InsurTech startup Next Insurance has pulled in a $250 million financing round from a single investor: Munich Re.
Palo Alto-based Next said it plans to use the Series C cash infusion to scale up its small business insurance products and accelerate efforts to expand its customer base. Including the new funding, Next has raised $381 million in three years since its launch, and claims to have a valuation that surpasses $1 billion.
With the new financing, Next joins the elite ranks of InsurTechs that have raised hundreds of millions in financing. Lemonade, which sells home and rental insurance electronically, disclosed a $300 million financing in April that’s designed to fuel an international expansion, leaving it with $480 million in venture financing thus far, from multiple investors including Allianz and AXA investment arm XL Innovate. In September, Root raised $350 million in a Series E round that included multiple investors, leaving it with $525 million in financing since its 2015 launch, plus an additional $100 million in debt financing. The Ohio-based startup said it will use the money to accelerate an ongoing expansion of its online auto insurance business and develop new products.
The entry of Munich Re as a massive, single investor in a given round is unusual for InsurTechs to date, though the German reinsurer has been a business partner, reinsuring Next proprietary policies sold on State National, a fronting company for the Next program. Next Insurance, which began as an MGA, sells its proprietary policies either on Next carrier paper or State National paper depending in which state the policy is sold.
Joachim Wenning, Munich Re’s chairman of the Board of Management, said that his company’s investment helps fuel the bigger picture growth trajectory for both Next Insurance and Munich Re.
“Next Insurance’s data- and technology-driven business model offers outstanding growth opportunities, which we will harness together,” Wenning said in prepared remarks. “Next Insurance will benefit from our expertise in primary insurance and reinsurance. It also helps Munich Re expand its footprint in the promising insurance market for small and medium-sized commercial customers in the United States. We are confident that building on our proven collaboration will benefit both Munich Re and Next Insurance.”
Guy Goldstein, Next Insurance’s co-founder and CEO, noted that his company’s history with Munich Re, which he said will help inform their relationship as it evolves after the reinsurer’s $250 million investment.
“We have been working with Munich Re since the beginning, and they have been a great partner in helping us grow and develop our business,” Goldstein said in prepared remarks. “This new investment will continue to help us grow our team, develop our technology, deliver phenomenal service and accelerate customer growth.”
Next Insurance provides digital small business insurance nationally, with a focus on allowing business customers to acquire their P/C insurance products in one place, whenever they need. Coverage options include general liability, professional liability, commercial liability and now workers compensation. The company touts its coverage as targeting “over 1,000 unique types of business with policies that are tailored to their needs, simple to understand and affordable. ”
Next also offers benefits including Live Certificate, a real-time certificate of insurance verification, plus access to an online portal where policyholders can add additional insureds, update policy or payment information, send verifiable proof of insurance, and more, from a smartphone or computer.
Goldstein in the recent past has predicted a future without agents, thanks to InsurTech advances in the digital buying process. But Next Insurance in September formally launched “Next for Agents,” a portal designed to help independent agents quickly quote and sell its policies. The company said it had heard from small business owners who prefer to work with an independent agent, and wanted to accommodate them.
Source: Next Insurance, Munich Re