Softbank Group is looking closely at the home insurance industry as a possible growth area as it leads a $120 million dollar (13.6 billion yen) investment in Lemonade Inc. Now focused on technology that uses artificial intelligence and bots to minimize paperwork and speed up claims processes for renters and homeowners, Lemonade had already raised $60 million before the Softbank announcement. There are other backers including General Catalyst Partners and Sequoia Capital as well as others mentioned in releases. Japan is, in some way, involved in Fintech on many levels since the beginning of 2018.
Lemonade first launched in September 2016, it was licensed as an insurance carrier offering homeowners and renters insurance in New York. It took them about a year but they eventually received licenses in 25 states and then offered their products on other firms` websites. Some in the firm are not talking but they are now suggesting that the valuation of Lemonade is $500 million. According to a spokesperson for the company, they had targeted 13,000 customers for this year and the new target, a realistic target is more like 90,000 customers. The company says new customers are coming in by word-of-mouth but they are also creating websites and apps to handle new business.
This is just another example of the fast pace of the Fintech business, with new startups bring creative and delivering solutions to market at record speed. We at Classiarius will be delivering more ideas, articles and audiovisual packages on Japan Tech and Blockchain in the coming weeks.