Descartes Underwriting is one of the 8 finalists in the 2019/2020 edition of Pitch Your Startup. After winning the semi-finals of the Insurtech category on March 5th, it is during the Grand Finale on September 15th that the startup will defend its project in a 5-minute pitch.
Cathay Innovation and Serena co-lead series A funding round joining existing investor BlackFin Capital Partners
Paris, September 10 - Descartes Underwriting, the InsurTech company specialized in climate risk modeling and data-driven risk transfer, today announced that it has raised $18.5 million in a series A funding round by leading global venture capital firms Serena, Cathay Innovation and BlackFin Capital Partners. The fresh round of capital comes 18 months after raising $2.5 million in seed funding from BlackFin Capital Partners.
Descartes Underwriting is disrupting the insurance industry by scaling up parametric insurance, leveraging new technologies and data science to challenge traditional insurance models. Founded by a team of experienced insurers and reinsurers, Descartes works with corporate brokers to design and underwrite innovative, bespoke and affordable insurance solutions. In 18 months, close to 100 corporates around the world, including Fortune 500 companies, and governments have already chosen Descartes’ to build resilience in the face of climate change and other natural catastrophes.
"This is a good time to further expand our footprint. Non-life insurance is going through an existential crisis due to the growing impact of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic: in addition to large losses, the sector is suffering from a lack of trust," said Tanguy Touffut, CEO and Co-founder of Descartes Underwriting. “With the support of our partners, we aim at rebuilding customer trust through a new generation of products that are tech-driven, fully transparent and providing swift claims payment”.
The new financing will be used to support Descartes’ global expansion to the United States and Asia. While headquartered out of Paris, Descartes covers a wide variety of geographies including Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia and plans to open new offices in New York and Singapore. Descartes will also use the funds to grow its product range, target larger deals and deepen its tech capabilities and data science team.
Tanguy Touffut added: “This investment will fully support our ambition to grow and lead the global parametric insurance space in the corporate segment. We are proud to work with Cathay Innovation and Serena, both of which have incredible track records, an entrepreneurship mindset and are the perfect match to support our global development.”
Marie Brayer, Partner at Serena commented : “Descartes Underwriting has the rare potential to offer a good, transparent alternative to a multi-billion dollar industry as well as to provide emerging countries and global industry leaders with options to face global climate change with more resilience. We are really proud to back such an amazingly talented team.”
Jacky Abitbol, Partner at Cathay Innovation, further added: “Climate change is a massive challenge for many businesses through the World. By providing innovative parametric insurance products, Descartes Underwriting’s experienced team is supporting corporates of all size to cope with growing weather-related vulnerabilities. We are thrilled to support Descartes’ visionary management as they bring their next-gen AI solutions to the global stage. Together, we will make a positive impact to the insurance sector and to the world through technology.”
Julien Creuzé, Managing Director at BlackFin Capital Partners, concludes: “We are very happy to continue backing Descartes Underwriting and its stellar team which develop truly innovative insurance products for large corporates. Descartes Underwriting is one of the fastest growing insurtechs, we are glad to see Cathay and Serena joining forces with existing stakeholders to support its global expansion.”
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