Venture

Mary Meeker’s Bond Capital Leads $100M Round In Insurance Startup Hippo, Crowning It A Unicorn

This morning, another startup sprouted a horn by joining the unicorn club. Hippo, a company that works in the home insurance space, raised a $100 million round this morning, valuing it at $1 billion according to Fortune.

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That another private tech company is now a unicorn is hardly news in 2019; so many companies have met that valuation mark that it’s nearly mundane. That another insurance startup is now a unicorn is slightly notable, but there are a number of highly-valued companies in the space: Lemonade, another tech startup in the insurance space, is worth $2 billion today after its latest $300 round.

But there is something about Hippo that did catch our eye this morning. Namely that the round’s lead investor was Bond Capital. Bond, you may recall, is the new fund headed by former Kleiner Perkins impresario Mary Meeker.

(Crunchbase News has provided running coverage of Meeker’s famous Internet reports, along with notes concerning her exit from Kleiner and the founding of Bond.)

In a press release, Hippo said it plans to use the new capital to expand its geographic footprint, “deepen” its direct-to-consumer product portfolio and partner with more companies. Current partners include lender Better.com, homebuilder Lennar and homeowner insurers, among others.

The company also said it saw a “record twelve months,” with premiums growing more than ten times. Bond General Partner Noah Knauf described Hippo as “one of the highest growth companies” in both the insurance and fintech spaces.

Hippo has attracted material investment since its founding in 2015. Indeed, the company raised a $14 million Series A in 2016. The company added on an early 2018 Series B worth $25 million. Most recently before today’s investment, Hippo snagged $70 million in a Series C. And now with $100 million more, the firm has just under $210 million in private capital to-date.

For fun, that means Hippo has generated around $5 in value, according to its investors, for every dollar that it has raised; though of course its recent investors expect the company’s valuation to rise as it deploys its new funding.

RPM Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Fifth Wall, and Abstract Ventures have written the most checks individually to the company across Hippo’s known rounds thus far.

Hippo is a company that hopes to use technology to price its product more cheaply than traditional insurance offerings. If it is successful in that effort, especially at scale, it could save consumers money. But it will require homes to be a bit more wired-up than they are today. Fortune notes that the company wants to use in-home smart technology to offer lower rates. So, there is some element of data-sharing to encourage the company’s model.

Hippo is headquartered in Palo Alto, but also has offices in Dallas and Austin, Texas. Despite founding the company in 2015, Hippo did not actually launch its insurance marketplace until April of 2017.

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