The Real Deal New York

Lennar leads $70M funding round for real estate insurance startup Hippo

Fifth Wall, which led the startup's series B round, was also a participant in the funding round.
By David Jeans | November 14, 2018 09:00AM

Lennar’s Eric Feder and Hippo’s Assaf Wand (Credit: University of Miami Health System (Feder), Plug and Play (Wand), and iStock)

Lennar, the U.S. homebuilding giant, is leading a $70 million series C funding round for a home insurance startup backed by Fifth Wall Ventures.

Mountain View, California-based Hippo Insurance, which launched last year to provide streamlined insurance policies that cut premiums by up to 25 percent, is the latest startup to be partnered with a traditional real estate firm by Fifth Wall Ventures.

Fifth Wall, which led the startup’s $25 million series B funding round in January, arranged the partnership between Lennar and Hippo.

“It’s very consistent with the Fifth Wall model: connecting real estate incumbents with these startup companies,” Brendan Wallace, Fifth Wall’s co-founder, said in an interview.

Launched last year by Blackstone Group alumni Wallace and Brad Greiwe, the venture capital firm says it creates partnerships between traditional real estate companies and tech startups that will service the needs of its investors, offering a circular supply of customers and investors to startups.

Fifth Wall previously introduced Lennar to invest in OpenDoor, a home-flipping startup that can provide a service to Lennar customers, allowing them to “trade-up” and buy a larger Lennar-built home through Opendoor. Lennar and Fifth Wall raised $135 million in its last funding round.

In June, the venture capital firm launched a second real estate technology fund valued at $400 million, according to an SEC filing. In addition to Hippo, Fifth Wall has led funding rounds in co-working company Industrious and property software startup VTS.

Hippo was founded last year by Assaf Wand, a former associate with McKinsey & Co. The firm has since raised $109 million and will use the new funding to accelerate growth on a national scale. Wand said the company now has $20 billion in insured value and services 14 states.

Wand said the company was “eager” to expand its footprint and launch new products.

It is also backed by Felicis Ventures Abstract Ventures, Aquiline, Comcast Ventures, GGV Capital, Horizons Ventures, Munich Re, Pipeline Ventures, RPM ventures and Zeev Ventures.

Eric Feder, vice chairman of Lennar Commercial, will join Hippo’s board of directors and said the partnership reflects the company’s goal to streamline the insurance process for its home buyers.

Hippo competes with startup Lemonade in the tech-driven home insurance space. Lemonade, backed by SoftBank, has raise $180 million for a valuation of $600 million.