Digital Insurer Carrot Eyes Unicorn Club as It Raises US $250M & Boosts Its Valuation to Over $850M
South Korean digital insurance carrier Carrot General Insurance today announced it has secured fresh funding of 300 billion Korean won. Led by private equity firm Affirma Capital, the capital will be raised across two connected rounds with wide participation of existing investors. Carrot has successfully closed the initial funding of 175 billion won (US $145 million) past week and the remaining 125 billion (US $105 million) will be raised through the extended round during Q4 this year.
Investors writing a big check reflect their strong confidence in Carrot’s growth prospects considering the current financial landscape is extremely uncertain and unstable. The latest financing is Carrot’s 3rd round of funding and it took just over a year since it last raised $90 million through rights offering. The leading investor Affirma Capital, which has assets under management (AUM) of over $3.6 billion is a PE firm which spun out of Standard Chartered Bank and has deployed over $6.5 billion in 100+ companies globally throughout its 20+ years of investing. A number of investors involved from previous rounds are also participating, including Hanwha Group, Stic Investments, and Altos Ventures. The new share distribution will now give Hanwha 50.6% of voting power, 7.8% for SK Telecom, 3.9% for Tmap Mobility, Hyundai Motor Group 2.7%, Altos Ventures 10.2%, Stic Investments 15.5% and Affirma 9.2%; although the stakes may be adjusted as the extended round closes later current year.
On track to become Korea’s next unicorn
Upon completing its extended round of financing next quarter, Carrot’s valuation will reach 1 trillion won (US $850 million), taking it one step closer to becoming the nation’s first unicorn digital insurer. With the fresh capital, Carrot intends to strengthen its position as a pioneer in the existing market, accelerate its advancement of tech capacity and expansion of in-house pipelines, as well as external open innovation activities. The company anticipates faster rate of growth in coming years and plans to reach break-even by 2024 and go public by 2025.
Richard Moon, the recently named new CEO of Carrot said, “I am delighted to welcome our new investors and thank our existing shareholders for their continued support and confidence in Carrot. We have made very significant milestone while keeping the J-curve growth at even a faster pace, which I believe is driven by surging demand for simple and innovative insurance products to meet evolving customer needs in today’s world.” He continued, “Our big focus will be on agile and open innovation, which will speed up product development and technological innovation to fast-forward the future of insurance.”
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