Weatherford Capital’s investment in an Ohio-based insurance company propelled the startup to unicorn status.
Branch, a comprehensive insurance company, announced a $147 million Series C financing led by Weatherford Capital, bringing Branch’s valuation to $1.05 billion.
The insurance company, which uses data, technology and automation, was launched in 2019 with the aim of harnessing the power of the community to make home and auto insurance more affordable.
“Companies that simplify solutions to our greatest needs will have a competitive advantage in our economy, and Branch is doing just that. Branch is disrupting the insurance market by increasing the accessibility and affordability of insurance for all Americans and we look forward to being part of the solution,” said the Managing Partner of Weatherford Capital. Will Weatherford said in a statement.
Participating new and existing investors include Acrew, AmFam Ventures, Anthemis, Gaingels, Greycroft, HSCM Ventures, Narya, SignalFire and Tower IV.
“Consumers are frustrated with escalating insurance costs resulting from outdated business models and complex processes,” Steve Lekas, co-founder and CEO of Branch, said in a statement. “We believe that by reintroducing the power of community through data and technology, we can reduce the cost of insurance while returning it to its original purpose: a force for the common good.”
The announcement follows an expansion to nine new states in 2022, making Branch’s insurance available in 28 states. The branch has increased its annualized written premium by 1,300% year over year over the past 12 months.
Branch has also partnered with players in the mortgage, automotive and home security industry, including Homepoint, OpenRoad Lending and SimpliSafe.
“For too long, the insurance industry has been plagued by an overly expensive approach to customer acquisition, which has driven up the price of insurance. Branch’s model helps ensure that insurance is accessible to all, David Seider, director of Weatherford Capital, said in a statement. “We are thrilled with this partnership and look forward to seeing Branch quickly and efficiently roll out affordable, high-quality nationwide insurance that all Americans deserve.”