Global insurtech funding breaks record in 2021

Total funds invested exceeded the past two years combined

Global insurtech funding breaks record in 2021


By Ryan Smith

Global investment in the insurtech space smashed records last year, according to Gallagher Re’s inaugural Global InsurTech Report. Total funds invested were US$15.8 billion, the highest annual capital inflow and more than the amount invested in 2019 and 2020 combined.

There were 564 deals in 2021, another record. New records were also hit for international participation, unicorn creation, and IPOs. A record for single-deal size was set when Integrity Marketing Group raised US$1.2 billion in December, Gallagher Re reported.

In 2021, US$9.4 billion was invested in property and casualty insurtechs, with the balance of US$6.4 billion – about 40.5% of the total – invested in life and health companies. There was a spike in total funding in the fourth quarter of last year, driven by 13 “mega-round” deals. They accounted for 71% of the US$5.3 billion invested during the period, Gallagher Re said. Q4 of 2021 was also – until the first quarter of this year – the largest ever for seed, angel, and Series A funding rounds, which totalled US$635 million.

“An incredible upwards trajectory of global insurtech funding has occurred during the past nine years, after we started tracking it in 2012, culminating in the record-breaking US$15.8 billion total for 2021,” said Dr. Andrew Johnston, global head of insurtech at Gallagher Re. “By the end of 2021, an enormous $41.65 billion had been invested globally into insurtechs across 2,249 deals in 63 countries. It included 99 mega-round deals, which accounted for US$21.88 billion of the total. Therefore, more than half of all the investment (52%) deployed during this period went into only 4.4% of all insurtech deals.”

Johnston said that insurtech growth over the past decade has been “incredibly impressive” and shows no sign of slowing down, with the first quarter of this year recording US$2.2 billion worldwide.

“While ‘only’ 43% of the total global investment recorded when compared with the prior quarter [2021 Q4], 2022 Q1 saw parity between quarters in terms of total deal flow [deal count], with a very impressive 143 deals recorded,” he said.

Johnston pointed out that there were only five mega-rounds recorded in the first quarter, lower than Q4 2021.

“This may be an indication that capital invested is actually becoming democratised – a more equally distributed spread of total capital invested,” Johnston said. “This possibility is further bolstered by the fact that 2022 Q1 observed the highest-ever recorded participation of early-stage investment, with a highly impressive US$660 million invested into insurtechs globally at their earliest stages.”

Johnston also said that much of the money has been invested in companies that wouldn’t necessarily have been labelled as insurtechs five years ago.

“Since almost all new ideas and entrants now have a technological angle, it becomes harder to separate the two,” he said. “If we were to look back at every single insurance-sector investment since technology was first truly yoked, and reclassified the investment data to the current broader use of the term, insurtech investment’s recent worldwide growth might look a little less impressive and stark. The vast majority of new insurance projects, ventures, and businesses will be heavily supported by tech. Technology will be the platform, enabler, and product that continues to keep our industry relevant and cost-efficient, so the label ‘insurtech’ needs redefinition.”

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