Since its Series A in spring 2020, Branch has increased the active policies and premiums by eightfold. Branch Financial Inc. employed about 50 as of February and aims to grow to 250 jobs between a new Capitol Square headquarters and remote work.
Anthemis Group led the Series B, with participation from new investors Acrew and Cherry Creek Holdings. Also joining the round are repeat investors Greycroft, HSCM Bermuda, American Family Ventures, SignalFire, SCOR P&C Ventures, Foundation Capital, and Tower IV. Branch has raised a cumulative $82.5 million.
Branch’s data-driven policies are offered at key decision-making points when taking out a mortgage, through partnerships with lenders like Quicken Loans. Its products are currently available in nine states including Ohio, where it sold its first policies in August 2019, and the company is working to expand to more than a dozen more.
“We need to get national quickly, so we can embed insurance in the way we need (in the lending process) to make insurance more affordable,” CEO Steve Lekas said in February.
Lekas and co-founder Joe Emison, who started the company from different states, chose Columbus as the firm’s home after a data-driven search of every U.S. city with population greater than 150,000. They quantified factors including the tech and marketing labor pools, commute times and population diversity.
The insurer is part of burgeoning insuretech community in a city that’s home to several legacy insurers. A non-exhaustive list: now-public Root Inc., fast-growing Beam Dental, recently acquired Bold Penguin, Matic, Battleface, UnifiHealth and recently formed Medicaid plan Circulo.