Cowbell Cyber, a provider of cyber insurance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), secured $100 million in capital in its latest series B funding round.
The capital raise was led by Anthemis Group with participation from Permira, PruVen Capital, NYCA Partners, Viola Fintech, and all existing investors. The company said in a press release that the financing will increase investment in data science, underwriting, risk engineering, and claims management; expand go-to-market channels, including digital distribution; and support Cowbell Re, the company’s reinsurance captive.
Cowbell Cyber CEO Jack Kudale told Carrier Management it was the right time for this funding round as he believes cyber insurance is entering a second wave.
“Cyber insurance is in transition,” he said. “Over the last 18-24 months, during the so-called ‘first wave’ of cyber insurance, growth has been driven by premium increases. However, in the next 18-24 months, the ‘second wave’ of cyber insurance growth will be driven by market expansion, particularly in the small to medium-sized enterprise segment.”
In fact, Cowbell estimates that cyber insurance in-force premiums in the U.S. will total $100 billion by 2030, presenting an opportunity to meet the needs of the SME space, which it sees as an underserved segment of the market.
“The SME market is always a high volume, low transaction that also requires speed,” Kudale said. “These unique characteristics need to be addressed for cyber insurance to become mainstream. The distribution of cyber policies needs to be streamlined, coverages need to be relevant, policy terms need to be customizable to every organization’s unique [needs]. This needs to be done at scale without compromising the underwriting process.”
Kudale said Cowbell is aiming to provide speed and accuracy with artificial intelligence-assisted underwriting and continuous risk assessment and monitoring. He added he believes this is more important than ever as demand continues to grow on the back of the evolving threat landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“The heightened risk of cyber attacks has increased demand for cyber insurance. But data and technology is allowing underwriters to evaluate risk and price coverage with more accuracy, bringing back confidence in the profitability of the cyber insurance model,” Kudale said. “Additionally, fear and contractual obligations are no longer main reasons for subscription to cyber policy. Cyber risk is now the most prominent business risk for SMEs.”
With this in mind, Kudale said Cowbell’s goals moving forward are clear.
“We aim to lead this second wave by revolutionizing cyber risk underwriting,” he said.
As part of the most recent funding, Matthew Jones, managing director at Anthemis Group, will join Cowbell’s board of directors and Victoria Cheng, partner at PruVen Capital, will join as a board observer. The company also appointed Michael J. Christenson, partner at CDX Advisors, as an independent board member.