Startup News: Next Insurance gets a $265 Million boost from Allstate and Allianz

A Tech-Forward Insurer Gets a $265 Million Boost from Allstate and Allianz

In the commercial-insurance marketplace, Next Insurance is something of a pioneer. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based insurance startup employs digital technology to market a wide variety of insurance lines to small-business owners, a cohort that has long been served by insurers who take a more traditional manual approach to marketing to clients.

Last week, two insurance giants, Allstate and Allianz, gave a clear vote of confidence to Next’s technological disruption of the commercial real-estate market. The two insurers announced a combined $265 million investment in Next, representing the largest single funding round in the company’s seven-year history.

As part of the deal, Next will provide its products to Allstate customers, expanding its footprint to additional small businesses nationwide. And both Next and Allstate will co-develop a new set of commercial automobile insurance products. The deal also deepens Next’s relationship with Allianz, which acts as a reinsurer to the startup.

Founded in 2016, Next uses proprietary machine learning algorithms to quickly generate premium quotes for customers. Its latest valuation, based on Allstate and Allianz’ investment of last week, comes to $2.5 billion.

Databricks Provided “Moneyball” Styled Analysis to 2023 World Series Champ

Databricks have morphed into one of the highest-valued startups in the U.S. by providing a wide range of data analytics to thousands of companies throughout the world.

Few of the company’s efforts, however, can compare with the Gee-whiz factor of providing player-performance analytics to the Texas Rangers, which handily defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks two weeks ago to win Major League Baseball’s World Series.

In an interview on CNBC last week, Databricks CEO and co-founder Ali Ghodsi described how his company used artificial intelligence and data analytics to help the Rangers’ on-field performance. According to Ghodsi, Databricks collected data from the team by connecting sensors to players and creating an image of their skeletons to watch them play in real time. The company then used its AI model to analyze the data and was able to make recommendations regarding player behavior.

“It’s kind of like Moneyball 2.0 in some sense,” Ghodsi told CNBC, a reference to a best-selling book by author Michael Lewis which detailed how former Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane employed cutting-edge analytics to improve his team’s performance two decades ago.

Founded in 2013, Databricks, which is based in San Francisco, received a $43 billion valuation in September 2023 following a $500 million funding round.

An “Air Taxi” Maker Initiates Major Test Flight Effort

Volocopter has an ambitious mission: the development of all-electric helicopter-like vehicles that will transport passengers between key hubs like train stations and airports around the world.

Last week, trade publication AviationSource News reported that the German company has taken an additional step toward that mission with a “historic first,” a flight test of an electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle in “an operation and large international airport in the United States.”

The flight-testing regimen recently occurred at Tampa International Airport and involved a crewed Volocopter 2X eVTOL aircraft.

According to Volocopter, the design of the company’s copters provide for more stability in air and lower maintenance costs than a traditional helicopter. The vehicles have been called “flying Ubers” and “air taxis” because of their potential to make flight between transportation hubs routine. In March 2022, the company was given a post-money valuation of $1.87 billion, according to TechCrunch.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

Please Read These Important Legal Notices & Disclosures

The information and material presented in this article is provided for your informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer by Forge Global, Inc., Forge Securities LLC or any of its affiliates (collectively, "Forge") to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities and may not be used or relied upon in connection with any offer or sale of securities. An offer or solicitation can be made only through the delivery of final offering document(s) and purchase agreement and will be subject to the terms and conditions and risks delivered in such documents.

To the extent information about or defining specific terms is provided herein, Forge makes no representations as to its accuracy and has no duty to update such information. Such information is based on Forge’s experience and the meanings and connotations of terms as Forge typically uses and interprets them. Others may construe such terms differently, and you should do your own research and consult with financial, legal and tax professionals regarding any such concepts included herein.

This article does not constitute an offer to provide investment advice or service. Registered representatives of Forge Securities LLC do not (1) advise any member on the merits or prudence of a particular investment or transaction, or (2) assist in the determination of fair value of any security or investment, or (3) provide legal, tax, or transactional advisory services. Securities referenced in this article may be offered by Forge Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Forge Securities LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Forge Global, Inc. Certain affiliates may act as principals in such transactions. Forge Data LLC is an affiliate of Forge Global, Inc. and Forge Securities LLC.

Investing in private company securities is not suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative, involving a high degree of risk, and investors should be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities. Each investment also carries its own specific risks and investors should conduct their own, independent due diligence regarding the investment, including obtaining additional information about the company, opinions, financial projections and legal or investment advice. Accordingly, investing in private company securities is appropriate only for those investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk and do not require a liquid investment. Past performance Is not indicative of future results.