Next Insurance Scores $35 Million in Series A

Palo Alto-Calif.-based Next Insurance, a digital insurance service for small and midsized businesses, has raises $35 million in a venture round led by American Express Ventures and reinsurer Much Re’s HSB Ventures. The one-year-old startup, which initially announced the round at $29 million in May, received $13 million in seed funding from Ribbit Capital, TLV Partners and Zeev Ventures in March.

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Founded by serial entrepreneurs Guy Goldstein, Nissim Tapiro and Alon Huri, the fintech platform serves clients typically overlooked by large insurers, such as photographers, freelancers, and yoga instructors. Within the high growth ‘insurtech’ space, the startup hopes to reduce the time and complication small-businesses owners face when shopping for insurance. A recent report by Willis Towers Plc and CB Insights estimates that 25% of small business premiums in the U.S. could be underwritten digitally by 2020.

Next insurance will use the investment to build out its offerings and extend its reach outside the 5,000 customers that currently use its digital technology to streamline antiquated insurance industry processes. As of late, the company uses data and analytics to create tailored policies and sell plans online, hoping to broaden its services to customize underwriting decisions and cut product costs. The firm now relies on larger insurance providers, including specialty insurer Markel Corp., Liberty Mutual and Nationwide, as partners for underwriting and for some of the regulatory requirements. The company says it has surpassed $1 million in total underwritten premium.

Next Insurance COO Sofya Pogreb says the company is in early discussions regarding a possible partnership with New York City-based American Express in order to fully leverage the credit car giant’s robust U.S. customer base.