Insurtech investors globally smashed records in the first quarter, executing the highest number of transactions, the highest number of property-casualty transactions, and the highest volume of Series B and Series C funding rounds, according to Willis Towers Watson’s latest Quarterly InsurTech Briefing.
Eighty-five (85) deals, valued at a total of US$1.42 billion, were announced during the first quarter, marking the third straight quarter to post more than US$1 billion in funding. Deal count was up by 35% over Q4 of 2018, although total funding was down by 11%. Fifty-four per cent (44%) of deals were outside the US, according to Willis Towers Watson. Deal count in the UK was up by 50%, and in the US by 44%. Deal count in China, however, fell 38% in Q1.
While two thirds of investments were in Seed and Series A rounds, Q1 posted the highest-ever numbers of Series B and C rounds, at 12 and 16, respectively. Q1 also posted 56 P&C transactions, the highest number since Willis Towers Watson began publishing the Quarterly InsurTech Briefing.
Dr. Andrew Johnston, global head of insurtech at Willis Re, warned that the explosion of insurtech companies may oversaturate the market.
“The sheer volume of hopeful insurtech companies and hype is becoming increasingly difficult to rationalize, and one could argue that much of the space is akin to the fable of the emperor’s new clothes,” Johnston said. “We are seeing, however, that a number of insurtechs are already adding some genuine value to our industry. We remain pragmatic about where in the value chain we believe this can be achieved.”