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American Family Insurance to Acquire Small Business Insurtech Bold Penguin

2021-01-14 17:58:46

Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance acquires insurtech company Bold Penguin that serves small businesses.

Bold Penguin's digital exchange is used by insurance agents, brokers and other distributors to match, quote and bind policies from a range of insurers. Bold Penguin reduces the complexity of buying insurance for small business.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, the insurtech will become a subsidiary of the American Family Insurance group, pending regulatory approval and closure.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

The announcement said Bold Penguin will maintain its name and business model, "operating with a relentless commitment to neutrality and confidentiality with its insurers, brokers and agents."

American Family plans to grow Bold Penguin's platform, which offers options from multiple insurers. American Family agency owners will also be able to use the platform with a range of products available specifically for them.

Ilya Bodner, founder and CEO of Bold Penguin, Ben Clarke, co-founder and chief data officer, as well as other leaders and employees will remain with the company.

Bill Westrate, American Family president and CEO-elect, welcomed the founders and employees of Bold Penguin: "Like American Family, they believe that innovating and collaborating with others is the best way to meet the broad needs of customers."

Fabian Fondriest, president of the American Family Direct companies that sell products online and through partners, said Bold Penguin will have the "autonomy and support to fulfill his important roles with small businesses and partners."

Last October, Bold Penguin acquired RiskGenius in a deal that the two commercial lines insurtechs said will help increase their reach more than they have been able to do on their own until now. Carrier Management reported. RiskGenius, which also debuted in 2016, offers software that uses artificial intelligence to evaluate a variety of emerging risks across a full portfolio of insurance policies.

A year ago, Bold Penguin also acquired xagent, an independent, single-entry, multi-quote platform for the corporate insurance market for standard and surplus lines.

American Family is the 13th largest P / C insurance group in the country with $ 11.5 billion in direct written premiums at the end of 2019. Auto and home insurance makes up the majority of sales, followed by commercial insurance, with a strong focus on protection for small businesses. and owners of medium-sized businesses and rentals.

"Ultimately, it's about small business customers and their communities," said Westrate. "We recognize the importance of small businesses and we want to do our part to support them."

American Family said it plans to grow Bold Penguin's platform, which offers options from multiple insurers. In addition, American Family agency owners will be able to use the platform with a range of products available specifically for them.

Bold Penguin launched its exchange in 2016 to improve links between small businesses, insurance agencies and insurers, reducing the complexity of the insurance purchasing process for all parties. American Family Ventures, American Family's venture capital firm, was one of the first investors in Bold Penguin.

Since its inception, Bold Penguin has raised more than $ 50 million in capital.

The deal is a new one in a recent series of insurance technology and insurtech-related mergers and acquisitions.

In December, leading insurance technology company Applied Systems agreed to acquire digital insurance technology startup Indio Technologies, a move that will enable Applied Systems to integrate Indio into its popular agency management system Epic.

In November, global insurance broker Aon agreed to acquire CoverWallet, a leading digital insurance platform for small and medium businesses, and insurance broker Brown & Brown acquired CoverHound, a digital property / casualty insurance marketplace, and CyberPolicy, the subsidiary of CoverHound for Small Business.

In August, Insurance Technologies Corp. (ITC), a provider of comparative rating and management software, acquires Columbus, Ohio-based Smart Harbor, which provides digital technology products and services to insurance agents.


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