Policygenius sets sights on SPAC merger

The news: US-based insurance comparison marketplace Policygenius is reportedly eyeing a merger with SPAC PWP Forward Acquisition Corp. I to go public, per Bloomberg. No valuation for the transaction has been disclosed, and conversations appear to be at early stages and could fall apart, according to people familiar with the matter.

More on Policygenius: The marketplace has 30 million users and offers a range of coverage options from third-party insurers, including home, auto, and life. It raised $100 million in January 2020 and grew its annualized revenues to $60 million as of early 2020, a 10-fold increase since 2017. Just last week, Policygenius teamed up with robo-advisor Ellevest to offer life insurance fulfillment to Ellevest customers through the insurtech’s online marketplace.

Why a SPAC? Reports about Policygenius considering an initial public offering (IPO) in the near future emerged last month, but that no longer seems to be the case—here’s why:

  • Timing: Policygenius hasn’t said why it would instead be looking into a SPAC, but it could want to go to the market faster than an IPO would allow.
  • SPAC availability: Funds raised via US SPACs in 2021 totaled $87.9 billion as of March, already exceeding the $83.4 billion from all of last year. This suggests that Policygenius had a wide range of options for which company is the best fit for a merger.
  • Product roadmap: Policygenius has plans to offer insurance policies of its own, according to co-founder and CEO Jennifer Fitzgerald, and a SPAC could quickly provide the necessary capital for such a venture, which would boost the insurtech’s revenues in the long run, giving it a diversified revenue stream beyond commissions while also setting it apart from competitors The Zebra and Insureon.

The bigger picture: SPACs aren’t leaving the insurtech space anytime soon.

Health insurtech Clover Health and auto insurtech Metromile both went public via SPACs earlier this year, and more are following: Home insurtech Hippo will go public via a $5 billion SPAC merger, and home insurtech Kin Insurance is looking for a similar exit with blank check company ​​Omnichannel Acquisition Corp.