For insurance agents, building a book of business is typically not easy, and is the inspiration for Rashik Adhikari to create Covered by SAGE.
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The New York City-based startup secured a $6 million seed funding round to help transform the role of independent retail agents in today’s insurance ecosystem. Currently, the vast majority of the $670 billion of annual property and casualty insurance premiums in the United States is distributed by approximately 800,000 agents working in 16,000 brokerages, Adhikari told Crunchbase News.
“We are an alternative to existing insurance agency models where it is expensive, difficult and time-consuming to build a business in addition to serving the clients,” said Adhikari, who is CEO of the company. “What we have done is dramatically lowered the barrier to doing this by empowering agents with a product marketplace that combines financial, operational and technical capabilities so they can be better agents.”
The financing was led by NFX, with participation from Tectonic Capital and Treasury, the fintech platform launched by Acorns and Betterment co-founders. Additional investors include MetaProp and Blue9, as well as undisclosed founders of Casper, Tinder, Pillpack, Flatiron Health and Thumbtack.
With the new round of funding, Adhikari said the company plans to use the funds to scale its capabilities to be able to serve as many agents as possible. Covered by SAGE has raised a total of more than $7 million, he said, including a pre-seed round led by Tectonic and the Tinder co-founder.
Adhikari started Covered by SAGE in 2018 with a goal of giving agents the technology and support to maximize their potential, while providing the flexibility needed to write property and casualty insurance from anywhere. The company’s innovative technology uses an application programming interface to offer customers a simple, transparent risk management platform to access top risk advisory no matter where they are, he said.
The company has more than 80 employees, and Adhikari expects to add more as the platform scales. He did not disclose revenue growth, but said that will also increase as more agents sign on to use the platform.
He said he expects the platform to catch on, especially as big insurance agencies, such as Allstate, have announced pursuing a new business model that would give independent agents more resources.
“Captive agents, those working at brokerages, are going independent,” Adhikari said. “We have a unique opportunity to become one of the largest brokerages in a short period of time because we are scalable and can invest in technology for those agents.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.
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