Semsee Announces Series B Led by 01 Advisors

The commercial insurance platform enables independent agents to place small commercial risk while providing carriers access to dynamic distribution.

(Image source: Semsee.)

Semsee, a New York-based provider of a small commercial quoting platform for independent agents, has raised a Series B funding round led by Dick Costolo and Adam Bain’s 01 Advisors (San Francisco), with participation from existing investor the D. E. Shaw group (New York), through its venture studio DESCOvery. The funding round will be used to accelerate Semsee’s expansion into new markets and fuel the addition of new technology features that help insurance agents and carriers deliver more insurance policies to business owners, according to a Semsee statement. Former insurance executive Jonathan Crystal, Managing Partner, Crystal Venture Partners, is also joining Semsee as an advisor, as part of the round.

Philip Charles-Pierre, CEO, Semsee.

Semsee’s platform is designed to help agents identify small businesses, find the best coverage and value, and match them with insurance companies and products in real-time. Semsee reports that it connects 5,000 agents and is working with more than 40 insurance companies on its platform, having grown 400 percent in the past year.

“Business insurance has traditionally been very complicated,” comments Philip Charles-Pierre, CEO, Semsee. “We started Semsee to simplify and expedite the process of connecting agents and markets to give business owners quality insurance using data and technology. In the past, agents entered data into multiple web portals just to get pricing and product information. Carriers focused on seemingly scattered approaches to getting the risks they want. We’re taking the friction out of that whole transaction, making it faster and more efficient for both sides.”

“By leveraging data and technology, Semsee is changing the way small business insurance is bought and sold in a market that has traditionally been very inefficient,” comments Adam Bain, managing partner and co-founder of 01A. “Semsee is providing a better buying experience for everyone, automating insurance quoting and selection right at the point-of-sale. And there are big opportunities to expand, as agents and carriers look for ways to offer more insurance to more business owners.”

Adam Bain, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, 01A.

Semsee says that agents using the platform can submit one form and receive multiple insurance quotes in minutes; they can compare coverage and pricing information and talk to their clients about what they’re buying and what it covers. Insurance companies can simultaneously connect to agents, enabling the most efficient way to access the risks they want. Semsee says it works closely with its users, and based on their feedback, plans to add more features to make the platform even easier to use in the future.

Most Complete Insurance Buying Experience

“Semsee is transforming the small commercial market—it’s so exciting to see the progress as more agents and insurance companies recognize the value,” comments David Shainok, Managing Director at the D. E. Shaw group. “We’re very excited about the next phase of Semsee’s growth, especially as it couples rich data with a world class user interface and tools, creating the most complete insurance buying experience in the market.”

“We became an early user of Semsee’s platform given our understanding of the ongoing need for faster and better technology solutions designed for small business insurance.  Semsee has already made a big impact on how business insurance is delivered—we look forward to the next chapter,” says Jeff Ritchie, Director, Alternative Distribution, Markel Specialty.

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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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