Descartes raises $120m Series B, plans for parametric growth

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Descartes Underwriting, the insurance technology (insurtech) focused managing general agency (MGA) that specialises in parametric and data-driven risk transfer products, is planning for further growth, having successfully secured a huge vote of confidence by raising a $120 million Series B round.

descartes-underwriting-logoDescartes Underwriting was launched in early 2019, focusing on parametric risk transfer and leveraging advanced technology in order to create new commercial insurance and reinsurance solutions.

The parametric, data-driven MGA raised around $2.5 million in seed funding from fintech-focused venture investing firm BlackFin Capital Partners in early 2019.

The parametric risk transfer and insurance specialist then raised $18.5 million in Series A funding in September 2020, from leading global venture capital firms Serena, Cathay Innovation and once again BlackFin Capital Partners.

Today, Descartes has announced a successful $120 million Series B funding round, providing the company significant growth capital and runway to execute on it.

Growth equity investment company Highland Europe led the Series B raise for Descartes, alongside international investment firm Eurazeo.

Existing investors Serena, Cathay Innovation and Blackfin Capital Partners all participated, as did new investors in Descartes, Seaya Ventures and Mundi Ventures.

“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,” Tanguy Touffut, CEO and co-founder of Descartes Underwriting commented.

“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 company plans to use the new financing to support its ambition to become a category leader in corporate insurance worldwide.

Descartes aims to scale up its approach to corporate and public entity risk exposures, expand its technology platform, grow the business into new lines of underwriting and targeting larger deals, all while continuing to expand around the world and enhance service for its brokers and clients.

Descartes Underwriting already offers parametric products, developed by its dedicated in-house team of 50 engineers and data scientists, to a diverse portfolio of more than 200 corporate clients including many Fortune 500 companies.

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 said, “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, stated, “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.”

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