Next Insurance raises $250M from Munich Re, becomes a unicorn

Next Insurance, a three-year-old U.S.-based firm that sells insurance products to small businesses, has become the latest unicorn in the nation after bagging $250 million in a new financing round, the startup said today.

Germany-based Munich Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, alone funded Next Insurance’s Series C round, the two said in a statement. The new financing round valued the three-year-old startup, which has raised $381 million to date, at more than $1 billion, the startup said.

Guy Goldstein, co-founder and chief executive of Next Insurance, said the startup will use the fresh capital to build new products and expand its customer initiatives. Next Insurance offers a wide-range of insurance coverage to more than 1,000 unique types of business. It has amassed over 70,000 customers in the U.S., the only market where it currently operates.

Next Insurance aims to become a one-stop insurance shop for micro and small business insurance needs. Its insurance plans and products are designed to cater to the business sectors that are often overlooked by more general insurers.

The startup offers a number of insurance products, including general liability, which covers a number of accidents at work, including property damage and physical injury; professional liability, which covers business owners from accusations of professional mistakes; and commercial auto, which pays for damage caused by or to your business vehicle.

As TechCrunch’s Steve O’Hear explained earlier, small business owners often rely on price comparison websites to figure out what kind of coverage they need and where to buy it, though that means the plans they get don’t always cover all their needs. The other option is to use a broker, but that also adds another middle person.

In a statement, Joachim Wenning, chairman of the Board of Management at Munich Re, said the new investment will help Munich Re expand its footprint in the U.S.’s insurance market of small and medium-sized commercial customers.

“Next Insurance will benefit from our expertise in primary insurance and reinsurance. This investment emphasizes Munich Re’s commitment to be the leading provider of digital insurance solutions,” added Wenning.

Next Insurance, of course, isn’t the only player attempting to address the insurance needs of small and micro-sized businesses. It competes with a handful of startups, including Lemonade, which raised $300 million in April this year, and Root Insurance, which sells car insurance and raised $100 million last year.