SoftBank leads $120m funding in NY-based fintech startup Lemonade

Photo: Lemonade's Facebook page

SoftBank Group Corp. is betting that technology can overhaul the home insurance industry by leading a $120 million round in Lemonade Inc.

The New York-based startup, which uses artificial intelligence and bots to minimize paperwork and speed up the claims process for renters and homeowners, had raised $60 million before Tuesday’s announcement. Previous backers included General Catalyst, Alphabet Inc.’s GV and Sequoia Capital. While the firm isn’t disclosing its valuation, people familiar with the matter said it will be more than $500 million, up from the previous round.

Lemonade first launched in September 2016 as a licensed insurance carrier offering homeowners and renters insurance in New York. Over the course of 2017, the firm obtained licenses in 25 states, and created a way for real estate and commerce websites and apps to offer Lemonade’s products, both of which have aided growth and adoption.

“Growth has been in excess of our expectations since our last round,” co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Schreiber, said in an interview. “We’ll end this year around 90,000 customers, and our target for the year was 13,000,” he added.

While the firm does a lot of marketing, Schreiber said that customer acquisition costs were still lower than expected due to greater word of mouth, though he declined to be more specific.

The new funds will be used to expand into global markets in the new year. Headcount will increase slightly from its current 60 employees.

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Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.