Peter Thiel-backed startup Jetty just raised $25 million in one of the hottest areas of fintech
- Keith Rabois, a member of the so-called "Paypal Mafia," is backing a renters insurance startup, Jetty.
- The New York-based company said this week it raised $25 million in Series B round, led by Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures.
- Jetty offers low-cost insurance for renters. It competes with insurtech startups like Lemonade and insurance giants like State Farm and Geico.
Last year, US based insurtech companies raised $2 billion, a record year, according to Pitchbook.2019 is starting off equally hot. On Wednesday, Jetty, which offers insurance and guarantor services to renters, said it had raised $25 million in its Series B round led by Khosla Ventures. Kholsa partner Keith Rabois, a co-founder of Paypal and an early employee of LinkedIn, is also joining Jetty's board.
Founded in 2015, Jetty has raised a total of $40.5 million over three rounds from investors like Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures and Ribbit Capital.
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The New York-based company plans to use the new cash to establish more partnerships with real estate institutions and upgrade its tech infrastructure, according to Jetty's co-founder and president Luke Cohler.
"That is obviously a significant amount of money that will allow us to continue growing the business, continue investing in the relationships that we're developing with the institutional real estate ecosystem and really go out and lock up more and more of the biggest real estate companies in the country, many of whom we have already signed in the partnership," said Cohler in an interview.
Jetty offers insurance that protect renters against a suite of problems from bedbug infestations to electronic damages. It also offers deposit insurance and lease guarantor services. It's competing against fledgling insurtech startups like Lemonade, as well as insurance giants like State Farm and Geico. But the company distinguishes itself for its offering of products that specifically focus on renters, Cohler said."Companies like Geico don't think about the renters in the same way that we do," he said. "They are focusing on their core product, that is auto insurance. So when we think about the incumbents, no one is paying attention to the renters as a core customer who has unique needs and unique problems to be solved. "
Jetty said its premium sales in real estate insurance have grown by 10 times year over year, but declined to provide figures. A report by the Wall Street Journal said the company's annual premium run rate is under $30 million, citing a source familiar with the situation.