French insurtech firm Descartes Underwriting plans Singapore office

Descartes Underwriting plans to open offices in Singapore and New York.
Descartes Underwriting plans to open offices in Singapore and New York.PHOTO: DESCARTESUNDERWRITING.COM

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Paris-based insurtech company Descartes Underwriting has raised US$18.5 million (S$25.2 million) in Series A funding, which will be used to support its global expansion to the United States and Asia, including Singapore.

The round was co-led by venture capital firms Serena and Cathay Innovation, which joined existing investor BlackFin Capital Partners. The start-up previously raised US$2.5 million in seed funding from BlackFin.

With the fresh injection, Descartes Underwriting plans to open offices in Singapore and New York, it said in a press statement on Friday (Sept 11).

It will also use the funds to grow its product range, target larger deals and deepen its technology capabilities and data science team.

Descartes Underwriting chief executive and co-founder Tanguy Touffut said: "This is a good time to further expand our footprint. Non-life insurance is going through an existential crisis due to the growing impact of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to large losses, the sector is suffering from a lack of trust."

Founded in 2018, Descartes Underwriting offers parametric insurance and other policies to protect companies and governments against natural catastrophes and emerging risks. It aims to disrupt the industry by using new technologies and data science to "challenge traditional insurance models".

The start-up said it works with corporate brokers to design and underwrite "innovative, bespoke and affordable" insurance solutions.