INSRD's adaptive insurance for emerging industries bags €500K Pre-Seed

INSRD reinvents commercial insurance to better serve fast-growing companies driven by innovation yet frequently encountering new risk exposures. 
INSRD's adaptive insurance for emerging industries bags €500K Pre-Seed

Berlin-based insurtech startup INSRD announced today that it has raised a €500K Pre-Seed round. INSRD is a startup that is participating in Cohort 5 of Earlybird Venture Capital's Vision Lab Program, which provides funding, mentorship, and network.

INSRD reinvents commercial insurance to better serve fast-growing companies driven by innovation yet frequently encountering new risk exposures. 

Since companies often outgrow their insurance coverage, it's crucial to have a responsive solution that evolves alongside them. 

By combining expert advisory, complementary risk solutions, and actively monitoring risks, INSRD has convinced prominent companies from tech, venture capital, and other emerging industries to become clients.

I spoke to its co-founders, serial entrepreneur Stefan Balg and deep domain practitioner John Ismailoglu, who has almost two decades of experience in insurance, to learn more.

Both co-founders share the birthplace of New York, although Balg moved to Germany 16 years ago. They stressed that they never thought they'd end up in the insurance industry, but as Balg notes, "the industry has many angles."

Coming from a career that included adtech and IT, he saw an industry desperately needing digital solutions.

He shared:

"The one thing that was always missing is people like John, people with actual field experience, people with an actual vision of how an insurance business needs to work and how it needs to be run. So it's not purely about tech. 

Tech is an enabler to build a better way of doing business. 

And when I met him, after the first hour of venting about how broken and backwards the industry is, we discussed the opportunity for things to be done better. And that's how we started INSRD."

At the core of INSRD's tech solution is the "Protect & Connect" platform, which leverages advanced workflow automation and industry-specific AI. This technology keeps insurance programs current while actively identifying and monitoring new risks, ensuring seamless collaboration between clients, advisors, and insurers. 

Ismailoglu detailed the need for adaptive insurance:

"If you look at the traditional way insurance is sold and/or managed, you go down the street to a broker, they give you a pen and paper, and you fill out a form, and then, if you're lucky, you get the right insurance. 

They run the risk of being under or over-insured at any point in time. Maybe you get the right insurance, maybe you don't. And then if you're lucky, once a year, you'll get a call saying, 'Hey, happy birthday, you know, you're gonna die, you need life insurance'.

So that's the level of risk assessment that exists today."

INSRD saw the need for insurance that delivers precision and responsiveness to changes in risk exposures at scale. This is especially important for next-gen industries such as AI, creator economy, deeptech, robotics, and more.

"We're developing technology that, in near real-time, keeps track of companies, their activities, a variety of other parameters, essentially, the risks. Then, what we're saying is we can adapt the coverage to tailor to those needs.

You'll feel like your business insurance is now adaptive. It's not a static contract. It's actually a contract that lives and changes with your business's changes." 

INSRD acts as an insurance broker and its tech will be used by brokers. so insured at the core of it is an insurance broker, we're an intermediary, and the technology we're developing will be used for brokers. 

The commercial insurance market is experiencing a decline in brokers and agents amidst a surge in demand for emerging and speciality risks. This leaves dynamic companies underserved, with coverage gaps and exposures putting their businesses at risk. 

Further, as a sector, the insurance industry — especially in Germany — is risk-averse. The first wave of change has been seen with companies like Get Safe and comparison platforms like Check24, but this has primarily benefited SMEs working in relatively stable industries.

However, Balg explains: 

"As soon as you have companies that either grow fast, their requirements change or their requirements become more complex, a different solution is needed." 

Points where startups and scaleups might need agile insurance include fundraising, changes in revenue, and increased headcount when working with enterprise clients. 

Ismailoglu asserts that "often, companies scramble to put things together when they start engaging with, for example, an enterprise client. And what we're seeing is we can set that up much earlier and adapt to that particular need. So you have everything in place, and you're not in this situation where a potential big deal can fall through because you don't have a stupid insurance policy."

Another example is when a company wins clients in different markets or changes its business model. 

In terms of the practicalities of disrupting a traditional industry, Balg explains that insurance is very much about relationships, referrals, and word of mouth. INRD is fortunate to have a lot of existing clients who refer it to their circle. It also has deep roots in the tech ecosystem and partnerships with VCs and accelerators.

I was curious about what the impact of the insurance industry could be in the future if those traditional companies and brokers don't offer adaptive insurance.

According to Balg:

"Our vision is, at some point, this gets so big, and the volume of clients we have that also the big insurance carriers say, 'hey, we cannot pass on this anymore. Now, please, let's get on board.'

We see in the future that this will be a substantial channel of business.

I think the major thing we need to prove to the insurance industry is that tech risks are not worse risks than anything else you've seen before. Insurers have gone through these transitions over hundreds of years from the industrialization age to the information age and so on. 

We're trying to help them do this a bit faster. Because technological advancement has been a lot, it has not been linear in the last 20 years. Change is inevitable and is the way forward." 

"The fund round is raised from ecosystem angel investors including Alex Grimm, a former executive at insurtech champion Getsafe, Florian Huber, and Daniel Dippold of EWOR, alongside tech executives and venture capitalists. 

INSRD will use the funds for team and product development and further develop its tech roadmap.

Lead image: John Ismailoglu and Stefan Balg, co-founders of INSRD. Photo: uncredited. 

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