Atlanta-based financial services company Buckle quietly (!) announced last week that it has raised $31 million in a huge Series A funding round.
A tech-enabled provider of insurance coverage for drivers who turn their personal vehicles into ride-sharing assets, Buckle’s value is in addressing insurance gaps in conventional policies, which are currently lacking in coverage that fit the needs of gig workers.
The $31M round was led by HSCM Bermuda and London-based Eos Venture Partners. Buckle plans to use the capital to make understanding, accessing and affording insurance easier for rideshare drivers. Buckle also wants to identify new data sources for underwriting risk, which it believes will help the company “reinvent the insurance model.”
“Whether rideshare drivers are on duty or driving their family around on personal time, Buckle will have them covered,” said Buckle co-founder Dustin Walsey in a statement. “We are excited to offer comprehensive, easy-to-understand insurance to active rideshare drivers for overall better personal protection.”
In 2019, Buckle’s core rideshare insurance policy, a combination of personal and commercial coverage, launched exclusively to rideshare drivers last year. Rates are determined after a review of applicant’s star rating and other information on driver safety. Credit checks are not performed in determining coverage, which helps the company deliver free quotes in less than five minutes.
Buckle customers can insure up to two vehicles at once. Policies are currently six months long, rates start at $55 per month and coverage is capped at $40,000.
In 2020 Buckle announced a partnership with Lyft, offering the ride-hailing company’s Georgia drivers savings between $50 and $200 per month. Currently it is only available in the Peach State, although the website says that will soon change.
In the meantime, Georgia drivers can even enjoy frequently updated Spotify music playlists curated by Atlanta’s own DJ Scream.
Also announced this year was Buckle’s acquisition and recapitalization of Gateway Insurance Company and its 47 state insurance licenses. The deal allows Buckle to expand coverage to taxi, limo and livery businesses, and additional transportation network companies (TNCs) that use the mobile app Curb.
“The ride-hailing market is expected to grow globally to approximately $260 billion by 2024,” said Vikas Singhal, Partner and CIO of Insurtech at HSCM Bermuda. “As the market grows, demand for straight-forward and affordable insurance coverage for both providers and TNCs will grow with it. We’re excited to help the Buckle team take the company to the next level.”