Descartes Underwriting Raises $120 Million to Become a Category Leader in Corporate Insurance Worldwide
January 28, 2022
Highland Europe leads Series B funding round alongside Eurazeo, joining existing investors BlackFin Capital Partners, Serena and Cathay Innovation
Paris, 31 January 2022 – Descartes Underwriting, the InsurTech company specializing in next-generation corporate insurance solutions to address climate and emerging risks, announces a $120 million Series B funding round. Growth equity firm Highland Europe is leading the raise alongside international investment company Eurazeo, with participation of existing investors Serena, Cathay Innovation and Blackfin Capital Partners and new entrants Seaya Ventures and Mundi Ventures. The fresh round of capital comes 18 months after the firm’s $18.5 million Series A funding.
As climate change drives economic losses worldwide, Descartes is disrupting the insurance industry through a growing product offering which covers the full spectrum of natural catastrophes and emerging risk exposures. Descartes’ parametric insurance solutions leverage new data sources combined with AI to drive transformation within an evolving risk landscape, and challenge traditional insurance models.
“The corporate insurance market is undergoing a momentous shift driven by a changing climate, the growing impact of natural catastrophes and a rise in emerging risks”, said Tanguy Touffut, CEO and co-founder of Descartes Underwriting. “Our aim is to be the global leader in delivering truly revolutionary solutions to brokers, corporations and public entities for these evolving exposures. With the support of our partners, we will continue to develop and deploy a new generation of insurance products that are entirely tech-driven, simpler, more transparent and quicker to pay in the event of a loss – adapted for the new risks corporations and governments increasingly face”.
The Series B investment will be used to support Descartes’ ambition to become a category leader in corporate insurance worldwide. The company will use the new financing to scale up its approach to corporate and public entity risk exposures, growing its technology platform, expanding into new lines of business and targeting larger deals, while continuing its global expansion to better serve its brokers and clients.
Founded by a team of leading insurance and reinsurance practitioners, Descartes works with corporate brokers to offer bespoke, cutting-edge and affordable insurance solutions to enable their clients to better manage their exposure to climate-related and emerging risks in all regions across the globe. In less than three years, the company has become the leading corporate InsurTech player worldwide. Through a global network of offices, it offers a full range of parametric products developed by a dedicated team of 50 engineers and data scientists, serving a diverse portfolio of more than 200 corporate clients including many Fortune 500 companies.
Tanguy Touffut added: “We are proud to work with Highland Europe, Eurazeo, Seaya and Mundi Ventures, all of which have incredible track records and an entrepreneurial mindset, making them the perfect match for us to scale with. We are also grateful for the continued support of our existing investors, Blackfin Capital Partners, Serena and Cathay Innovation, each of which has been integral to our incredible success to date.”
Stan Laurent, Partner at Highland Europe commented: “Tanguy, Sébastien and Kevin have developed the most innovative and successful set of insurance products we have seen in the increasingly relevant climate risk sector. We are impressed by their team, culture, set of partners and ambition, and look forward to helping them scale as a global next generation corporate insurance business.”
Guillaume d’Audiffret, Managing Director at Eurazeo, further added: “With climate change and many other emerging risks including most recently the pandemic, corporates and public sector companies are increasingly experiencing the need to access comprehensive and transparent insurance that can cover them efficiently against critical external events. Since its inception three years ago, and thanks to its highly experienced team, Descartes has become a clear category leader in the parametric insurance market. We look forward to supporting Tanguy, Sébastien, Kevin and their full team in redefining the corporate insurance market for the years to come.”
“At Cathay Innovation, we pride ourselves in supporting entrepreneurs rolling out game-changing technologies globally in order to change markets and society for the better. By enabling precise measurements of the great new risks ahead, especially climate-related risks, Descartes Underwriting is strengthening our capacity to face and solve them. Tanguy and his team have shown their ability to lead the world of insurance forward and we’re delighted to renew our trust and support to spread these new best practices still further afield”, concluded Jacky Abitbol, Managing Partner at Cathay Innovation.
About Descartes Underwriting
Offering a new generation of technology-driven parametric insurance, Descartes collaborates with brokers to protect their corporate and public sector clients against the full spectrum of natural catastrophes, extreme weather and emerging risks. Descartes’ covers are uniquely designed to provide cost-effective and fully transparent products that guarantee liquidity via swift and direct payout. Born out of the conviction that climate change calls for a revolutionary approach to insurance, Descartes is structured as an MGA backed by a panel of tier-one risk carriers and can provide $200 million in capacity per policy. Headquartered in Paris, Descartes Underwriting provides parametric solutions to clients globally from its offices based in Singapore, Sydney, New York, Houston, Denver and London. For more information, please visit www.descartesunderwriting.com.
About Cathay Innovation:
Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital partnership, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital, investing in startups at the center of digital revolution across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Its global platform unifies technology investment across continents, investors, entrepreneurs and leading corporations to accelerate startup growth with access to new markets, invaluable industry knowledge and introductions to potential partners from the start. As a multistage fund with over $1.5 billion assets under management and offices across San Francisco, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs and startups positively impacting the world through technology. To learn more, please visit www.cathayinnovation.com or follow us on Twitter @Cathayinnov.
About Highland Europe
Highland Europe invests in exceptional growth-stage software and internet companies. Active in Europe since 2003 as Highland Capital Partners and formally launched in 2012, Highland Europe has raised over €1.8 billion and has invested in companies such as Adjust, AMCS, Camunda, ContentSquare, Featurespace, GetYourGuide, Huel, Jellysmack, Malwarebytes, MatchesFashion, Nexthink, Spot, Supermetrics, WeTransfer, Wolt and Zwift. Highland’s collective history of investments across the US, Europe and China includes 46 IPOs and 19 billion-dollar-plus companies. For more information, please visit https://www.highlandeurope.com/.
Eurazeo is a leading global investment company, with a diversified portfolio of €27 billion in assets under management, including nearly €19.2 billion from third parties, invested in 450 companies. With its considerable private equity, venture capital, private debt as well as real estate and infrastructure asset expertise, Eurazeo accompanies companies of all sizes, supporting their development through the commitment of its nearly 300 professionals and by offering deep sector expertise, a gateway to global markets, and a responsible and stable foothold for transformational growth. Its solid institutional and family shareholder base, robust financial structure free of structural debt, and flexible investment horizon enable Eurazeo to support its companies over the long term.
Eurazeo has offices in Paris, New York, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, London, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Milan and Madrid and is listed on Euronext Paris. ISIN: FR0000121121 – Bloomberg: RF FP – Reuters: EURA.PA. For more information, please visit https://www.eurazeo.com/
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