Digital MGA Getsafe disclosed $30 million in new financing led by new investor Swiss Re. The Heidelberg, Germany-based InsurTech said the money will help build its market dominance among millennials in its home country and beyond.
Specifically, a push into additional European markets is also on the agenda, setting up more direct competition with Lemonade, a U.S.-based digital insurer pursuing its own European expansion.
Getsafe’s plans call for extending the new financing round to a second tranche designed to close before it receives its insurance/carrier license, which is expected in the 2021 first half. Including the new venture capital infusion, Getsafe has raised $53 million to date.
Beyond Swiss Re (via its iptiQ innovation arm), existing investors including Earlybird, CommerzVentures, btov Partners and Capnamic Ventures also participated in the Series B round.
Growth and a Partnership
Getsafe founder and CEO Christian Wiens said the new cash infusion will help quicken the company’s rate of expansion .
“The latest funding will allow us to significantly accelerate our growth, to consolidate our position as market leader among millennials in Germany and to expand into other European markets,” Wiens said in prepared remarks.
Swiss Re’s iptiQ isn’t just a Getsafe investor; the two parties partnered on a project allowing for the purchase of digital car insurance in Germany via smartphones, through the use of Getsafe’s app. Customers can also file a claim and manage their policy in real time, according to the funding announcement.
Getsafe, which now employs 120 people, sees millennials with smartphones as its primary target audience. It launched initially in 2015 as an MGA that operates in areas including home and rental insurance as well as contents and liability coverage. Earlier this year, Getsafe applied in for a property/casualty insurance license (for Europe, but not Britain due to Brexit). It has also expanded into the British market and claims to have more than 150,000 customers at this point. Millennials constitute most of Getsafe’s customer base, of which it said 90 percent are buying insurance for the first time.
Coronavirus and Lemonade
Wiens noted in the company’s financing announcement that Getsafe has enjoyed robust growth despite the coronavirus pandemic. In its favor: a focus on being all-digital.
“In the middle of one of the biggest economic crises in history, we have undergone rapid development and established ourselves as an insurance company for consumers with a preference for digital channels,” Wiens said.
Wiens has been outspoken in the past about both the challenges and opportunities InsurTechs have faced in the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement Getsafe issued in March, Wiens noted that pandemic conditions create “a realistic opportunity to build a truly global company in the insurance sector where sales are 100 percent digital.”
Wiens has also been candid about Lemonade’s European expansion, which began in Germany in 2019 and has now extended to the Netherlands and France.
When news broke of Lemonade’s entry into the German market, Wiens told Carrier Management that the company would have a tough time gaining a foothold.
“Lemonade will have to struggle in Germany,” Wiens said in 2019. “The market is regulated and complex, and the domestic InsurTechs are in no way inferior compared with Lemonade.”
At the same time, Wiens noted that “Lemonade is a promising new player in the insurance world” and that “with strong investors at their side they can buy their way into different markets.”