Insurtech Pie Insurance scores mega-round

The US-based insurtech for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) raised $118 million in Series C funding led by Acrew Capital and Allianz X, the digital investment unit of insurer Allianz, bringing its total funds raised to $300 million, per TechCrunch. Pie Insurance offers coverage ranging from workers' compensation to cyber risk directly to SMBs and through more than 1,000 agencies nationwide. It will use the funding to invest further in its tech and add new business offerings this year.

Last year’s rapid growth has piqued investor attention in SMB-focused insurtechs. For years, small businesses mainly faced one-size-fits-all policies, but Pie is filling this gap, bringing to commercial insurance “the online transformation that personal lines have benefited from for years,” per John Swigart, co-founder and CEO of Pie Insurance. Pie uses proprietary data and advanced analytics to tailor SMB underwriting and automate the application process—like Root, Lemonade, and Hippo do for individuals. The much needed solution turbocharged its growth in 2020: Pie exceeded $100 million in cumulative premiums in October, up from $19 million in Q1 of 2020, per TechCrunch. Its main counterpart, Next Insurance, also saw dramatic growth, doubling its gross written premium rate in 2020 to $200 million.

To carry on its growth trajectory and remain competitive, Pie should strike partnerships with third-party platforms. Next Insurance just partnered with Amazon to reach the ecommerce giant’s Business Prime members. Combining its data-driven underwriting with Amazon’s large SMB business reach creates a strong value proposition compared with Pie’s existing distribution. Pie could similarly boost its cumulative premiums by extending its API, which agents use to offer Pie’s coverage on their platforms, to other types of third parties. There’s already interest from its Series C backer Allianz: “For Allianz, there are plenty of opportunities for cooperation with Pie, for example, in the joint development and sale of insurance solutions,” Allianz X CEO Dr. Nazim Cetin said.