Insurtech startup Upcover has raised $2.7 million in Seed financing alongside $2 million in debt as it seeks to transform the small business insurance industry.

The round was supported by venture capital funds Antler Australia – Upcover was part of its inaugural accelerator program in 2019 – and Betterlabs, as well as a range of industry execs including Colin Morgan, the former CEO of Zurich Insurance Global Life for APAC, Patricia Priest, GM of QBE LMI (Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance), Raf Uy, CFO of global fintech Etika, and Raf Niesten, CEO of Bricks + Agent.

Upcover, co-founded by Skye Theodorou and Anish Sinha, launched its API-based embedded SME insurance platform in 2021.

The insurance tech platform partners with insurers to provide fast, jargon-free insurance tailored to the needs of SMEs and sole traders. A single insurance API connects to insurers to provide quotes by asking just two questions. In addition to offering insurance directly through its website, upcover’s embedded insurance offering integrates with online companies such as rideshare companies, online marketplaces, and fintechs for businesses to monetize their existing customer base and independent contractors.

More than 5,000 small businesses, sole traders and independent contractors are registered on the upcover platform. Since its launch eight months ago, sales have increased by 20% monthly and the company has introduced four new insurance products.

The money will be used for product development and customer acquisition.

After working in the insurance industry for over a decade, Skye Theodorou could see just how much the industry needed a technical shake-up.

“The journey of building a facelift has been an incredible ride. With the platform live and our customers loving the experience we provide, we know we’re onto something unique,” she said.

“Being backed by some of the best in the insurance and banking industries was an incredible way to round out our seed funding campaign. The insurance industry has long been plagued by complicated questionnaires, over-complicated conditions and long quotation times and upcover is changing this.”

Its co-founder, Anish Sinha, said the local SME insurance market is worth about $10 billion, with four incumbents controlling 80% of it.

“Upcover is democratizing the ecosystem by enabling any company, brand or online marketplace to become distributors of insurance policies and monetize their customer base,” he said.

“By making insurance policies programmatically accessible, we’ve opened up the ecosystem so developers and/or brands can pay for insurance in their brand’s user experience.”

Betterlabs CEO James Edwards said it was their first investment in the insurtech space.

“The caliber of the founding team, their innovative business model and the traction they have gained in the market so far present a fantastic opportunity. We are very excited to now embark on a journey with them as they scale their business after their recent seed round,” he said

It was Patricia Priest’s first-ever startup investment with QBE and she was delighted to support a female founder.

“Coming from a background in financial services, it’s inspiring to see the fresh ideas and fresh ideas that upcover brings,” said SHE

Antler Managing Partner Bede Moore said: “Upcover is led by an exceptional founding team and we have been an abiding supporter since their very first round. We believe they are building a huge insurtech opportunity.

Upcover’s range of insurance products includes Professional, Public & Product Liability, Cyber ​​Privacy, COVID-19 Bounceback Insurance and Commercial Motorcycle (incl. ride-on and delivery), with tools for trade, glass, personal accident and management liability all coming later this year. year.

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