The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2020, specializes in Directors and Officers insurance (D&O) which is a requirement of companies to cover their executives and management to protect them from claims arising from their actions.
It’s an often expensive and cumbersome area for startups to engage with and prices have crept up in recent years following the SPAC boom, according to Anzen’s CEO Max Bruner.
“The liability of being a founder and manager is a lot of stress and more success means more liability,” Bruner told Insider.
“Around 42% of companies will get sued but D&O insurance is one of the most painful and expensive types of insurance to buy. You’re manually filling out 15-page PDF applications which take an age to get approved, it’s a total pain in the ass.”
Anzen – which is derived from the Japanese for safety – aims to offer insurance options to startups ranging from seed to Series C, alongside a variety of non-tech businesses that make up to $250 million in revenue annually.
Rather than compete with legacy players like Chubb and the Travelers Companies on price, Anzen offers policyholders access to management operations software that connect to companies’ HR systems like payroll and background checking to check for audit or compliance issues.
Anzen’s pitch is that startups need to be able to move fast to get cover but might also want more comprehensive risk management tools to help deal with a bevy of potential cybersecurity concerns around remote work or ESG-related disclosures.
Anzen’s funding comes from Andreessen Horowitz, alongside Japanese insurance companies MS&AD Ventures and, Tokio Marine. In addition, AmTrust Financial and Greenlight Re joined the round as insurance partners for the company along with Everest Re.
“In 10 years of raising money I’ve never seen a whiplash in the market like this,” Bruner said. “Earlier this year it was a bit frothy and then there was a full repricing. It’s been a huge and complicated process, including the fact that MS&AD and Tokio Marine are rivals who both wanted to be in the round so it took a while for it to get done.”
With funding secured, Bruner, who previously founded two businesses and worked at Metromile, said he’d assembled the best team he’s ever put together to build the company. Funding has partially been spent on finding an insurance carrier and building out the company’s software, now the startup is hiring more underwriters to keep up with demand, Bruner said.