The funders who are shaping the insurance technology of the future have completely different ideas about what a great deal looks like.
The clashing shopping lists came up Thursday, in New York, at a panel discussion on insurtech venture capital organized by Insurtech NY.
The panel included two insurtech funding executives who work inside life insurance companies: Steven Ueng, a vice president for principal investments and acquisitions at Swiss Re, and Adam Myers, a senior vice president for strategic ventures at Guardian Life.
The panel also included Nitya Rajendran, a senior associate at Tribeca Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in companies in many different industries.
The fourth participant, Farron Blanc, was vice president of innovation at Reinsurance Group of America from 2013 through 2018.
Blanc is now the founder of August Era, a firm that’s investing in small insurtech deals, and on small, non-insurance deals with companies that aim to serve the elderly. Blanc has also started a Gerry, a company that will use expert systems to help families shop for long-term care facilities and services.
Here’s a look at three of the factors affecting how they see deal proposals.
Each of the panelists had different ideas about the ideal deal size.
People in the venture capital and private equity communities refer to the smallest, newest startups as “seed stage” companies. They use the terms “Series A,” “Series B” and so on to refer to a company getting its first, second or later round of financing.
Blanc said August Era is looking for seed stage companies.
Rajendran is interested in seed stage and early stage companies.
Myers, at Guardian Life, said Guardian Life wants to get in at the early stages and have a chance to affect a company’s road map.
Ueng, the Swiss Re executive, said Swiss Re invested in a number of early-stage companies in 2016 and 2017.