Aviva's smart home bets. Verisk's most acquisitive year. This week in insurance tech.
Hi there,

We have a longer newsletter for you this week, after a short vacation last week.

Below, we'll highlight a few news items with data & context and then finish with a new offering from CB Insights.

This week, Cozy partnered with Assurant to launch a renters insurance product for the 500,000 or so independent landlords and renters signed up on its platform today, ~80% of which are renters. For context, there are 43.3M rental households in the US. Assurant currently offers 1.5M renters policies.

While polls have cited that 35-40% of renters have renters insurance, Cozy CEO Gino Zahnd thinks the figure is closer to <10% because of a skew toward the multi-family industry. The main goal according to Zahnd is to ease friction (and costs) of acquiring renters insurance customers. As Zahnd said,

"We already have the marketplace and, in most cases, 100% of the data necessary to provide a quote and get everything in process. For the renter, in most cases, we have everything to say, 'your landlord requires renters insurance, here's your quote, here's what the coverage is.'"

The Cozy-Assurant partnership took 5-6 months from inception to launch. We're curious to see how both Cozy and other similar value propositions paired with insurance distribution develop 1/ in terms of which services or hooks will prove most valuable to build a complementary insurance business and 2/ how they factor into insurance purchasing growth for products either underused or less relevant today.

Charting BAT's insurance moves 

The Economist recently wrote that China's digital payments giant Ant Financial "keeps bank chiefs up at night." Perhaps insurers should be taking more note as well. 

Earlier, we covered Tencent's new joint venture with Fubon Financial in which the two would pair up to launch a new online P&C insurer called WeSure. Last week, Ant Financial took a small stake in MassMutual Asia as part of an acquisition by Jack Ma's Yunfeng Financial. Separately, Baidu this week launched a new $1B fund with China Life Insurance to invest in later-stage Internet startups.

The chart below highlights how the three compare when it comes to joint ventures (some yet to launch), M&A and investments in insurance.

New filings

Here's a look courtesy of S&P Global at how US P&C-focused insurance startups Lemonade, Root and Metromile, the former in renters/homeowners and the latter two in auto, are performing based on the latest quarterly statutory filings. All three reported overall net losses as they continue to expand geographically.

Root is currently in IN, OH, and AZ, while Lemonade mostly recently launched in NJ.

Who's invested in smart home startups

We continue to see new investments and partnerships from insurers within smart home technology. One insurer who has been particularly active is Aviva, who's venture arm has now led investments in three smart home-related ventures including most recently Roost, which also added Canadian insurer, and earlier partner, Desjardins as an investor.

An updated look at (re)insurer strategic investments in smart home startups below.

CB Insights Councils

At our conferences, we host breakfasts for senior-level execs. They've become a surprise hit.

As a result, we're launching CB Insights Councils to bring together senior corporate execs across verticals to discuss their biggest growth, strategic, and innovation challenges with peers.

The first of several 2-day in-person Council events will be held in NYC and Silicon Valley later this year.

Membership is by invite-only, and Council Members must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be SVPs, EVPs, presidents, or C-level executives
  • Must be the head of their respective business unit or group or function
Members generally come from corporate strategy, innovation, venture, M&A, digital strategy, and technology.

More on CBI Councils here.

If you'd like to request membership to Councils and meet the above criteria, email

Have a great weekend,


US insurance tech market map

We mapped out more than 60 insurance distribution startups with $1M+ in funding operating in the US (CB Insights users only). 

Tweet this

Which smart home startups have insurers invested in?

Aviva has made lead investments in three smart home-focused startups through its venture arm. Read the full analysis.

Tweet this

This Week in Insurance Tech 

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


Gabi raises $2.6M seed. The startup provides a mobile insurance monitoring service and brokerage for home and car insurance. SV Angel, Project A Capital and A Capital are backers.

Lumity raises $19M Series B. The employee benefits platform employs risk algos to analyze how a company's workforce is faring from a healthcare standpoint to negotiate rates with insurers. DFJ led the round.
Silicon Angle

Baozhunniu raises $14M Series B. The Chinese startup offers customized insurance packages to business customers. Marathon Venture Partners led the round, with participation from investors including Matrix Partners China and Xinyi Capital.
China Money Network

Stride Health raises $23M Series B. The online benefits brokerage catering to independent workers will use the funding to expand its benefits offerings. F-Prime Capital led the round.

Liangzibao raises Series A. The Chinese startup provides a SaaS-based platform providing customized insurance and services for enterprises and individuals.
PE Daily

HealthJoy raises $3M Series A. The Chicago-based startup provides an app for employee benefit engagement, after launching in the individual health market. Chicago Ventures led the round.

Lapetus adds $3.4M. The North Carolina-based startup provides a facial analytics solution for life insurers.
Wilmington Business Journal

By (re)insurers

Aviva Ventures, Desjardins invest in Roost. The Sunnyvale-based startup offers a smoke alarm, smart battery and leak detector products and has partnered with insurers and startups including USAA, Liberty Mutual, and Hippo.
Insurance Journal

CMFG Ventures invests in Mirador Financial. The Oregon-based startup provides a SaaS-based small business lending platform to banks and credit unions.

IAG invests in Hyper Anna. The Australia-based startup provides data analysis software for financial services. IAG is also a customer.
Smart Company


Yunfeng leads $1.7B purchase of MassMutual Asia. The deal will add insurance products to Yunfeng's existing financial services products. Ant Financial will also buy 5% of MassMutual Asia and will explore "future business opportunities."

Verisk acquires Sequel. London-based Sequel offers software for complex commercial and specialty insurance. The purchase price was $322M and is Verisk's 9th acquisition in 2017 YTD.
Insurance Journal

Company & Insurer News

AIG partners with Lazada. The partnership will allow users of Lazada Malaysia to purchase AIG travel and personal accident insurance on its platform.

Hiscox partners with Digital Fineprint. Hiscox will investigate how data from social media can be used to educate small businesses on their risks and insurance solutions.
Reinsurance News

Cozy launches in renters insurance. The online property management service for independent landlords and renters partnered with Assurant to offer renters insurance through its platform.
Insurance Journal

China Life teams up with Baidu for new $1B fund. The Baidu Fund Partnership will focus on mid-late stage investments, including private mobile, AI and fintech companies with “significant association” with China.

Looking into filings for Lemonade, Metromile, Root. Thomas Mason of S&P Market Intelligence looks into premium growth and profitability at the three P&C-focused insurance startups.
S&P Market Intelligence

Half of life insurers using automated underwriting. Half of life insurers have some type of automated underwriting solution in place and 41 percent of companies are in the planning process, according to LIMRA research.


What we look for in insurance startups. XL Innovate's Tom Hutton on assessing technology ventures in the insurance industry.
Digital Insurance

What does insurtech mean for the life insurance product. Farron Blanc, VP of Innovation Studio at RGAx says underwriting will likely be the first place incumbents begin to implement  innovative solutions
If you loved this newsletter, send it to a friend.
If you hated it, send it to an enemy.
All the data in this newsletter comes from CB Insights. Join NEA, Cisco & hundreds of other clients and get access to the industry's best private company data.

Sign up for access.
Copyright © 2017 CB Insights, All rights reserved.