Should we be worried about insurtech valuations? – TechCrunch



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Hi there everybody, I hope you had a stunning week. I turned 32 after experiencing sleep-destroying heartburn. So, a bit good and a bit unhealthy. However that didn’t cease the markets. Nope. Not a bit. Which suggests we now have loads to speak about, together with falling insurtech shares and what the state of affairs would possibly imply for startups, and a raft of IPOs. This shall be enjoyable!

Earlier than we get into the nitty-gritty of our chats with newly public firms Kaltura, Couchbase and Enovix, let’s speak insurtech.

Within the final yr or so we’ve seen various insurtech startups go public, together with Root (auto insurance coverage), Metromile (automobile insurance coverage), and Lemonade (rental insurance coverage). Right here’s a fast digest of how their efficiency seems to be at this time:

  • Root: $7.72 per share, 71.4% down from its $27 per share IPO value.
  • Metromile: $7.26 per share, down 64.4% from its post-combination highs.
  • Lemonade: $86.97 per share, up 199.9% from its IPO value of $29 per share.

Recall that Root and Metromile started to commerce after Lemonade, so their declines are usually not over an extended time horizon, however a shorter interval. Which makes the state of affairs all of the extra fascinating.

What’s happening? Properly, two of the three insurtech public choices (SPACs, IPOs, and so forth.) are sharply underwater. That doesn’t bode extremely effectively for Hippo, which is pursuing its personal SPAC-led mixture that needs to be wrapping up briefly order. The massive declines don’t appear bullish for insurtech startups, who must reply private-market investor doubts regarding their worth.

Does Lemonade’s sturdy post-IPO efficiency allay considerations? It’s difficult. The corporate has been busy increasing into new markets, together with auto insurance coverage. The corporate did take a considerably materials hit from the Texas freeze earlier this yr — per its most up-to-date earnings report — however previous these two knowledge factors it’s not fully clear what the corporate is doing that the opposite two are usually not. However buyers are stoked about Lemonade, and never Root and Metromile. Determining why that’s the case, and why their startup is extra Lemonade than the opposite two, goes to be key for the various insurtech startups nonetheless scaling towards their very own IPOs.

It’s IPO season

The Trade has been busy on the telephones these final two weeks, speaking to CEOs of firms going public to try to be taught from their latest experiences. So, what follows are notes from calls with of us at Kaltura, Couchbase and Enovix. Get pleasure from!


  • Reminder: On-line-video-focused Kaltura filed to go public earlier this yr earlier than delaying its IPO and taking one other run on the funding occasion.
  • The Trade spoke with Kaltura CEO Ron Yekutiel, who mentioned that the corporate’s IPO’s timing was impacted by the early-2021 public market turmoil. That was not a shock, but it surely was good to get affirmation regardless.
  • That freeze was partially brought on by the Archegos implosion, per Yekutiel. That is sensible, however was information to us.
  • Yekutiel mentioned that his firm wasn’t thrilled concerning the delay — going public is the one fundraise that you simply pre-announce, he famous — however added that buyers his firm had already spoken to the first-time round have been nonetheless enthused about Kaltura on its second run at an IPO.
  • Per the CEO, Kaltura’s preliminary Q2 outcomes confirmed buyers that what it was speaking about earlier within the yr was coming true. He additionally confused uptake in new merchandise as key to the corporate’s continued development.
  • The CEO was pleased with how his firm priced and traded throughout its first day, snagging a flat 20% uptick in worth upon buying and selling. He famous that extra would have been extreme, and fewer would have been un-good.
  • Concerning the decrease valuation that Kaltura priced at in comparison with its March-era IPO value vary, Yekutiel mentioned that you simply don’t get a 3rd probability to make a primary impression and that his firm wished to get the providing executed. So that they did. Factors for not getting misplaced in their very own head.
  • Kaltura is up 17.5% from its $10 per-share IPO value as of the time of writing.
  • Advertisement

One anecdote, if I could. Kaltura received an early TechCrunch40 — the precursor to the TechCrunch50 occasion, itself a predecessor to at this time’s TechCrunch Disrupt convention collection — due to a single vote solid by way of bodily token. Yekutiel nonetheless has that token, and confirmed it to us throughout our chat. Neat!


  • The Trade spoke with noSQL database firm Couchbase’s CEO Matt Cain. Couchbase priced at $24 per share, above its $20 to $23 per-share IPO value vary.
  • Right now it’s value $33.20, rising 9.2% in at this time’s buying and selling as of the time of writing.
  • Cain was speaking from a reasonably strict script — a reasonably customary state of affairs amongst newly public CEOs fearful about fucking up and going to jail — so we didn’t get the exact solutions we have been in search of. However we nonetheless managed to be taught a couple of issues, together with that Couchbase was yet one more firm that discovered the assembly density made attainable by distant roadshows to be accretive.
  • The CEO was targeted on discussing the dimensions of the chance forward of Couchbase, specifically the world of operational databases. It’s arduous to discover a greater market, he argued, which made buyers enthusiastic about what his firm would possibly have the ability to accomplish. Our learn right here is that there’s in all probability loads of floor space for startups within the database world, if the market is as huge as Cain reckons it’s.
  • We wished to be taught a bit extra about how public-market buyers view open-source powered firms, however didn’t get an excessive amount of from him on the matter. Nonetheless, the corporate’s IPO is a reasonably rattling sturdy one, implying that being OSS-built isn’t precisely a detriment to an organization hoping to exit.


  • The Trade wished to talk with newly public firm Enovix as a result of it debuted by way of a SPAC. Why does that matter? As a result of there are different battery-focused firms seeking to go public by way of SPACs. So, the chat was good background for later work.
  • And we love speaking to public firms. Who doesn’t?
  • Requested if combination-and-trade-under-new-ticker-symbol day was like an IPO to his agency, Rust mentioned that it was. Honest sufficient.
  • The corporate’s mixture date for its SPAC slipped from Q2 to Q3, we observed. Why was that? Some SEC modifications concerning accounting, briefly. Not an enormous deal was our impression from the chat, however one which did trigger a slight delay to Enovix’s buying and selling date.
  • Why go public by way of a SPAC? Money, but in addition the actual sponsor of their mixture, which Rust mentioned was a key useful resource when it comes to operational information. The corporate has additionally employed from its SPAC sponsor’s community, which felt notable. (Hey look, precise investor value-add!)
  • Requested why his firm is value lower than the impending SES SPAC, one other battery firm that has but to generate income, Rust mentioned that the worth of his firm in its SPAC deal was a negotiation, and that if the corporate is profitable, whether or not it was valued at $1.1 billion or $1.Four billion wouldn’t actually matter.
  • What’s enjoyable about Enovix is that it’s not beginning with its impending battery tech geared toward EVs. As an alternative, it’s concentrating on high-end electronics. Why? Fast cycles to get batteries into {hardware} and attainable pricing energy. It does intend to get into EVs in time, nevertheless.
  • The corporate is value $17.33 per share, giving it what Yahoo Finance describes as a $2.5 billion valuation. That’s markup from what it anticipated and will bode effectively for SES’s personal, future debut.

Yo, that was a lot. Thanks for sticking with me. And thanks for studying The Trade’s little publication. You may catch up on all our work right here if you would like some long-form reads on the worldwide enterprise capital market, edtech and different subjects. Keep cool!

Your good friend,



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