Sequoia Invests in Lemons, Without the Lemonade

On Tuesday, Lemonade, the world’s first P2P insurance carrier, received a hefty $13 million round of investment from Sequoia Capital, marking the firm’s largest seed investment ever. With little to no details about how the company plans to “reinvent the very structure and business model of insurance” (quotes Shreiber), Sequoia is undoubtedly investing in its founders, CEO Daniel Shreiber and CTO Shai Wininger. The sheer magnitude of the investment cannot be overlooked.

What makes this co-founding duo so impressive? Schreiber served as the president of mobile charging technology company, Powermat, which acquired PowerKiss in 2013. Wininger is well-known for his large footprint on the internet marketplace as founder of Fiverr which raised $110 million in funding. Match these two with peer-to-peer technology, which is at the heart of successful companies such as Uber and Airbnb, but this time with insurance, investors are expecting big things. There are not too many startups willing to delve into the highly regulated and complex nature of the insurance industry, but these entrepreneurs are not scared to disrupt the space.

Sequoia Capital partner Haim Sadger said in a statement, “It is very unusual for a company to receive $13 million in an initial round of funding. But it is rarer still to find such accomplished founders tackling such a sizable industry with such a compelling solution.Ԡ

Many questions are left unanswered and it will be interesting to see how Lemonade differentiates from other startups in the field such as Friendsurance. For now, we have golden lemons. But will the lemonade be sweet or sour?

ZirraDecember 9, 2015