Softbank leads $120M investment in AI-based insurance startup Lemonade

Lemonade bypasses traditional insurance brokers and relies on bots and machine learning to reduce paperwork and process claims faster.

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Japanese giant Softbank is leading a $120 million Series C funding round in Lemonade, an insurance startup with an AI-based platform powered by bots and machine learning.

Founded in 2015, the New York-based startup claims to be "a purpose-built, technology-first, vertically-integrated and legacy-free insurance carrier" as well as the first peer-to-peer insurance company in the world.

Lemonade offers property and casualty insurance policies for homeowners and renters in eight states and is licensed in 25 states in all. The company bypasses traditional insurance brokers and relies on bots and machine learning to reduce paperwork and process claims faster. Lemonade says it takes a flat fee and donates a portion of unclaimed premiums to nonprofits as part of its annual "Giveback."

Lemonade, which previously raised $60 million in equity funding, counts several high-profile firms as existing investors, including Google Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Joshua Kushner's Thrive Capital. With this investment, the SoftBank Group's David Thevenon will join Lemonade's board.

"SoftBank is an ideal partner for us and we are thrilled to have them on board," said Shai Wininger, president and co-founder of Lemonade. "We share SoftBank's conviction that big data and machine learning are set to profoundly remake our entire industry, and SoftBank has the vision and means to enable this common vision to become a reality."

Softbank has poured billions into startups as part of its aggressive investment strategy that aims to back startups using tech to disrupt industries. Earlier this month, Softbank invested $450 million in Compass, a New York-based real estate technology company.

In October, alongside Chinese giant Tencent, SoftBank was involved in a $1.1 billion investment round of Indian ride-hailing company Ola. Similarly, SoftBank led a $2.5 billion Series G funding round in July of Grab, Uber's biggest Southeast Asian rival.

Meanwhile, SoftBank said last month that it would increase its stake in Sprint, after merger talks with T-Mobile ended unsuccessfully.

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