2019 passes 2018 in total insurtech investment

Mature insurtechs reaching "unicorn" status have driven 2019 past 2018 in terms of total insurtech investment with a quarter left to go in the year, according to the latest Quarterly Insurtech Briefing from Willis Towers Watson and CB Insights.

The $1.5 billion invested in Q3 2019 was the fifth straight quarter with more than a billion dollars committed. The insurtech Hippo achieved unicorn status, with a total valuation of more than $1 billion. The largest unicorn measured, Root Insurance, added $350 million in investment this quarter to reach $3.65 billion valuation.

"This quarter marks the continued gamble many investment parties are prepared to make into insurtech businesses, whether it be for speculative exits or for the propagation of 'innovative technology' for the industry’s benefit," writes Dr. Andrew Johnson, global head of Willis Re Insurtech.

The higher volume isn't just reflective of winners pulling ahead, however. The 83 deals reported this quarter is the second-highest on record, with the highest amount coming just two quarters ago. Insurers and reinsurers accounted for 43 of those, a record.

"The sheer scale of the mooted insurtech revolution has made people across the sector talk more positively about the use of technology; some see it as the potential savior of a broken system. This positive impact, spurred by outsiders, is now arising organically from the inside — precisely because the precisely because the industry knows its own challenges better than anyone else," Johnson writes.

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