A survey of Y Combinator firms reveals that the fintech subsector is far from dead
Given the recent From a series of concerned headlines generated by insurtech companies, you’d be forgiven for anticipating that the startup category would be in big trouble. Not a little.
As The Exchange recently explored, fundraising for insurtech was strong in 2021, despite some notable public market misfires in the sector in the year. After a strong fundraising period, a number of US-based insurtech startups went public in 2020 and 2021. After initially strong trading, the cohort has since been decimated by valuation falls.
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In the wake of the mess, we expected startups building insurance products to dry up somewhat, while tech startups targeting the back end of the global insurance market would prove more active. And yet. The latest Y Combinator cohort included a number of insurance-focused technology companies, and some of them actually want to write policies.
Not all of course. Our idea of where insurtech startups are working on the mechanics of the existing insurance industry is a good fit. We were just too pessimistic about the rest of the insurtech category.
Can’t stop, won’t stop
That the insurtech startup category isn’t dead should come as no surprise at this point. In the wake of the surprisingly strong data from 2021, there is reason to believe that 2022 could bring more of the same. Using a Crunchbase query initially compiled by the news team, updated to limit it to Q1 2021 and Q1 2022 data only, here is the basics for insurtech startups in capital terms:
- Q1 2021: $3.209 Billion in Registered Fundraising
- Q1 2022: $2.796 Billion in Registered Fundraising
If you’re looking at the two numbers and wondering why we aren’t screaming about a $400 million year-over-year decline, let us help. Venture capital data collected by groups like Crunchbase, PitchBook and CB Insights relates to the pace and depth of disclosures in the private market, which is different from what public companies drop. They are slower and less complete. So we expect the Q1 2022 number to “fill in” some as time goes on, bringing it closer to its comp from a year ago.
What’s more important than any wobble in the dollar amount is the simple fact that Insurtech’s fundraising not disintegrated. Indeed, it is still rumbling. Good news, we think, for the startups building in space today. Let’s talk about what they are aimed at.