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Investor strategy survey. This week in insurance tech.
Hi there,

Great post by Alex Rampell of Andreessen Horowitz earlier this month on B2B2C business models. As Rampell writes:

"Done right, B2B2C can be one of the most effective ways of acquiring customers and constructing a powerful moat. Anyone can acquire customers on Google or Facebook, but B2B2C channels are generally proprietary, and often yield network effects that prevent your economics from deteriorating."

On Twitter, Rampell adds that B2B2C models can be particularly powerful when applied well in fintech:



GreenSky, which went public earlier this week, is a good example. The Atlanta-based digital lending company partners with banks, which pay GreenSky a percentage of loans generated, and, on the other hand, works with home remodeling contractors, who actively market GreenSky’s solution to homeowners. 

Notably, GreenSky has maintained strong EBITDA margins of close to 50% since the start of 2016, meaning that the company has good cost control, with only about half of its revenues going to top-line expenses. We wrote about GreenSky's platform approach here.



What about insurance? In the past, we've written about Zhong An's B2B2C model and the early development of B2B2C models in India. We've also written about the increasing cross-pollination between residential real estate and insurance-focused startups

But there are still a lot of unanswered questions about B2B2C startup models in insurance, especially in the US. Some to consider:
  • While carriers in Asia are pursuing B2B2C models to different degrees of success, can such an approach succeed in the US regulatory context? 
  • Travel insurance has largely moved to an affinity partnership model, with lots of one-off integrations and annual revenue from partnerships between airlines and travel insurance provider estimated to represent up to $1.5B in premiums. But when it comes to insurance startups looking to scale a B2B2C model, can they find big enough opportunities for digital integrations in which "Business A wants a different brand involved"?
  • As relationships end either by a company's own accord or due to external circumstances, how risky is overexposure to certain partners in B2B2C models?
What do you think? Reply back with your thoughts on B2B2C models in insurance.

New report

Willis Towers Watson released its latest insurance tech briefing. The briefing, in partnership with CB Insights, includes the latest list of insurance startup investments, strategic investments by (re)insurers, and partnerships through Q1 2017.

Get a copy of the full report here.



Next carrier

Palo-Alto-based startup Next Insurance this week said it would aim to reposition itself to to become a licensed insurance carrier. Per CEO Guy Goldstein, the startup, which currently operates as an MGA, will seek licenses in all 50 states (rather than purchase a shell company) and will 'continue to work closely' with existing partners Munich Re and Markel.

We'll discuss this move in the realm of some of the recent updates in the small business insurance space in next week's newsletter.

Have a great weekend,

Matt
@mlcwong

P.S. Our Future of Fintech conference is less than a month away. You can save $500 by using the code FoFinsurance.

Quarterly insurance tech briefing: Q1 2018

This report takes a data-driven look at global insurance tech trends, with a focus on capital providers including traditional VCs and incumbent funds. Get a copy.
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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.

Deals

Bestow raises $15M. Valar Ventures led the round to the Dallas-based life insurance startup partnered with Munich Re America and the North American Company for Life and Health Insurance. Bestow is currently live in Texas and Utah.
Reinsurance News

Gravie raises $3.4M. The Minnesota-based health plan shopping startup has now raised $44M in total funding.
Twin Cities Business

By (re)insurers

AXA Ventures leads $22M investment in PhenomPeople. The Pennsylvania-based startup provides HR tech software to help companies attract talent.
Technically Philly

AmFam Ventures invests in HomeTap. The Boston-based startup provides a home equity investment platform.
FinSMEs

Northwestern Mutual invests in Ojo Labs. The Austin-based startup provides conversational AI software.
Silicon Hills News

Company & Insurer News

Next Insurance aims to move to carrier model. The digital small business insurance MGA said it was undertaking the work to become a fully licensed carrier in 50 states.
Carrier Management

Oscar quietly builds own claims processor. Oscar has built an infrastructure for provider directories and claims processing from the ground up to simplify physician payments.
Becker's Hospital Review

Intact partners with TrueMotion. Intact will use the information it gathers from the opt-in scheme to offer cheaper premiums to drivers who show they are driving safely.
P&C 360

Hellas Direct partners with Revolut, Swiss Re. The partnership will focus on launching a digital home insurance offering in Cyprus.
Verdict

Verifly moves away from drone insurance. The New York-based startup is launching an on-demand liability insurance underwritten by Markel. 
TechCrunch

AXA-Uber partnership will offer drivers free cover. Starting in June, Uber drivers or couriers will get partner protection from AXA, which includes cover for accident, injury, illness, and paternity benefits.
Insurance Times

Smart locks raise property insurer concerns. Technology delivers convenience but prompts security doubts.
FT
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