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国际资讯投融资

保险科技创企Lemonade获软银集团1.2亿美元投资

本周,保险科技创企Lemonade宣布平台C轮融资迎来新进展。本轮融资由软银集团(1.2亿美元)领投,安联集团、通用催化风投、谷歌创投和红杉资本等现有投资者跟投。

一直以来,Lemonade都致力于利用科技力量推动保险行业的数字化革新。自2016年成立以来,Lemonade已经在全美25个州获得了运营许可,主要覆盖财险与意外灾害险领域。除常规保险项目外,Lemonade还设立了一个名为Giveback的慈善功能——每年将无人认领的保险费捐献给非盈利机构。Lemonade表示,平台将积极利用本次融资在2018年进行全球市场拓展。

Lemonade联合创始人兼首席执行官Daniel Schreiber表示,保险行业已经经过了长时间的发展,许多方面都有待革新。而未来几十年,人工智能技术和行为经济学将在“重塑”保险业方面发挥关键性作用。

按照监管批复和成交条件规定,本次融资预计将于2018年第一季度正式结束。而软银集团投资专家David Thevenon也将加入Lemonade董事会。

其实,这并不是软银集团第一次涉足金融科技领域。此前,这家日本电讯业巨头就曾设立过一个总值1000亿美元的愿景基金(Vision Fund),希望发掘更多具备发展潜力的科技项目。此外,该公司还已经先后对在线借贷平台SoFi和Kabbage进行过大笔投资。

Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank has made its play in insurance. The company seeking to own the future, both through its own investments and through those made via its $100bn Vision Fund, has invested $120m in insurtech start-up Lemonade.

The series C fundraise, led by the SoftBank Group, also features participation from existing investors such as Allianz, General Catalyst, GV (Google Ventures) and Sequoia Capital. The money will be used to accelerate Lemonade’s global expansion in 2018.

Lemonade is a technology firm that claims to fully digitise the insurance process. Unusually for a start-up, it is licenced both as a property and casualty insurance carrier. The company began offering homeowners and renters insurance in New York in late 2016 and is now licenced in 25 states. Lemonade has a charitable function named Giveback, which sees a portion of unclaimed premium dollars distributed to non-profits once a year. The latest in cutting-edge technologies, such as AI, are central to its offering.

“The insurance brands we know today came of age in the era of the horse-drawn carriage,” said Daniel Schreiber, CEO and co-founder of Lemonade. “But insurance is best when powered by AI and behavioural economics, which is why we believe that companies built from scratch, on a digital substrate and with a social mission, will enjoy a structural advantage for decades to come.”

The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. David Thevenon, a senior investment professional at SoftBank, will join Lemonade’s board.

This is not SoftBank’s first foray into the fintech sector. The company has previously invested significant amounts in online lenders SoFi and Kabbage.


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