ZUG, Switzerland, Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Stonestep, the pioneering company offering Microinsurance as a Service, announced it has secured $4M in Series A funding from XL Innovate, a leading insurtech venture fund. This financing allows Stonestep to establish its footprint in Asia, beginning in Myanmar, and gives the company access to the global skills and insurance capacity of XL Catlin. As part of the round, Sarah Street, a director at XL Innovate, will join Stonestep's board of directors.
Insurance today is optimized for households with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets. Yet, in many emerging markets, household assets often add up to less than $5,000. For these households, smartphones, appliances, basic legal assistance, and medical care represent steps to a better life -- yet in most cases, households have no safety net in case of loss. Insuring such events, economically and practically, requires a completely new approach.
Stonestep streamlines the insurance value chain – from policy underwriting to distribution to claims – in order to offer risk products, often for the very first time, at mass market prices. Stonestep partners with corporations such as mobile network operators, retailers, and financial service providers, which have an existing distribution presence. Working with these partners can substantially reduce infrastructure costs, and opens the door to insurance services that are accessible to even the most geographically remote or disadvantaged consumer.
Stonestep's next generation insurance platform offers integrated sales and customer experience tools, allowing clients to more easily add insurance services alongside their usual product offerings, while promoting brand loyalty and generating additional revenues for their businesses. With tailor-made apps to help distribute policies and administer claims, there is no need for new operational structures on the part of companies, or new behaviors on the part of consumers. Furthermore, Stonestep's platform offers concrete services to resolve customer needs directly and quickly, reducing the frictional costs associated with traditional insurance.
Stonestep's Founder and CEO, Brandon Mathews, is a published thought and business leader in emerging market insurance, and has built large businesses for AIG and Zurich in Latin American that continue to serve tens of millions of customers. Stonestep is now taking these proven insurance models to the next level through the use technologies such as smartphones, microfinance, and digital crypto-contracts.
"For most people around the world, life is extremely risky: if people lose their home, they're not checking into a hotel. If they have an accident, there's no ambulance. Stonestep's unique insurance platform can cover such risks for emerging consumers, and XL Innovate's investment will help us implement this solution, beginning in Asia. Microinsurance as a Service is a sustainable business model that can catalyze economic growth for all levels of society," said Brandon Mathews, CEO of Stonestep.
"Reducing vulnerability of emerging consumers is good not only for individuals and communities -- it's also good for companies which rely on emerging markets for growth," said Sarah Street, Director at XL Innovate. "Stonestep's team members are industry leaders who have pioneered some of the industry's most successful methods. We are excited to collaborate with them as they accelerate the growth of this business in Asia."
Stonestep is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland. To learn more about the company, visit www.stonestep.ch
Stonestep is a new property and casualty insurtech startup that is changing how insurance is delivered in emerging markets. With its revolutionary 'Microinsurance as a Service' platform, Stonestep enables mobile network operators, retailers and other corporations to easily diversify their services and generate additional revenue, by offering risk products designed to address the needs of first-generation insurance customers at an affordable price.
About XL Innovate:
XL Innovate is a venture capital fund focused on investing in companies that address the world's most complex risks with new technologies and products for the insurance industry. Portfolio companies include Lemonade, Cape Analytics, Slice Labs, Embroker, Notion and New Energy Risk. XL Innovate provides companies with equity capital, unparalleled experience in building new ventures in this specific space, and access to XL Catlin's global insurance expertise and underwriting. To learn more, visit www.xlinnovate.com.
About XL Group plc:
XL Group plc (NYSE: XL), through its subsidiaries and under the XL Catlin brand, is a global insurance and reinsurance company providing property, casualty and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises throughout the world. Clients look to XL Catlin for answers to their most complex risks and to help move their world forward. To learn more, visit www.xlcatlin.com.
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SOURCE XL Innovate