Sydney Times


NEW-AGE INSURTECH STARTUP UPCOVER RAISES 4.7MIL SEED FUNDING Industry heavyweights back the democratisation of business insurance

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Industry heavyweights back the democratisation of business insurance

-Australian Insurtech startup, upcover announces $4.7m seed round;

-Backed by industry heavyweights, upcover is democratising the outdated and stagnant SMB insurance industry;

-upcover enables any online business or brand to become a distributor of insurance products and monetise their existing membership & customer base

-The company has seen huge growth in the last eight months; growing 20% MoM on insurance premiums & policies underwritten; 5,000+ small businesses registered on the upcover platform; and four new insurance products launched;

-upcover plans to inject the capital into product development and customer acquisition.

upcover today announces it has secured $2.7m equity and $2m debt in a $4.7m seed round. With backing from industry heavyweights, the trailblazing insurtech startup is simplifying, digitising and democratising a heavily regulated industry that has been stagnant for years.

A first-of-its-kind, the insurance technology platform partners with market-leading insurers — including products underwritten by ProRisk under an authority to bind cover on behalf of Swiss Re — to serve up quick, jargon-free insurance tailored to the needs of SMBs and sole traders. By using a single insurance API (application programming interface) to connect with insurers, upcover provides quotes by asking just two questions, a feat no insurer on the market can claim.

In addition to offering business owners and sole traders uncomplicated insurance directly through its website, upcover’s key driver of growth is its work pioneering Australia’s first SMB embedded insurance offering. upcover’s platform agiley integrates with online businesses (e.g rideshare companies, online marketplaces, and fintechs), making it seamless for trusted brands to monetise their existing customer base and independent contractor workforce by offering simple and affordable insurance solutions.

upcover’s $4.7M seed round was backed by venture funds Antler Australia, and Betterlabs, as well as a host of innovative minds and industry leaders including, Patricia Priest, GM, LMI QBE, Raf Uy, CFO global fintech, Etika, Raf Niesten, CEO Bricks + Agent, and Colin Morgan, ex-CEO Global Life APAC, Zurich Insurance.

“upcover is BetterLabs’ first investment into the Australian insurtech space – the caliber of the founding team, their innovative business model and traction they have gained in the market to date present a fantastic opportunity. We are very excited to now journey with them as they scale their business off the back of their recent seed round,” said James Edwards, CEO of Betterlabs.

“As my first startup investment, I am delighted to be backing this great team and a female founder too. Coming from a background in financial services, it’s inspiring to see the new ideas and fresh thinking that upcover is bringing to the table,” said Patricia Priest, General Manager, LMI, QBE.

“upcover is led by an exceptional founding team and we have been an enduring supporter since their very first round. We believe they are building towards a huge insurtech opportunity,” said Bede Moore, Managing Partner, Antler APAC.

Cofounded by Skye Theodorou and Anish Sinha, upcover launched its API first, embedded SMB insurance platform in 2021.

Within eight months, the team has seen huge traction:

-Growing 20% MoM on insurance premiums & policies underwritten.
-5,000+ small businesses, sole traders and independent contractors registered on the upcover platform.
-Four new insurance products launched, backed by three of the world’s largest insurance & reinsurance companies.

Sinha said:

“SMB insurance is a $320 billion industry globally, and it’s valued at $10B in AU with four incumbents controlling 80% of the market. upcover is democratising the ecosystem by allowing any business, brand or online marketplace to become distributors of insurance policies and in the process allowing them to monetise their customer base. By making insurance policies programmatically accessible, we’ve opened up the ecosystem, so developers and/or brands can embed an insurance checkout within their brands user experience.”

Insurtech is an untapped and emerging market in Australia’s startup ecosystem. Last year, global investment in the insurtech space was reported at US$15.8 billion, in Australia only approximately $100-$250M venture dollars went into insurtech, and a fraction of this into the SMB commercial insurance sector. After working for over a decade in the insurance industry, Theodorou knows first-hand that it’s a sector in need of a shake-up and she’s excited to see what the future of insurtech looks like in Australia as the startup space continues to gain more traction from investors.

“The journey of building upcover has been an incredible ride. With the platform live, and our customers loving the experience we offer, we know we are onto something unique. To be backed by some of the best in the insurance and banking business has been an incredible way to close out our seed fundraise. The insurance industry has long been plagued by convoluted questionnaires, overcomplicated terms, and lengthy quote timeframes and upcover is changing all of this,” said Theodorou.

upcover plans to inject the capital into product development and customer acquisition, to help more SMBs and sole traders access hassle-free, easy to understand insurance policies.

About upcover

upcover is Australia’s fastest insurance for small businesses. It is democratising access to insurance, so any business, brand or marketplace can become a distributor of insurance products and monetise their existing membership & customer base. Its technology platform integrates with market leading insurers and online businesses, making it seamless for trusted brands to offer insurance policies directly to their customers – all within their own experience.

Upcover offers live Professional Indemnity, Public and Products Liability, Cyber Privacy Liability, COVID-19 Bounceback insurance and Commercial Motor (incl. rideshare and delivery), Tools of Trade, Glass, Personal Accident and Management Liability all to come this year.

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