Should we be worried about insurtech valuations? – TechCrunch

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Welcome again to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets publication. It’s impressed by what the weekday Exchange column digs into, however free, and made to your weekend studying. Want it in your inbox each Saturday? Sign up here.

Hello everybody, I hope you had a stunning week. I turned 32 after experiencing sleep-destroying heartburn. So, somewhat good and somewhat unhealthy. But that didn’t cease the markets. Nope. Not a bit. Which means we have quite a bit to speak about, together with falling insurtech shares and what the state of affairs may imply for startups, and a raft of IPOs. This will be enjoyable!

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of our chats with newly public firms Kaltura, Couchbase and Enovix, let’s discuss insurtech.

In the final yr or so we’ve seen plenty of insurtech startups go public, including Root (auto insurance coverage), Metromile (automobile insurance coverage), and Lemonade (rental insurance coverage). Here’s a fast digest of how their efficiency seems to be at this time:

  • Root: $7.72 per share, 71.4% down from its $27 per share IPO value.
  • Metromile: $7.26 per share, down 64.4% from its post-combination highs.
  • Lemonade: $86.97 per share, up 199.9% from its IPO value of $29 per share.

Recall that Root and Metromile started to commerce after Lemonade, so their declines are usually not over an extended time horizon, however a shorter interval. Which makes the state of affairs all of the extra attention-grabbing.

What’s happening? Well, two of the three insurtech public choices (SPACs, IPOs, and so on.) are sharply underwater. That doesn’t bode extremely properly for Hippo, which is pursuing its own SPAC-led combination that ought to be wrapping up in brief order. The large declines don’t appear bullish for insurtech startups, who should reply private-market investor doubts regarding their worth.

Does Lemonade’s robust post-IPO efficiency allay issues? It’s tough. The firm has been busy increasing into new markets, together with auto insurance coverage. The firm did take a considerably materials hit from the Texas freeze earlier this yr — per its most recent earnings report — however previous these two information factors it’s not fully clear what the corporate is doing that the opposite two are usually not. But buyers are stoked about Lemonade, and never Root and Metromile. Figuring out why that’s the case, and why their startup is extra Lemonade than the opposite two, goes to be key for the various insurtech startups nonetheless scaling towards their very own IPOs.

It’s IPO season

The Exchange has been busy on the telephones these final two weeks, speaking to CEOs of firms going public to try to study from their latest experiences. So, what follows are notes from calls with people at Kaltura, Couchbase and Enovix. Enjoy!


  • Reminder: Online-video-focused Kaltura filed to go public earlier this yr earlier than delaying its IPO and taking another run at the funding event.
  • The Exchange spoke with Kaltura CEO Ron Yekutiel, who stated that the corporate’s IPO’s timing was impacted by the early-2021 public market turmoil. That was not a shock, but it surely was good to get affirmation regardless.
  • That freeze was partially attributable to the Archegos implosion, per Yekutiel. That is sensible, however was information to us.
  • Yekutiel stated that his firm wasn’t thrilled about the delay — going public is the one fundraise that you simply pre-announce, he famous — however added that buyers his firm had already spoken to the first-time round have been nonetheless enthused about Kaltura on its second run at an IPO.
  • Per the CEO, Kaltura’s preliminary Q2 results confirmed buyers that what it was speaking about earlier within the yr was coming true. He additionally harassed uptake in new merchandise as key to the corporate’s continued progress.
  • The CEO was proud of how his firm priced and traded throughout its first day, snagging a flat 20% uptick in worth upon buying and selling. He famous that extra would have been extreme, and fewer would have been un-good.
  • Regarding the decrease valuation that Kaltura priced at in comparison with its March-era IPO value vary, Yekutiel stated that you simply don’t get a 3rd likelihood to make a primary impression and that his firm wished to get the providing completed. So they did. Points for not getting misplaced in their very own head.
  • Kaltura is up 17.5% from its $10 per-share IPO value as of the time of writing.

One anecdote, if I’ll. Kaltura received an early TechCrunch40 — the precursor to the TechCrunch50 occasion, itself a predecessor to at this time’s TechCrunch Disrupt convention collection — due to a single vote solid through bodily token. Yekutiel nonetheless has that token, and confirmed it to us throughout our chat. Neat!


  • The Exchange spoke with noSQL database firm Couchbase’s CEO Matt Cain. Couchbase priced at $24 per share, above its $20 to $23 per-share IPO value vary.
  • Today it’s value $33.20, rising 9.2% in at this time’s buying and selling as of the time of writing.
  • Cain was speaking from a reasonably strict script — a reasonably commonplace state of affairs amongst newly public CEOs worried about fucking up and going to jail — so we didn’t get the exact solutions we have been searching for. But we nonetheless managed to study a number of issues, together with that Couchbase was yet one more firm that discovered the assembly density made doable by distant roadshows to be accretive.
  • The CEO was targeted on discussing the dimensions of the chance forward of Couchbase, particularly the world of operational databases. It’s exhausting to discover a greater market, he argued, which made buyers excited about what his firm may be capable of accomplish. Our learn right here is that there’s most likely loads of floor space for startups within the database world, if the market is as huge as Cain reckons it’s.
  • We wished to study a bit extra about how public-market buyers view open-source powered firms, however didn’t get an excessive amount of from him on the matter. Still, the corporate’s IPO is a reasonably rattling robust one, implying that being OSS-built isn’t precisely a detriment to an organization hoping to exit.


  • The Exchange wished to speak with newly public firm Enovix as a result of it debuted through a SPAC. Why does that matter? Because there are different battery-focused firms seeking to go public through SPACs. So, the chat was good background for later work.
  • And we love speaking to public firms. Who doesn’t?
  • Asked if combination-and-trade-under-new-ticker-symbol day was like an IPO to his agency, Rust stated that it was. Fair sufficient.
  • The firm’s mixture date for its SPAC slipped from Q2 to Q3, we seen. Why was that? Some SEC modifications concerning accounting, in brief. Not a giant deal was our impression from the chat, however one which did trigger a slight delay to Enovix’s buying and selling date.
  • Why go public through a SPAC? Cash, but in addition the actual sponsor of their mixture, which Rust stated was a key useful resource when it comes to operational data. The firm has additionally employed from its SPAC sponsor’s community, which felt notable. (Hey look, precise investor value-add!)
  • Asked why his firm is value lower than the impending SES SPAC, one other battery firm that has but to generate income, Rust stated that the worth of his firm in its SPAC deal was a negotiation, and that if the corporate is profitable, whether or not it was valued at $1.1 billion or $1.4 billion wouldn’t actually matter.
  • What’s enjoyable about Enovix is that it’s not beginning with its impending battery tech geared toward EVs. Instead, it’s focusing on high-end electronics. Why? Quick cycles to get batteries into {hardware} and doable pricing energy. It does intend to get into EVs in time, nonetheless.
  • The firm is value $17.33 per share, giving it what Yahoo Finance describes as a $2.5 billion valuation. That’s a great markup from what it anticipated and will bode properly for SES’s personal, future debut.

Yo, that was a lot. Thanks for sticking with me. And thanks for studying The Exchange’s little publication. You can catch up on all our work here if you would like some long-form reads on the worldwide enterprise capital market, edtech and different matters. Stay cool!

Your buddy,


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