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Avanta Ventures (Mountain View, Calif.), the venture capital arm of CSAA Insurance Group, has announced a $225M early-stage Fund II, bringing its assets under management to over $300M.
Avanta Ventures’ primary investment sectors are InsurTech, mobility, and risk-adjacent sectors such as fintech, cybersecurity, smart home, and applied artificial intelligence. Avanta Ventures says it prioritizes innovative business models that attract emerging customer segments and invests $1M-$10M in early-stage companies at the Seed, Series A and Series B stages, with the ability to lead deals, while also reserving significant capital for follow-on investment to continue to support its portfolio.
“We’re looking to connect with new and aspiring companies that have built a differentiated product,” comments Sanjiv Parikh, managing partner, Avanta Ventures. “We’re ready to talk with promising startups where we can add value and help them progress to their next stages, driving growth for the portfolio company and for CSAA.”
Avanta Ventures reports that its investment team has over 50 years of combined venture capital and entrepreneurial operating experience. Parikh, as well as Avanta Ventures Partner Steve Bernardez, have been repeatedly included on the annual Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist of the top 100 corporate venture groups worldwide. Additionally, Avanta Ventures team members David Li and Pooja Shah have been named two of this year’s Global Corporate Venturing Top 50 Rising Stars, selected from almost 20,000 industry professionals.
Unique Value via Partnership Engagement
“When we founded Avanta Ventures in 2017, I envisioned a venture arm that would leverage the external startup ecosystem to amplify CSAA’s innovation strategy and capabilities,” says Debbie Brackeen, chief strategy and innovation officer, CSAA Insurance Group. “Avanta Ventures has allowed us to invest in companies where we add unique value via partnership engagement with CSAA’s product, operations, marketing and distribution units.”
Avanta Ventures is part of Brackeen’s strategy to bring all of CSAA’s innovation functions under one roof, enabling accelerated growth for CSAA, according to a statement from the venture entity.
Avanta Ventures’ Fund I was a $75M fund in 2017 focusing on early-stage companies in the Seed and Series A stages. The Fund I portfolio includes companies such as:
Cowbell, which delivers standalone, state-admitted cyber insurance. Its AI-powered continuous underwriting platform maps threats and risk exposure to coverages and enables agents to deliver policies tailored to the unique needs of each customer in less than five minutes.
Kin Insurance: an insurtech startup that uses public data and machine learning to simplify homeowners insurance, leveraging thousands of data points to recommend the appropriate coverage for every home.
RapidSOS provides an emergency platform connecting IoT devices to first responders and 911 dispatch centers across the United States. RapidSOS’s delivery of accurate location and other data to 911 dispatchers enables faster emergency responses to save lives, according to Avanta Ventures.
In addition to its venture fund investments, Avanta Ventures operates an accelerator called Avanta Studios. The accelerator works with pre-seed companies to help them achieve key milestones, such as product market fit, customer and partner engagement, and initial institutional venture financing. Numerous Avanta Studios participants have gone on to raise venture capital, including Delos Insurance, which received seed investment from Avanta Ventures.