(Image credit: Christine Sponchia.)
Buckle, a Jersey City, N.J.-based tech-enabled financial services company has raised $60 million through a Series B funding round led by Volery Capital Partners (Greenwich, Conn.) with participation from Eldridge (Greenwich, Conn.), Assurant Ventures, (New York), as well as HSCM Bermuda (Pembroke) and other insiders. As part of this transaction, Buckle reports that Volery Capital Partners will join Buckle’s Board of Directors. In addition to the $60 million in Series B financing, HSCM Bermuda also expanded the Company’s surplus term loan from $10 million to $20 million to provide additional capital to support the premium growth of Buckle’s Gateway Insurance Company. Buckle reports that it has closed over $100 million in debt and equity funding since inception.
Buckle characterizes the fundraise as validating its mission of reimagining financial services for the gig economy and says the capital will help the Company scale its pioneering, full-stack insurance-as-a-service platform as Buckle continues to spearhead innovative financial products for the rising middle class across the U.S.
The Company’s core hybrid auto insurance policy for rideshare and delivery drivers uses data from Transportation Network Company (TNC) platforms to underwrite policies. By using rideshare and delivery data instead of credit scores, Buckle’s says its policy helps close the gap created by conventional insurance policies that leave gig workers underinsured or with higher premiums.
“This new raise helps validate Buckle’s positive momentum across its insurance programs and reinforces our belief in the opportunity for growth the Company faces today,” comments Marty Young, co-founder and CEO, Buckle. “Through our capital efficient, multi-carrier strategy, we’re expanding our digital insurance platform nationwide so that we can offer a range of attractive insurance options to U.S. gig economy workers, many of whom have been considered essential workers throughout the pandemic.”
Acquired, Re-Capitalized Carriers
Buckle also acquired and recapitalized three admitted insurance carriers, Gateway Insurance Company in mid-2020, American Service Insurance Company, and American Country Insurance Company, whose acquisition was announced in May 2021. Through its multi-carrier insurance platform and strategic MGA partnerships, Buckle says it has expanded insurance products for gig workers to include traditional taxi, limousine, rideshare fleets, and non-standard personal auto.
“The pandemic has shown the essential value that gig workers contribute to the broader economy,” comments Manny Citron, managing partner, Volery. “The gig ecosystem is growing rapidly but requires innovative and inclusive financial services to address the needs of this dynamic workforce. We support Buckle’s efforts to reimagine insurance, credit and other financial products for this growing, yet underserved market. We are excited to be part of the journey.”
In addition to launching additional insurance products and partnerships, Buckle has recently introduced an auto financing product to its Members in Georgia which the company says it plans to expand credit to other states soon.