Today, a spate of insurance tech startups are hoping to capture opportunity in the small business insurance space, offering services ranging from quote engines to digital wallets for managing policies and rates to free claims management and peer-comparison software.
Now, the small commercial insurance space is getting a new, well-funded entrant, Next Insurance, to the tune of $13 million in seed funding from Ribbit Capital, Zeev Ventures, and TLV Partners.
I caught up with Next CEO Guy Goldstein (@guygoldstein) on his product, his backers, and why the former fin tech entrepreneur decided on insurance.
Given your previous venture in bill pay/personal finance (Check, acquired by Intuit), why target insurance, and specifically, SMB commercial insurance?
We were looking at big industries ripe for disruption. Insurance is one of those industries, and my co-founders and I believe there is a ton we can do to help customer and the business get more efficient service. In recent years, consumer insurance has made huge leaps, with companies like Geico and Progressive getting great brand awareness and moving online. We believe it is now the time to replicate those successes for small businesses.
Tell me briefly about Next. What are some key product features?
Next Insurance solves two main challenges with small business insurance. Today, the process of finding and obtaining insurance for a small business is very complex, and a business might need several types of protections. Next can customize this process.
Furthermore, getting insurance is almost always done with an agent. The process is quite cumbersome and involves filling out tons of forms, getting quotes from multiple insurance companies, reviewing all of the quotes, and so on…it all can take weeks or even months. Not only will we provide a custom fit, but we will do so online in a way that’s quick and transparent. And by answering few questions, online or on the phone, the business can be insured within 15 minutes.
Next’s seed round is up there among the largest in insurance. Tell me a bit about your specific investors.
I’ve known all of our investors for many years, and there is a strong trust and relationship there. Ribbit Capital (investors in PolicyBazaar & ComparaOnline) specifically has lot of experience and knowledge in the insurance industry, and they helped quite a bit getting the fire started.