Commercial insurance startup Upcover raises $2.7 million in seed round

Insurtech startup Upcover has raised $2.7 million in seed capital along with $2 million in debt as it seeks to transform the small business insurance industry.

The round was backed by hedge funds Antler Australia (Upcover was part of its inaugural accelerator program in 2019) and Betterlabs, as well as a range of industry executives, including Colin Morgan, former CEO of Zurich Insurance Global Life for APAC. , Patricia Priest, GM of QBE LMI (Lenders Mortgage Insurance), Raf Uy, CFO of global fintech Etika, and Raf Niesten, CEO of Bricks + Agent.

Co-founded by Skye Theodorou and Anish Sinha, upcover launched its integrated API-based SME insurance platform in 2021.

The insurance technology platform partners with insurers to offer fast, jargon-free insurance tailored to the needs of SMEs and sole traders. A single insurance API connects with insurers to provide quotes by asking just two questions. In addition to offering insurance directly through its website, upcover’s integrated insurance offering integrates with online businesses such as rideshare companies, online marketplaces, and fintechs for companies to monetize their existing customer base and workforce. of independent contractors.

Over 5,000 small businesses, sole traders, and independent contractors are registered on the upcover platform. Since launching eight months ago, revenue has grown 20% per month and the company has introduced four new insurance products.

The funds will be used for product development and customer acquisition.

After working for more than a decade in the insurance industry, Skye Theodorou could see how much the sector needed a technological shake-up.

“The journey of building upcover has been an incredible journey. With the live platform and our customers loving the experience we offer, we know we’re onto something unique,” ​​she said.

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“Having the backing of some of the best in the banking and insurance business has been an incredible way to close out our initial fundraiser. The insurance industry has long been plagued by convoluted questionnaires, overly complicated terms, and long quote deadlines, and Upcover is changing all of that.”

Its co-founder, Anish Sinha, said the local SME insurance market is worth around $10bn with four incumbents controlling 80% of it.

“Upcover is democratizing the ecosystem by enabling any business, brand or online marketplace to become an insurance policy distributor and in the process allowing them to monetize their customer base,” he said.

“By making insurance policies programmatically accessible, we have opened up the ecosystem so that developers and/or brands can embed insurance verification within their brands’ user experience.”

Betterlabs CEO James Edwards said it was his first investment in the insurtech space.

“The caliber of the founding team, their innovative business model and the traction they have gained in the market to date present a fantastic opportunity. We are very excited to now travel with them as they scale their business from their recent seed round,” he says.

It was Patricia Priest’s first seed investment in QBE and she was pleased to be backing a founder.

“Having a background in financial services, it’s inspiring to see the new ideas and fresh thinking that Upcover is bringing to the table,” SHE said.

Antler Managing Partner Bede Moore said: “Upcover is led by an exceptional founding team and we have been a steadfast supporter since their first round. We believe they are building a great insurtech opportunity.

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Upcover’s range of insurance products includes Professional Indemnity, Public and Product Liability, Cyber ​​Privacy Liability, COVID-19 Bounceback Insurance and Business Auto (including rideshare and delivery), Business Tools, Glass, Personal Accident and Liability. management, all available later this year.