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Insurtech startup with St. Pete connections raises $35 million

Margie Manning

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Photo credit: http://401kcalculator.org

Kin Insurance, an insurance technology company with a growing presence in St. Petersburg, has raised $35 million in a Series B funding round.

Kin plans to use the new funding for a national rollout of its Kin Interinsurance Network for homeowners policies. The Kin Interinsurance Network, piloted in Florida, is a reciprocal exchange, or a form of insurance company that shares underwriting profits with customers.

Kin is based in Chicago and opened an office in St. Petersburg last year. The company now has nine employees in the St. Pete office and is currently hiring in both St. Petersburg and in Chicago.

One reason Kin was drawn to St. Petersburg was to attract staff members who are used to working in catastrophe-exposed states like Florida, the company told the St. Pete Catalyst in an interview last year.

The company uses technology to reduce risk.

Kin’s proprietary platform allows the company to develop and launch new products in as little as a week, price risks in real time, and ingest more data than competitors, according to a news release. The technology also reduces general and administrative expenses, which make up about 15 percent of premiums at legacy homeowner’s insurance companies.

Kin sells its products directly to consumers rather than through outside agents. Traditional insurers spend about 17 percent of premiums paying outside agents and maintaining the infrastructure to support them, and Kin eliminates those costs by selling directly to consumers.

By structuring as a reciprocal exchange, Kin aligns its interests with those of policyholders. Because policyholders actually own the exchange, they benefit when claims are low and have a voice in what the company does, the news release said.

The latest funding was led by Commerce Ventures with participation from Hudson Structured Capital Management Ltd. (doing its reinsurance business as HSCM Bermuda), Flourish Ventures, QED, Alpha Edison, Allegis NL Capital, Avanta Ventures (the venture arm of CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer), August Capital, the University of Chicago via its Startup Investment Program, and others, the news release said. The round brings Kin’s total funding to date to $86 million.

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