Small Business Insurance Platform Huckleberry Announces $18 Million Funding Round
In recent years the insurance marketplace has started to evolve. Besides car insurance companies focusing on online policy applications, Lemonade and other startups have made less-popular but still important types of insurance such as renter’s insurance more accessible. Yet, when it comes to various types of small business insurance, it seemed as though the old guard was still leading the way.
Given this dilemma, Bryan O’Connell and Steve Au founded Huckleberry — a company set on utilizing technology, AI, and algorithms to make finding the right small business insurance policy easier. Now, as VentureBeat reports, this week the startup closed an $18 million investment round. The Series A was led by Tribe Capital while Uncork Capital, Crosslink Capital, and Amaranthine also participated. This follows a $4 million seed round Huckleberry raised in March of last year.
With the injection of funds, Huckleberry says it plans to expand its operations and begin insuring new small business verticals. According to VentureBeat, those industries currently on the company’s list include auto repair, personal care, and restaurants. In each case the company will continue to use AI and other technologies to help customers through the underwriting process and match them with the right policy.
Explaining the inspiration behind Huckleberry’s start, co-founder O’Connell told VentureBeat, “Huckleberry was born due to the painful process I encountered when purchasing business insurance at a prior startup. Having worked at an insurance carrier, I knew that it was possible to build a platform that eliminates tedious offline paperwork and puts the small business owner first.” As for what hurdles current face the company, O’Connell explained to TechCrunch, “Our biggest challenge is navigating 50 states’ worth of extremely complicated regulations on something that is much more complicated than a software product. We’re trying to protect individual workers and businesses all while staying fully compliant in every market.”
To O’Connel’s point about small business insurance, recent reports have shown just how underinsured many entrepreneurs are. For example a survey by Liberty Mutual Insurance found that only 12% of Millennial business owners carried any kind of insurance for their businesses. Additionally VentureBeat cites a study that found 75% of U.S. businesses don’t have insurance policies that fit their needs and 40% don’t have any coverage at all. Thus it’s easy to see that there’s a market for tailored and easy-to-obtain policies.
While it sounds as though Huckleberry has some challenges they’ll need to overcome, that also means they have a lot of growing ahead of them. Moreover hopefully this new $18 million in funding can help them accelerate that expansion and reach more business owners soon. In the meantime you can find out more about Huckleberry by visiting their website.