Lemonade reaches $2bn unicorn valuation with $300mn funding round from SoftBank
Lemonade, an insurance startup that is driven by artificial intelligence and behavioral economics, has signed a US$300mn Series D funding round. The round, which was led by Japanese investor SoftBank, with participation from Allianz, General Catalyst, GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), OurCrowd and Thrive Capital, brings Lemonade’s total valuation to more than $2bn.
Launched in 2016, Lemonade specializes in offering an all-online, mobile insurance platform, with highly-competitive pricing. Since its inception, the service has offered rental insurance for as little as $5 per month, and homeowner’s insurance for as little as $25. The company is currently the top-rated provider of renter’s insurance in the US.
“In less than three years, Lemonade has expanded across the US, given back to dozens of charities chosen by our community, and fundamentally changed how a new generation of consumers interacts with insurance,” said Daniel Schreiber, CEO and cofounder, Lemonade. “Looking forward, we aspire to create the 21st century incarnation of the successful insurance company: a loved global brand that can endure for generations; an organization built on a digital substrate, enabling ever faster and more efficient operations, and ever more delighted consumers.”
Contrary to the traditional insurance model, Lemonade takes a fixed percentage as a flat fee, eliminating the conflict between paying claims and making a profit, and donates a portion of unclaimed premium dollars to nonprofits during its annual ’Giveback.′
According to Forbes’ report, Lemonade plans to use the money from SoftBank to expand into Europe, and deeper into the US. The company is based primarily in New York and Tel Aviv, but Schreiber has revealed that plans are in place to open a European headquarters in Amsterdam.
Shu Nyatta, a senior investment professional within the SoftBank Group and a Lemonade Board Member said that “We’ve watched Lemonade transform insurance using big data and AI, reaching half a million homes in a little over two years - a shockingly rapid pace - and we’re confident that the best is yet to come. The value Lemonade provides, together with the values baked into its model, are fast making it one of the most intriguing, differentiated and compelling brands.”
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”