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On-demand insurance startup Trov raises US$45 million with participation from Suncorp Group

California-based on-demand insurance startup Trov has raised US$45 million ($59.44 million) in a Series D round led by Munich Re / HSB Ventures, with participation from all its Series C investors, including Australia’s Suncorp Group.

The funding, which brings the total raised by the startup to date to US$85 million ($112.28 million), will be used to launch the platform into new markets and expand the categories of items that it covers. Munich Re will be underwriting Trov’s insurance capabilities across Europe, Asia, and South Africa, while new investor Sompo Holdings will help bring Trov to Japan.

The Trov app launched last year, enabling consumers to buy insurance for individual items, such as laptops, bikes, instruments and so on, and turn it on or off as they please, creating ‘micro-duration’ policies.

Australia was its first launch market for the app thanks to a friendly regulatory atmosphere and a partnership the startup had established with Suncorp in 2014 to help users keep track of their belongings through its tech. Investing US$5 million into Trov’s Series C round last year, Suncorp has also underwritten the startup’s insurance risk locally.

The app has since had over 35,000 downloads in Australia, according to Trov, with more than $2 million worth of items protected. The startup also stated that 65 percent of Australian customers did not switch off the insurance once they had switched it on.

The startup stated in November that the majority of engagement had been from 18-34 year olds, who have most commonly been protecting items such as mobile phones and laptops.

Scott Walchek, founder and CEO of Trov, said, “Trov’s early success in Australia and UK is demonstrating that modern consumers want a new way to protect their things. With the additional capital and extensive partnerships, soon millions of people around the world will be empowered to protect the things that enhance their lives whenever and however they want.”

“The combined capabilities of key global insurance leaders will streamline our regulatory path and increase our go-to-market effectiveness in each new territory we pursue.”

The latest Pulse of Fintech report from KPMG, examining fintech trends and investment over the fourth quarter of 2016, identified insurance technology (insurtech) as a particularly strong trend, with global investment in the sector crossing US$1 billion, up from the US$590 million invested in 2015.

The report predicted that most insurtech investments will most likely focus on companies specialising on specific individual components of the insurance process, though “there may be some that follow the lead of Lemonade and Trov”, which it identified as early-mover, full-service digital insurance providers.

Image: Scott Walchek. Source: Supplied.

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