Brazil‘s insurance market reached BRL 275 billion in 2021, considering the latest twelve months until November and excluding health and vehicle insurance. The data gathered by Brazilian Insurance Confederation point to a growth of up to 14.1% over the previous year. To understand the sector’s great business potential: the insurance penetration rate in the country is only 3.3%, according to a study carried out by MAPFRE Economics in 2019.
This is the cue of 180º Seguros, a Brazilian insurtech that knew how to ride the wave of regulatory opening recently undertaken by industry regulator Susep, such as the regulatory sandbox and Open Insurance, and reached the market with a B2B2C model to customize insurance solutions for client companies to offer to their end consumers.
READ ALSO: Marcos Toledo, from Brazilian Canary, the ‘cool hunter’ among VC firms: “When there is no business yet, you invest in people”
Only two years old, 180º Seguros has secured a $31.4 million round, one of the largest Series A ever received by an insurtech in Latin America. The round was led by 8VC, which already invested in the startup, and followed by Dragoneer, Monashees, Atlantico, Quartz and Norte.
In an interview with LABS, Mauro Levi D’Ancona, 180º Seguros’ CEO and cofounder with Alex Körner and Franco Lamping, stated that for a long time the insurance industry in Brazil has lagged behind the financial industry in terms of regulation and technology. In addition, there is a kind of “insurance protection gap”. In Brazil, covering this deficit means doubling the country’s insurance market. And this is the goal of 180º startup.
READ ALSO: Brazilian Gupy spins up a BRL 500 million round led by SoftBank and Riverwood
“Brazil’s insurance market is well below its potential. And the reasons for this can be many, from regulatory to cultural. In Germany, for example, you go to buy a scooter and don’t leave the store without third-party insurance,” says D’Ancona.
Unlike most of the companies that offer insurance in Brazil, 180º chose a B2B2C model. It was strategic.
“For us, the strategy of pursuing the end customer was very expensive, because it is different from a digital account, for example, which has a very clear value proposition for the end consumer. With insurance, it’s a product that has less recurrence, unlike a financial product. It is actually a product that you buy hoping you won’t use. We kept thinking about how to communicate our value proposition to the customer and that’s when we saw the opportunity to offer insurance products to companies,” explains D’Ancona.
READ ALSO: Open banking’s aftermath, startups surf the innovation wave in the insurance sector in Brazil
Two birds, one stone: by selling a tailored insurance product to companies from different sectors, 180º offers added value to the service provided by its clients. Example: Brazilian proptech Loft is a partner of 180º and offers its users free home insurance designed by 180º.
According to D’Ancona, 180º started looking for clients among startups, such as Loft, Mottu, and Buser, with the proposal of establishing partnerships and working as a kind of “insurance arm” for the companies. Later, it began to talk with more traditional companies, such as large retailers that want to upgrade their insurance offerings.
With this approach, 180º raised a BRL 44 million Seed round led by Canary, Dragoneer, Rainfall and 8VC funds, less than a year ago, to develop its portfolio. Since then, it has built nine products and currently works with eight client companies and in partnership with 27 insurers, by customizing products ranging from home insurance to travel insurance. The startup pays itself from a commission on every policy sold, in addition to a fixed amount for the development and maintenance of the solution.
READ ALSO: Justos raises $ 35 million from Ribbit Capital and SoftBank to disrupt auto insurance
“We believe in building products and making them available when and where they are really needed. Like an insurance product, we developed with a company that has on-street parking concessions in some Brazilian cities. When someone parks on the street, the biggest fear is that the objects inside the car will be stolen. So we partnered with an insurance company and developed a product that costs 49 cents and covers the items in the vehicle while it is parked. It is the first one-hour insurance in Latin America,” says D’Ancona.
With Series A, 180º plans to invest in expanding team, currently 50 employees, and in technology development to improve customer experience and reach 1 million policy insurance sold by the end of the year. “Our focus is to expand partnerships with companies that want to add digital insurance to their service offerings and develop new business models through joint ventures with larger clients,” the founder concludes.