PremFina Ltd., a UK firm that provides software to insurance brokers, raised $36 million in its first round of funding as founder and serial entrepreneur Bundeep Singh Rangar seeks to expand the company.
The equity and debt investment came from investors including the venture capital arm of Japan’s Rakuten Inc., and UK-based Draper Esprit Plc, backed by billionaire Tim Draper, the people said.
The funding round, first reported by Bloomberg, includes Russia’s Emery Capital, U.S.-based fund Rubicon Venture Capital, Thomvest – the venture capital firm of Peter Thomson, whose family controls Thomson Reuters Corp. – and Talis Capital, co-founded by former oil trader Bob Finch.
Rangar, who is also PremFina’s chief executive officer, has invested and will keep control of the London-based firm. Other investors could still boost the final amount of the round before year end.
“It’s a thumbs up for British innovation in insurance and finance,” said Rangar. “Our software is built with its global export in mind, something that will become especially important in a potential post-Brexit world.”
PremFina offers software that connects insurance brokers and their customers, and also provides a loan facility so that brokers can extend financing to clients. Rangar says the operation is similar to how Uber Technologies Inc. links drivers and passengers, leading him to dub his startup “the Uber of premium finance.”
“Rakuten sees outstanding growth potential in PremFina’s business model of promoting insurance inclusion and providing access to affordable insurance,” said Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, managing partner at Rakuten Capital. “We are excited to support the growth of PremFina’s innovative business in the UK and internationally.”
Competitors include Premium Credit Ltd., a UK-based insurance premium finance company acquired by buyout firm Cinven in 2015 for an enterprise value of 462 million pounds ($612 million). Insurance tech startups raised almost $1.7 billion last year, or 37 percent less than a year earlier, according to research firm CB Insights.
Copyright 2017 Bloomberg.