Europe insurance tech investment grows. This week in insurance tech.
This week got off to a big start with Travelers acquiring UK-based online business insurance broker Simply Business for $490M, or 50 times the company’s EBITDA.
The acquisition comes less than a year after Simply Business, which launched in 2005, was acquired by Aquiline Capital Partners for £120M.
Today, a quarter of all UK small business insurance is now purchased without an intermediary. Worth remembering that last June Travelers announced it was planning to launch an online platform to offer insurance direct to UK small businesses.
At the time, Travelers Europe CEO Matthew Wilson said, “This is simple stuff – small average premiums where the brokers aren’t really in that space nor are that many insurers. There’s no value in the chain for everyone to be involved.”
Europe investment gains steam in 2017
Simplesurance, the eCommerce provider for product insurance today announced that it had received a strategic investment from Rakuten. Still early but we’ve seen a pickup in Europe in 2017 year-to-date, which has taken nearly 1/3rd of overall insurance tech investments so far this year.
The partnership is the first of its kind in the US. On a semi-related note, Freenome and Illumina spinout Grail collectively raised over $1B earlier this month to use genetic blood testing to diagnose cancer. (Our new digital health newsletter will track this closely).
On the topic of how insurers could get involved, A16Z partner Vijay Pande wrote last June, “At a few $100/year, one could imagine insurance companies paying for this for even low- to medium-risk patients.” Of course, how insurers actually respond to developments in liquid biopsies will be interesting to monitor.