small business, think of GL and business owner policy. That is something that we believe we have a lot of opportunity. 

We have a brand and we have the availability to -- I think really we have a lot of runway I should say to really grow in that space, because of our brand, because of our knowledge of that area, and whether we write it all on our paper or use partners, which we will be using."

Progressive's new portal is in collaboration with Columbus-based startup Bold Penguin, which provides a small commercial insurance marketplace for agents, carriers, and end customers. The platform was soft launched in Q3'18 with initial partners including Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, and Homesite. But Progressive plans to write general liability and business owner policies on its own paper starting next year.

Thus far, Progressive is emphasizing the nascency of the effort, while also hinting at long-term ambitions. Per the same call: It's just getting started there. I'm not going to venture out and talk about 10 years from now...So all I can say is, I'm not going to talk 10 years out, lots of opportunity."

Speaking of small business...

We also mapped out the landscape of fintech startups looking to build customer relationships with small businesses across banking, accounting, payroll, and more.

Over time, we could see more collaborations between these fintech startups and small business insurers. A strategic investment by Nationwide in online working capital provider BlueVine, for example, has led to a partnership to offer online business financing to small businesses through its Business Solutions Center. Get the report here.

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The small business fintech report

An analysis of investment trends in the small business fintech space and the startups catering to small businesses across payments, insurance, accounting, lending, and more. Download the report.
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This Week in Insurance Tech 

A curated mix of recent articles on insurance tech financings, exits, hiring, product launches, partnerships, and perspectives.


Hippo raises a $70M Series C. The digital homeowners insurance startup has expanded into 11 new states in 2018. Home builder Lennar Corp. and Felicis Ventures led the round.

Insgeek raises $14M. The China-based service platform and brokerage for small- and medium-sized businesses raised the funds from Legend Holdings and National SMEs Development Fund.
China Pulse

Anorak raises a $6.5M Series A. The UK-based digital life insurance brokerage has API integrations with Starling Bank and money management app Yolt. Kamet Ventures led the round.

By (re)insurers

AXA Venture Partners invests in Birdie. The UK-based startup provides a home care platform utilizing apps and home connected devices.

RGA invests in Xiaobang Guihua. Sequoia Capital China co-led the investment to the China-based asset investment planning platform for families.
China Money Network

Ping An Voyager Fund invests in FinLeap. The investment into the Germany-based builder of European fintech businesses marks Ping An's first investment in Europe.


Seeman Holtz acquires Goji. The auto insurance comparison startup had raised more than $100M in funding. Seeman Holtz said it would incorporate Goji's technology through its divisions and industry verticals.
Reinsurance News

Company & Insurer News

Ping An's hedge against future risks. The FT profiles Ping An's history of technology investment and obstacles for growth.

Travelers partners on wearables for construction safety. The partnership with contractor company Gilbane and IoT construction tech provider Triax Technologies will allow Travelers to review data from Triax's devices including those used at a 60,000 sq ft Gilbane construction site in New York. 
Insurance Journal

Protective Life partners with Health IQ. The partnership will launch a life insurance offering for well-managed diabetics living a healthy lifestyle. The new offering is designed for Type 2 diabetics who score "Elite" on the Health IQ Diabetic Quiz and meet applicable underwriting requirements.

Marsh launches digital broker platform for affinity market. The platform will provide Marsh's affinity clients with a streamlined way to offer insurance products and services to their customers as well as reporting and analytics on their insurance programs. Marsh expects to launch the platform to its broader client base in 2019.
Intelligent Insurer

Starr Companies partners with Rapid7. The partnership will provide Starr’s Cyber Risk Response policyholders with front-end loss prevention services.
Carrier Management

Cigna partners with Annum Health. Cigna is the first health service company to pilot Annum’s digital addiction treatment program.
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