Venture

Unicorn Hippo Insurance Raises A Fresh $350M

Insurtech unicorn Hippo closed a $350 million round to help it expand into more of the U.S.

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Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company — a subsidiary of MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings — provided the new funding.

The money will be used to roll out in new states, helping Hippo get to its goal of reaching 95 percent of U.S. homeowners in the next year. The company currently offers insurance products to more than 70 percent of homeowners in the country.

The new money comes just more than four months after the company raised a $150 million Series E round that brought its valuation to $1.5 billion. Despite the recent cash, Hippo did not look away at a chance to bring in even more money to its war chest.

“The opportunities that stand before us are so vast and so big we wanted to double down,” said co-founder and CEO Assaf Wand.

Venture dollars have rolled into insurtech in recent years, based on Crunchbase data. In 2019, insurtech companies took in the most venture capital ever with $7.3 billion invested. In 2018, that number was $5.6 billion. This year, investment has lagged behind with only $2.6 billion raised through about the first seven month of the year.

Changing insurance

The Palo Alto, California-based company uses technology to help homeowners maintain their properties. The company uses thermal and satellite imagery to help track changes to properties. The company also gives policyholders smart home device kits that help detect problems such as water and fire damage.

Aside from its tech, Wand said Hippo resonates with customers because of an enhanced consumer experience along with its more modern policies that include coverage of possessions like appliances, electronics and home offices.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, Hippo has seen significant growth, Wand said. In July, the company’s total written premiums reached $270 million, a 140 percent increase year over year. In the second quarter, Hippo’s sales increased by 60 percent year over year.

Hippo will look to continue that growth through both organic and inorganic means, Wand said. The company will evaluate acquisition opportunities with the new money, eyeing both new talent  and additional capabilities, Wand said. The company has made two acquisitions to date, including buying Spinnaker Insurance Co. in June.

Looking ahead

The company’s other investors include FinTLV Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group, Innovius Capital, Bond, Comcast Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Fifth Wall, Horizons Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, Lennar Corp., Pipeline Capital, Propel Venture Partners, RPM Ventures, Standard Industries and Zeev Ventures.

What type of exit those investors will see is unknown, but Wand said Hippo has been operating like a public company for the past six to nine months. While he offered no time frame for a potential IPO, Wand said it’s his job to prepare the company for when the time is right.

“We are prepping the company so the options will be with us,” he said.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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