Glow Raises $22.5M Series A to Optimize Insurance for Small Businesses

The digital agency will use the financing to fund innovation in its digital platform, and to expand into more states.

(Image credit: Tim Peterson/Unsplash.)

Glow, a San Francisco-based digital insurance agency for small businesses, has announced that it has closed a $22.5 million round of series A financing led by Cota Capital (San Francisco). AV8 Ventures, Markd, Startup Venture Capital, Maiden Re, and others also participated in the round. The company says the financing will fund innovation in its digital insurance platform, which automates the insurance process for small businesses. Glow uses data to ensure that a business is maintaining the correct coverage for all their insurance needs at a lower cost, not just when they purchase, but every year. Glow says it will also use the investment to expand into more states across the nation, serving small businesses across more vertical industries.

Ben Malka, partner, Cota Capital.

“Glow is changing the landscape for small business insurance,” comments Ben Malka, partner, Cota Capital. “Small business insurance is a $100 billion market, and it’s underserved and underinsured. Glow’s approach has all the elements the industry needs to bring small businesses into the new era of digital insurance. It offers the platform small businesses are moving toward. It’s consolidated and convenient, and it helps the small business bottom line.”

Glow describes its technology as designed to match companies with carriers that best meet their needs, then offers policies that are a better fit at the exact time they need it, at lower costs, with less paperwork.

“Our goal is to take care of all small business insurance needs, because insurance provides the peace of mind to pursue your dreams,” comments Samad Wahedi, CEO and founder, Glow. “If you’re a small bakery, you want to know that your employees and your assets are safe, but your focus is baking. At the same time, insurance comes out of your margins. Overpaying can mean a lot of cupcakes. We use data and cutting-edge technology to make sure you’re always protected with the right coverage so you can focus on building your business.”

Samad Wahedi, CEO and founder, Glow.

Glow places its business proposition in a market where traditional insurance has moved up-market, leaving small businesses behind. Agents often have a blunt-instrument approach to insurance, quoting policies that may not be the best fit for the company based on very few details about the business and its employees, a Glow statement says. This “one size fits all” approach can lead to overpaying. Glow says it uses technology to look more deeply at data like job codes that can more accurately reflect the risk of a business. This allows Glow to offer a policy that results in a more cost-effective option than local agents typically provide.

Glow also addresses the tendency of traditional agents to “sell-and-forget,” locking customers into renewals and walking away without reexamining whether their business, number of employees, or employee roles have changed. Glow says its platform ensures that a company’s coverage is always up to date, at the lowest possible cost now and a year from now.

Glow reports that it partners with a number of well-known insurance providers to offer all the commercial insurance lines a small business needs, starting with workers’ compensation and then offering extended coverage to existing customers with an automated and streamlined insurance experience.

Fast and Transparent Service

Amir Kabir, partner, AV8 Ventures.

In addition to cost advantages, Glow says it offers small businesses the convenience of a dedicated account manager who is a licensed insurance advisor that understands the company’s business. This concierge-like service is available by phone or online. Glow describes its service process as fast and transparent. The digital agency says that it also syncs directly with a company’s payroll, so that businesses know exactly how much they owe every month.

“Insurance can be scary for a small business owner like me—I’m not an insurance expert,” comments Lanay LaFerriere, owner of Whitecaps Pizza in Lake Tahoe. “With Glow I have an expert I can call anytime that I trust to break things down, and they always get me the best rate even if we have to switch carriers. Glow is a no-brainer for us.”

“Glow is building the next-generation digital insurance agency for SMBs in a large, growing market that is both fragmented and profitable,” comments Amir Kabir, partner, AV8 Ventures. “Their sophisticated approach to customer acquisition, data aggregation, underwriting, and servicing is transforming traditional offerings while creating unique value and customer centricity for SMBs.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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