Cybersecurity

VCs Continue To Flock To Cyber Insurance As Coalition’s Valuation Doubles In 6 Months

This continues to be the year for companies offering cybersecurity insurance policies—at least in terms of fundraising.

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San Francisco-based Coalition just closed a $205 million Series E at a $3.5 billion-plus valuation—doubling what it was when it raised its $175 million Series D just six months ago. The round was co-led by Durable Capital, T. Rowe Price Associates and Whale Rock Capital, with participation from the company’s existing investors. Coalition has now raised more than $505 million in total funding since being founded in 2017.

“The business has just grown dramatically,” said co-founder and CEO Joshua Motta. “Demand for cyber insurance is far outstripping supply.”

The company just crossed $325 million in run rate premiums—an 800 percent increase from the prior year. The increase in business is due to a variety of factors, including some traditional insurers pulling back in the market, others still trying to figure out how to properly assess cyber-risk and the increasing awareness of large-scale, headline-grabbing cyberattacks, Motta said.

Space exploding

Coalition is not the only cyber insurer this year to attract the attention of venture capital. In March—the same month Coalition announced its Series D—Boston-based Corvus Insurance announced a $100 million Series C at a $750 million valuation, and Pleasanton, California-based insurtech startup Cowbell Cyber raised a $20 million Series A.

Coalition has tried to differentiate itself in the space by concentrating on the small and medium-sized business market, providing policies as well as tools for companies to help prevent loss due to cybercrime. The company is backed by large insurers such as Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Arch Insurance and Lloyd’s and provides customers with up to $15 million of cyber and technology insurance coverage in the U.S. and Canada.

“They are attacking a very big problem,” said Greg Locraft, equity portfolio manager and analyst at T. Rowe Price. “This is just the right time, right team, right market.”

Last month, Motta participated in a cybersecurity policy meeting at the White House and announced Coalition  would make its risk management assessment platform—which includes continuous attack-surface monitoring and recommendations on closing vulnerabilities—available to any business at no cost. The platform now has 52,000 unique businesses on it, about half joining after the announcement, Motta said.

The company now has approximately $470 million on its balance sheet, and will use the capital to grow in a variety of ways, Motta said. Just last year the company started selling more into the middle market and will continue that effort, he said. Coalition also will move into the U.K. market, something Motta called “imminent.”

Lastly, Coalition will look to expand into other areas of business and commercial insurance, he added.

Motta said he does expect large insurance companies will continue to look at the space of cybersecurity, but added he has no doubt Coalition’s technology and early place in the market will help it become its own standalone, public company one day.

“Insurance companies of the future will have to be technology companies,” he said.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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