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Swiss insurtech grape raises $1.8M for rethinking approach to employee insurance

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Swiss insurtech grape, also known as the neoinsurer for employee insurances, has raised CHF 1.7 million ($1.8m) in a pre-seed funding round to expand its digital insurance product and grow the team. 

The round was led by Swiss venture capital firm Wingman Ventures, with participation from the FinTech funds Tomahawk.VC and DD Venture Capital.

The insurtech startup provides its own digital employee insurances to enterprise customers bundled with a B2B SaaS product that saves the insured companies time managing their coverages and claims. Moreover, grape claims to be the first insurer to directly reinvest into prevention services supporting the health of their customer’s employees through their benefits and paid therapy sessions.

Founded in November 2021 by Gregory Inauen and Fabian Mächler, grape has obtained its insurance license as an MGA and allows their customers to enable a combination of automations that reduce administrative work, such as for claiming, reporting, and payroll adjustments. So far grape has built over 20 integrations into different HR tools which can be synced within seconds with their platform. All the employees that are covered with grape can access a wide range of benefits, coachings and therapy sessions to improve their physical and mental health.

“grape is the first employee insurer built around a full-stack technology platform and a relentless focus on being more than just an insurance”, says Gregory Inauen, Co-founder of grape.

Lukas Weder, Founding Partner of Wingman Ventures states: ”The Insurtech world finds itself still in its early days. However, the insurance sector is one of the largest industries globally that now shows clear signs that new massive businesses can emerge. Grape’s approach to fully digitizing and automating the underwriting and claims handling process by integrating their technology into their customer’s processes is precisely what insurance customers expect from the next generation of insurance products.”

The group insurances for health, accident and life reached a market size of over $5tn in 2021. But it’s also an industry ripe for disruption — a few massive insurance giants dominate most companies’ employee benefit packages, and they’re grape’s main competitors. The big giants are considerably lagging behind. Much of the work in this sector is still done manually, through paperwork, phone calls which leads to delays, mistakes and intransparency. Traditional insurer do not only waste time and money managing their sick leave policies, accident claims and pensions plans, but through all these manual processes they also lack data to improve their underwriting and are mainly focused on fighting claims rather than preventing them in the first place. Recently, London-based YuLife also raised $120M to disrupt the $6T life insurance industry.

Meanwhile, the Zurich-based insurtech grape uses technology not only to provide a simple and better solution to all of these problems and inefficiencies but also to prevent them in the first place. De facto, the startup is aiming, on one side, to make insurance processes as streamlined and efficient as possible and additionally, if not most importantly, to go beyond insurance and be a health partner that supports the team’s mental and physical well-being in a way that will prevent leaves, burnouts, and lost costs. With the technology at its core, grape embarks on the mission to reinvent employee insurances.

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