The Startups: Who’s shaking things up (Week ending January 3, 2016)

fintech startups shaking things up

[alert type=yellow ]Every week, Tradestreaming highlights startups in the news, making things happen. The following is just part of this week’s news roundup. You can get these updates delivered direct to your inbox by signing up for the Tradestreaming newsletter.[/alert]

Protect your downside and follow these 20 top insurance startups in 2016 (Tradestreaming)
Our list of the top insurance technology, or insurtech, startups to keep an eye on this year.

2015 Automated Platform Performance Review: Betterment vs. Wealthfront (Meb Faber)
Meb Faber with some good analysis on how Betterment performed this year vs. Wealthfront (and where Schwab and Vanguard come in)

San Francisco-based Credit Karma acquires mobile notification startup Snowball (BizJournals)
Snowball acts as a universal inbox for all incoming chats. “We’re seeing a huge movement of consumers toward mobile, particularly in younger demographics. Android is a key platform for us,” Credit Karma Chief Technology Officer Ryan Graciano told TechCrunch. “And these guys have really amazing experience on Android, in particular.”

Startups raising/Investors investing

Digital financial advice firm NextCapital raises $16M in funding (Chicago Tribune)
Chicago-based NextCapital, which helps financial institutions offer automated financial advice for investors, said Thursday it had raised $16 million in Series B financing.

AXA Strategic Ventures invests in four startups (PEHub)
AXA Strategic Ventures said it made four new investments during the second half of 2015. They include Bee, a mobile-first, in-person bank; Price Method, a predictive analytics company; GoldBean, which provides advice, education and low-cost trading for financial beginners; and CoPromote, a programmatic influencer marketing platform.

Ayannah raises $3M (Deal Street Asia)
The firm announced last October that it intends to offer the full stack of digital payment platform from payments, commerce, analytics, to spur financial inclusion in emerging markets like the Philippines.

5 trends we’re watching this week

5 trends in finance this week

[alert type=yellow ]Every week at Tradestreaming, we’re tracking and analyzing the top trends impacting the finance industry. The following is a list of important things going on we think are worth paying attention to. For more in depth trendfollowing, subscribe to Tradestreaming’s weekly newsletter (published every Sunday).[/alert]

1. Tradestreaming’s 2016 list of the top 20 insurance startups (Tradestreaming)
Insurance technology, or insurtech, startups are popping up everywhere and a handful of them have raised significant capital. Who’s on their way to success in the space? We put together a list of 20 (+5 honorable mentions) top insurance startups in 2016.

2. 10 B-School Experts Reveal Predictions For Finserv Disruption (BusinessBecause)
10 B-school professors weigh in on where they think innovation is headed in financial services

3. Bitcoin is Entering the Age of Practicality (CoinDesk)
The blockchain is essentially a database. It may be the Liam Neeson of databases, but still it’s a database.This new age of practicality must be filled with companies solving real problems – problems that could not be solved before the gift Satoshi left for us (before returning to his alternate dimension)

4. What’s Expected for Fintech 2016? A Special Roundtable [AUDIO] (Bank Innovation)
What does 2016 hold in store for fintech, payments, and banking innovation? Matt Harris, managing director of Bain Capital Ventures, and Brian Roemmele, CEO of Pay Finders and a noted payments analyst, joined Bank Innovation to discuss just that

5. Can Fintech Fix Financial Services? (TechCrunch)
“The thing most in need of innovation in the financial sector is the nagging feeling on the part of the everyday customer that somewhere, somehow, he is getting screwed”

Protect your downside and follow these 20 top insurance startups in 2016

top insurance startups

Insurance as an industry has been one of the last to be reimagined in the Internet era. That’s all changing now: entrepreneurs and institutions are investing heavily to turn out the next generation of insurance companies from the ground up. Institutional capital is betting that this new class of insurance companies will make a dent in the multi-trillion insurance industry.

Industry experts like Santander’s Pascal Bouvier point to insurance tech as one of the last, and ripest, fields for investment capital in 2016. Indeed, in 2015, over $800 million of risk capital was invested into startups in the insurance technology, now called, insurtech, space.
2015 insurance tech investment trends

Here’s a quick rundown on the state of fintech, investments, and the digital disruption of the insurance industry:

    • The US insurance industry accounts for $1 trillion, or approximately 7 percent, of gross domestic product (US Treasury)
    • At $831.5 million, investment in insurance tech this year is already up nearly 10 times what it was in 2010 (CBInsights)
    • 1 in 4 insurance agents will be gone by 2018 (Insurance Business America)
    • 47 percent of households couldn’t cover an emergency expense of $400 (Report on Economic Well-Being)

Insurance technology is a broad field that includes all different types of insurance, distributors, risk and regulatory managers, big data and enabling technology.

map of the insurance technology startup field

One of the things that makes this surge in interest and money backing insurtech startups is that it’s bring driven by outsiders. The same disruptive force emanating from Silicon Valley that’s changing transportation and logistics (Uber), music consumption and distribution (Spotify), and travel and lodging (Airbnb) is now turning its sights on one of the oldest and largest economic sectors: insurance. We’ve seen both industry insiders and talented outsiders enter the industry and expect that trend to continue.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 20 insurance startups worth keeping tabs on throughout 2016. Compiling top lists are tough — like in most fields, there are way more than 20 companies that deserve such recognition.  The methodology we used in compiling this list included startups who’ve raised over $2 million, had a strong signal ranking on AngelList, and had a relatively robust Crunchbase profile. We also attempted to create a broad list that was inclusive of different approaches to impacting the insurance industry and therefore, we limited the number of startups doing something similar (say, direct distribution to consumers, for example). So, to that extent, this is a subjective list. For those that didn’t quite fit but were worth noting, we created an Honorable Mention category at the end of the list.

Top Insurance Startups

View more lists from Zack Miller

Photo credit: Ninian Reid via Visual Hunt / CC BY