(Image source: Breeze homepage.)
Breeze, an Omaha-based InsurTech startup, has announced a $10 million Series A round. The company says it will use the funding to help advance its mission to protect American families in their most financially vulnerable moments.
The financing round is led by Link Ventures, a Boston-based fund that found Breeze through its proprietary sourcing algorithms, and includes participation from Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, M25, Fiat Ventures, and Invest Nebraska.
Launched in 2020 by Colin Nabity and Cody Leach, Breeze built technology designed to make it easier to apply and underwrite supplemental insurance products like income protection and critical illness insurance. The company offers consumers what it calls a completely digital way to quote, apply, and bind policies that offer protection in the event of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and other medical conditions that can lead to a loss of income and cause financial trauma.
With the funding, Breeze says it will accelerate the growth of its core products—disability and critical illness insurance—while also adding new products, carriers, and agents to its digital platform. The company says it also plans to build out its software development, customer service, distribution, and marketing teams.
“Breeze caught our attention given its tremendous web traffic growth,” comments Lisa Dolan, Managing Director, Link Ventures. “We were also very impressed by Colin and Cody’s deep carrier relationships and their customer-obsessed mentality. We are thrilled to be part of fueling Breeze to become the category leader in disability insurance. The market remains largely untapped, but Breeze can change that quickly with its technology and online platform.”
Breeze’s funding announcement notes that over 25 percent of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire, yet the U.S. individual disability insurance market remains very small with only around $430 million written in premium in 2020. By making disability insurance easier to buy and sell online, Breeze aspires to growing can grow the stagnant market that has been limited by carriers and agents selling the product the same way for over 20 years.
“Breeze has been hard at work developing solutions that help protect individual’s financial lives, their families and their peace of mind,” comments Alex Harris, General Partner at Fiat Ventures. “This is a product that’s been grossly underutilized by Americans, but is a critical one with Breeze leading the way to make this more accessible like never before. We’re lucky to have worked with some of the top teams and founders in the fintech space, and Colin, Cody and the Breeze team stand out amongst an impressive crowd as innovators who are dedicated to solving these tough challenges.”
Breeze notes that its $10 million Series A is the largest first round of institutional capital ever invested in a Nebraska-based software startup.
“Accelerating technology that can transform our industry and help more consumers achieve financial security is core to our company,” says Craig Schedler, Managing Director, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures. “Through their innovative solution and simplified approach, Breeze is disrupting the disability insurance market and creating a better experience for consumers.”
Breeze says that individuals using its platform can check their rates with a quick, personalized quote for disability insurance or critical illness insurance and complete the application process in just 10 minutes all completely online.
“We founded Breeze to close a glaring coverage gap — specifically, the 51 million working Americans without adequate income protection,” comments Colin Nabity, Co-founder and CEO, Breeze. “Above all, this means making affordable insurance more accessible. Historically, products like disability income insurance and critical illness insurance have been overpriced and too difficult to obtain. We’re changing that.”