As Next Insurance makes its first acquisition, insurtech looks energetic – TechCrunch

A snapshot of recent activity in a bustling startup category

Next Insurance, a startup that competes in the small business (SMB) insurance market, announced this morning that it has acquired its first company.

Purchasing Juniper Labs will help the unicorn boost its in-house data science team, and the smaller firm’s predictive analytics technology may be applied across the acquiring company’s portfolio of insurance products.

Next Insurance raised $250 million earlier this year at a valuation of $2 billion, making it one of the richest startups to compete in the broad insurtech niche.

After speaking with Next about its acquisition and digging into its economics and recent growth, The Exchange also examined Getsafe’s recent round (European digital insurance startup), took a look at NOW Insurance’s latest investment (commercial insurance startup) and asked Noyo’s Shannon Goggin to fill us in about the insurtech VC startup market itself, given that her health insurance API company just raised its Series A.

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The combined picture that appears is one of an active market, likely accelerated by the IPOs of insurtech unicorns Lemonade and Root, Hippo’s latest megaround and Metromile’s impending public debut via a blank-check company.

Adding to the snapshot of bustling activity, TechCrunch recently explored funding trends in the insurtech sector, which is on track for a record year of venture rounds and venture dollars, provided that the fourth quarter comes close to the year’s average through the third quarter.

There are some concerns, including accounting shakeups at some leading insurtech players as they change cede premiums, the result of which is smaller revenues and stronger margins. How investors will weigh their new economic profiles is not yet clear.

Let’s dig into Next Insurance and then collate a few other recent data points to expand our understanding of one of startup land’s most interesting genres.

Next Insurance and friends

Next Insurance announced its Series D in September of this year, adding $250 million to its accounts at a valuation described by Crunchbase News as more than $2 billion. What stood out about the round at the time was not that it was so very large, but that it was the second time in less than a year that the company had announced a $250 million round. Its Series C was detailed in October of 2019 and was also worth a quarter billion dollars.

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