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Kin, a Chicago-based startup that aims to match customers in disaster-prone regions with home insurance policies, today announced that it’s raised $47 million in funding from August Capital, with participation from Hudson Structured Capital Management (HSCM Bermuda), Avanta, and UChicago Startup Investment Program. The fresh funds bring the company’s total raised to over $60 million as it gears up for the launch of an insurance carrier in Florida, the Kin Interinsurance Network.
“We wanted to be able to control all aspects of the customer experience, and the best way to do that was to launch a carrier,” said Kin cofounder and CEO Sean Harper. “We have a team of the best insurance minds in the business guiding our path, and we believe in what we’re doing: taking the difficulty and high cost out of home insurance and focusing on what really matters — taking care of the homeowner.”
Kin was founded in 2016 by Harper, Lucas Ward, Jason Heidkamp, and Sebastian Villarreal, who hail from such startups and tech giants as Groupon, Rippleshot, Bright Policy, and Avant. The bulk of its efforts focus on addressing pain points in the home insurance application pipeline, including (but not limited to) pricing, customer care, and underwriting.
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When users visit Kin’s website, email its support staff, or call its hotline to obtain quotes on home, flood, hurricane, landlord, or mobile home insurance policies, they simply provide their home address, at which point Kin’s algorithms consider thousands of publicly available data points to assess their property. Then it offers a few suggested coverage recommendations, at which point the homeowner chooses the policy they want and arranges payment.
Kin partners with water detection sensor manufacturers to offer deals on products that monitor usage and prevent leaks, and in Florida, it extends its customers wind mitigation credits. Additionally, the company has inked deals with home security vendors to cut policyholders a discount on home protection and monitoring services.
In addition to its policy-writing Florida carrier, Kin is a registered managing general agent and brokerage in Texas, Georgia, and Alabama, operating from Chicago (with an office in Tampa Bay). It intends to expand across the U.S. in the coming years, buoyed by this latest capital infusion.
“We are excited to partner with Kin to create a sustainable source of capacity to support growth and geographic expansion within underserved coastal homeowners’ markets,” said HSCM Bermuda vice president Andrew Sagon. “The Kin team is responding directly to the needs of its growing customer base by developing insurance products that are well-underwritten, distributed efficiently online, and supported by excellent customer service.”
Kin’s previous investors include Flourish, Picus Capital, Sandalphon Capital, 500 Startups, Commerce Ventures, August Capital, Chicago Ventures, Nameless Ventures, Omidyar Network, and Portag3 Ventures, and angels from tech and finance companies like Avant, Square, Capital One, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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