Today we were joined by Andreas Nemeth, co-founder and CEO of UNIQA Ventures, Jonathan Kalman, founding partner at Eos Venture Partners, and Matt Connolly, CEO of Sønr, on the question of “Who will be the next insurtech unicorn?” We discussed the role of venture capital in record insurtech funding rounds, the importance of finding the right team, and the regions making waves in insurance disruption.
Here’s what we learnt:
We are currently seeing a renaissance in insurtech creativity. Entrepreneurial people from a number of industries are getting involved in the insurtech industry, and this is bringing a new wide range of viewpoints. Disruption is easier without entrenchment within an existing industry. This wealth of ideas and innovation needs to be matched by a commitment to delivery – the next insurtech unicorn will likely combine visionary concepts with a firm commitment to granular KPIs.
Venture capitalists are looking for great teams, not just CEO star power.The key to a future unicorn is in a compelling executive team, who can articulate an expansive and articulate vision in insurance, says Jonathan Kalman. If a team sees a business solution clearly enough, it’s hard not to align behind them. VCs need to be able to back a team to execute on their own vision, so that they can lend expertise where necessary but otherwise allow the firms to be operationally autonomous.
It’s not yet clear if the next unicorn will be American, Asian or European. Matt Connolly says that firms with unicorn potential are being cultivated in each of these markets. While he emphasises the continued success of the European insurtech market, he adds that the smart money could be on the US. With a booming health insurance and health-tech sector, it could well be that the next insurtech unicorn is an American health insurtech.
The industry is just getting started, and we’re still at the bottom of the wave. n the last year, 49% of funding deals have been Series B or below. So, this acceleration in insurtech growth is happening from the bottom-up, and in just a few years, emergent players could scale hugely in later funding rounds.
Matt Kenyon is a content producer at Insurtech Insights.