Insurance technology news round-up: February 25

Insurance technology news round-up: February 25


Uniphore, a conversation automation technology company focused on insurance and other industries, raised a massive $400 million financing round.

March Capital led the Series E round, though other new and existing investors also participated. Including the new cash infusion, Uniphore has raised $610 million to date. Its valuation has now reached $2.5 billion.

The California-based company will use the money to propel its voice AI, computer vision and tonal emotion technology, as well as an expansion through North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Uniphore claims to have developed “the most comprehensive and powerful” conversational automation platform, combining conversational AI, workflow automation and robotic process information with a business user-friendly experience.

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Digital insurer Lemonade (LMND) lost more than $70 million in the 2021 fourth quarter, or negative $1.14 per share. That compares to a nearly $34 million loss, or negative $0.60 per share in the 2020 fourth quarter.

Driving the results: higher loss ratios stemming from sales increases of newer products including home and pet insurance. Lemonade also spent more on marketing, and on hiring to support the launch of its auto insurance business.

Lemonade continues to scale up its business, so profitability remains a future goal.

Along those lines, Lemonade reported more than 1.4 million customers at the end of Q4 2021, compared to just over one million in the same period a year ago.

The company earned $266 in premium per customer during the quarter, up from $213 in the same, year-ago quarter.

Lemonade reported $1.1 billion in cash, cash equivalents and investments on hand at the end of 2021, compared to $578 million at the end of 2020.

Lemonade’s stock traded on the NYSE at $21.86, down close to 4% in late morning trading.

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Root (ROOT) reported a nearly $110 million loss in its 2021 fourth quarter, or negative $0.44 per share, an improvement over a more than $133 million loss, or negative $0.72 per share, a year ago.

The Ohio-based insurtech announced in January that it would slash 330 employees as part of “an organizational realignment” stemming from major loss cost increases, supply chain and inflationary pressures and more. Layoffs targeted the company’s claims and sales departments.

The company said it has improved its bottom line, in part through cutting expenses and, reducing its cash burn rate. Marketing spending has also been slashed 62%.

Root said its gross written premium has grown 9% and its gross earned premium jumped 22%. There has also been a focus on diversifying the company’s distribution channels, resorting to fully embedded products and a greater embrace of independent agents.

The company’s stock traded on the Nasdaq at just under $1.60 late morning on Feb. 24, down about 10%.

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Travelers Companies announced that it would acquire Trōv, an insurtech start-up that has gone through multiple iterations since it launched in 2012.

Neither side disclosed financial terms.

Trōv initially began as a direct-to-consumer mobile insurance platform, with a focus on allowing the purchase of on-demand insurance for specific items. It changed gears in 2019, shifting to a more business-to-business model, ending its consumer operations.

Recently, it rolled out an embedded insurance platform, public APIs and developer support tools.

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Stable Insurance pulled in $3.3 million in new venture capital to fuel its business insuring rideshare, carshare and delivery vehicle owners.

MLTPLY, a company that helps insurtech entrepreneurs bring their ideas to market quickly, and Brooklyn Bridge Ventures co-led the round.

Stable’s platform provides insurance, tools and analytics to help owner operators with growing automobile fleets to run their businesses better. Analytics help identify risk levels and profitability metrics, among other services, according to the company.

Douglas Ver Mulm, Stephen Dekker and John Salvucci founded the company, which will focus initially on carshare and rideshare vehicle owners when it launches in Illinois and in other markets later in 2022.

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Sneaker app Unboxed is teaming with digital MGA Assurely to offer insurance protection for sneaker collectors.

David Carpentier, CEO and co-founder of Assurely, said in prepared remarks that the partnership was appealing because of Unboxed’s “vision for addressing gaps in the sneaker world – evaluation, authentication, and now insurance.”

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