Insurtech startup SureBright has secured a $2.5 million pre-seed round to hire more staff and build out its embedded insurance and warranty solution.
The startup’s solution enables any e-commerce merchant to begin selling insurance and warranty products in their stores in under 15 minutes.
SureBright has already embedded its app with three Shopify merchants, but sees the potential for growth.
SureBright’s CEO Manish Chauhan told BetaKit that Shopify is “exploding” in terms of e-commerce stories, with more than 10,000 stores generating over $10 million in annual sales currently.
Shopify is a starting point for SureBright, which plans to expand to other platforms.
While Shopify is a starting point for SureBright, the startup is always talking of expanding to other e-commerce platforms. Chauhan said those plans are still in the works, and could be in place by the end of the current quarter.
Motivate Ventures led the round with participation from Panache Ventures, Plug and Play, Simplex Ventures, InsurTech Fund NYC, and other undisclosed investors. The round closed in August.
Kai Jia, co-founder and COO of SureBright, noted that Motivate is experienced in investing in API-based FinTechs. One of Motivate’s investors will be joining SureBright’s board.
Jia also noted Panache’s status as a leading pre-seed investor in Canada. He said SureBright is excited to work with Panache, which he believes will help SureBright capture the Canadian market as quickly as possible.
Currently, SureBright has a staff of 16, and is looking at bringing on more engineers and sales employees. In fact when it comes to the latter, SureBright doesn’t actually have a sales team yet; the startup just began hiring for those roles.
“As we grow our sales and marketing teams, we will have a more organized approach, but until now it’s been one-on-one, getting introductions through connections and meeting them,” Jia said.
That hasn’t prevented the startup from continuing to innovate in the meantime. SureBright plans to launch a warranty program in the third quarter that it describes as a protection-as-a-membership plan for FinTech companies.
The startup claims it will be able to attach a two-year warranty automatically on anything a customer purchases for an annual membership fee. SureBright said that 25 merchants and three FinTech companies have already signed up as customers.
While SureBright claims it doesn’t have any competitors in Canada, only in the United States, at least one other Canadian startup is providing insurance-as-an-API.
Briza raised a $10.2 million CAD Series A round in 2021 as the startup aimed to meet demand for its insurance carrier integrations.
However, Briza’s service differs from SureBright’s in that the former is dealing with commercial insurance rather than retail.
Chauhan said SureBright began working on its idea about a year ago, bootstrapping until this round of funding.
In order to provide its service, SureBright has partnered with four (undisclosed) insurance agencies, two large, and two medium-sized. The startup anticipates signing up additional partners as well.
While insurance companies might underwrite SureBright, the startup sees the future in its technology. “We quickly realized that there’s no way insurance companies will be able to keep up with the fast-growing FinTech and e-commerce startup ecosystem,” Kai said.
He and Chauhan decided they needed to figure out a way to help insurance companies better embed their services into FinTech and e-commerce startups. “That’s what got us started on the idea,” said Kai.
by Peter Sonner