Here come the insurtechs
As the pandemic raged, businesses of all shapes were disrupted. For SMBs the challenges were particularly significant given low cash reserves and only few routes to market. Many incurred immense losses or were forced to shut down. As a category, SMBs have been hugely exposed to the effects of the pandemic especially given their low levels of business insurance.
The pandemic was a powerful demonstration of their vulnerability and the value of proper insurance coverage. Now more than ever business owners are reviewing insurance policies or taking out new ones. This has created significant opportunities for insurance platforms to emerge that offer differentiated SMB coverage that is adapted to segment business needs and customer experience. High on the agenda is the need for platforms to deliver more seamless and integrated products and services to SMBs, combining value and tailored packaged benefits. Leveraging data will be of crucial importance in order meet customer needs and to tap into a wider ecosystem to bring together complementary solutions.
In October we committed to invest in Helvengo, our first portfolio company. Helvengo is building an insurance platform powered by AI and data-driven risk analysis that provides SMBs with digital, transparent and automated insurance services that are customised to their needs. Helvengo provides brokers with a risk analysis and automated cost calculation engine that enables them to underwrite risk and offer policies in real time. The policies on Helvengo’s platform are modular and can be bundled so that insurance coverages are more tailored to individual SMB needs. The company’s mission is to revolutionise the traditional insurance space by providing the highest level of entrepreneur-centric and customised insurance coverage in which premiums adapt in real time according to needs.
Why did we like it ?
- Large ~70 billion dollar market experiencing major shifts. Sector has come under intense strain due to the pandemic (i.e. business disruption, reduced sales and cashflow issues) now collectively seeing how essential insurance coverage is. This is opening new opportunities for platforms that can bring the right digital toolbox at the right price point.
- Competitive and technology disruption of insurance market — accelerated customer adoption of digital channels across retail, banking and most other commercial sectors. Insurance sector cannot stay behind especially as customers now expect superior digital experiences with insurers who understand customer needs and who deliver tailored products. Huge market opportunity for insurtechs like Helvengo that offer highly personalised and flexible products.
- Innovative product leveraging AI and a data-driven (IoT/open banking sources etc.) risk analysis that is unique to the market and offers modular, personalised and transparent insurance coverage.
- Exceptional team with deep domain expertise — Founding team met as early employees of WeFox, Europe’s leading B2C insurtech platform(now valued at $3bn), where they headed up finance, product and business development teams. Helvengo’s CTO Vasco, not ex-WeFox but successful entrepreneur and fullstack developer, is super talented and impressive in his ability to think through complex scaling and development questions with laser sharp focus on execution.
- Scalable business model — The company operates a Managing General Agent (MGA) model which allows the company to sit in between the broker and primary carrier. This enables Helvengo to develop native products by borrowing underwriting rights without carrying actual risk from the insurance carrier. Helvengo is part of a new wave of insurtechs that partner with incumbents to digitize and enhance the insurance value chain. Helvengo taps into a significant opportunity to scale in areas such as underwriting, risk pricing and claims automation
Finally, we are super excited to back the guys at Helvengo and looking forward to being part of the journey! Thanks for having us!