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Insurtech Innovator Hippo Hauls in $150 Million; Eyes 2021 IPO

Palo Alto, California-based insurtech Hippo Enterprises has locked in $150 million in new financing and earned a valuation of $1.5 billion. The Series E round featured participation from new investors Dragoneer and Ribbit Capital as well as existing investors Felicis Ventures and Iconiq Capital.

This week’s investment takes the company’s total capital to $359 million.

Hippo will use the funds to expand in the U.S., and to help cover the costs of its acquisition of Spinnaker Insurance, which the company bought last month. According to reporting in BuiltinAustin, Hippo’s expansion plans include building a “new, 310-person campus in Austin.” Company Chief Insurance Officer Rick McCathron credited both the city’s “strong insurance presence” and central time zone positioning as enhancements to Hippo’s ability to serve customers across the U.S.

The funding comes amid a flurry of activity in the insurtech space. On the acquisition front, insurtech company Assurance IO was purchased by Prudential Financial in a deal valued at $2.35 billion. We also learned this week that technology titan Amazon is entering the insurtech business in India. And earlier this month, one of the more widely known insurtechs, Lemonade, went public, earning a $3 billion market cap on its first day of trading.

Hippo, led by CEO Assaf Wand, is planning an IPO of its own as well. Wand said that the terms of the offering had been determined before Lemonade’s IPO, but the onset of the global health crisis forestalled the company’s plans.

Founded in 2015, Hippo currently offers home insurance in 29 states in the U.S. including California, Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey. The company leverages automation to enhance the process of applying for and getting an insurance quote in less than 60 seconds. Hippo also uses machine learning and smart home devices to enable customers to stay updated on liability issues. The enabling technologies also provide consumers with preventative maintenance tips that will help them resolve small issues with their homes before they become major insurance claims.