Estonian-led insurance startup Zego becomes a unicorn

Commercial motor insurer Zego – a London, UK-based company that’s led and co-founded by an Estonian – has become a unicorn, having raised USD150 million and is now valued at USD1.1 billion.

The company has also become the first insurtech unicorn in the United Kingdom, it said in a statement.

The funding round was led by DST Global and includes other new backers such as General Catalyst, whose founder Joel Cutler joins Zego’s board. “All of Zego’s existing investors followed on in the latest round, including TransferWise founder, Taavet Hinrikus, also on Zego’s board, as well as Target Global, Balderton Capital and Latitude, among others,” the company said. TransferWise – now rebranded as Wise – is another Estonian-founded unicorn that’s based in London.

Zego is a commercial motor insurance company aimed at businesses – from self-employed rideshare drivers and riders to entire fleets of vehicles. According to the company, it combines “technology with multiple data sources to offer insurance products that save businesses time and money”.

Zego’s platform.

“Since its inception, Zego has believed the problem with traditional insurance is that it holds businesses back. It’s too expensive and time consuming, and it no longer suits businesses who use vehicles to earn money. Zego’s products represent a solution to this problem for businesses based across the UK, Europe and beyond,” according to the company.

Over 17 million insurance policies

“Zego offers a range of cover options from flexible pay-as-you-go insurance to annual policies, and so far, has provided more than 17 million insurance policies and covered more than 200,000 vehicles in five countries,” the company says.

“It is clear that the way people use vehicles is undoubtedly changing, and what’s become ever more apparent is that the traditional, rigid model of insurance is no longer fit for purpose. We founded Zego to offer a more effective solution for customers, and with the support of our amazing backers and the work of our team, we are in the best possible position to expand this offering on a global scale,” the Estonian CEO and co-founder of the company, Sten Saar, said in a statement.

Zego’s team in London in 2019. Photo by Zego.

It has now raised more than USD200 million since launching in 2016.

The company says it will use the latest round of investment to accelerate its growth, starting with an expansion into new markets and deeper penetration across Europe. It will also continue to invest in its team, especially across product, engineering and data science, as it aims to double headcount by the end of 2021.

Cover: Zego’s CEO and co-founder, Sten Saar. Photos by Alun Callender.

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