Fintech Startup Next Insurance Hires Former Airbnb Executive as CFO

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Teodora Gouneva was previously the travel platform’s vice president of finance

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Next Insurance has raised $881 million from investors since its founding in 2016, including a recent $250 million round in March that valued the company at $4 billion. The company does not have immediate plans to pursue a public listing, but said it may do so at a later time, Chief Executive Guy Goldstein said.

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Among Ms. Gouneva’s priorities in her new job are assessing the company’s accounting processes and looking for ways to support its growth in the coming years, she said. Next Insurance plans by offering tailored insurance policies for new industries and by offering insurance through partnerships with software platforms whose clients include small businesses. For example, it is currently Toast. provides insurance through Inc.,

A restaurant software provider.

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Next Insurance is one of several insurtech startups aiming to digitize the industry by selling online insurance directly to customers. Large insurers serving commercial clients mostly work through agents and historically haven’t made their products easily accessible online, said Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, vice president and analyst at research and advisory firm Gartner. Inc.

That business model is suitable for large corporate clients, but smaller businesses are often difficult to navigate, she said.

He said startups like Next Insurance have catered to small-business customers by offering digital products tailored to certain industries, such as restaurants. “They have realized that small business owners look and feel and act like a consumer,” said Ms Harris-Ferrante.

The company, which is not yet profitable, generated $650 million in gross written premiums in 2021, up from $200 million in 2020.

Next Insurance has about 300,000 customers in all 50 US states and Washington, DC, more than double that at the end of 2020, the company said. It acquired digital insurer AP Intego last year for an undisclosed amount.

Ms. Gouneva replaced Michelle Cheung, who had been Next Insurance’s CFO for nearly four years. Ms. Cheung now serves as the company’s Chief Corporate Officer, where she leads its Legal, Human Resources and Operations divisions.

In Ms. Gouneva, Next Insurance has hired an executive who has worked in finance at companies that have transitioned from fast-growing startups to established public companies, said Michael Brown, of venture-capital firm Battery Ventures. said a general partner. The firm was one of several investors, including founders Circle Capital and FinTLV Ventures, that participated in Next Insurance’s March 2021 funding round.

Write Kristin Broughton at [email protected]


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