Construction insurance tech startup Shepherd nabs $13.5M Series A funding round
Shepherd Labs Inc., the developer of an insurance technology platform for commercial construction, said today it raised $13.5 million in a Series A funding round.
Shepherd combines insurance services with risk management software and a construction software marketplace that it says streamlines efficiency to reduce premium costs. Founded in mid-2022, Shepherd is targeting the nearly $48 billion commercial construction insurance market with a strategy that combines speed and access to value-added services.
The company has signed up most of the top 20 U.S. retail insurance brokers that operate in construction and has quintupled its volume of gross written premiums, co-founder and Chief Executive Justin Levine (pictured, center, with co-founders El Mahallawy, left, and Stephen Buonpane) wrote in a blog post.
It has also expanded from a single offering — excess liability – to include general liability, commercial auto and workers’ compensation. Two more insurance lines are planned for this year, Levine wrote. The company boasted an average turnaround time of 17 hours between the submission of an application and a preliminary quote or estimate of the terms and pricing of the coverage. That compares to weeks for the construction insurance industry as a whole.
A unique aspect of Shepherd’s business model is partnerships with construction technology firms like Autodesk Inc., Samsara Inc. and Procore Technologies, Inc. Shepherd makes a variety of back-office management, compliance tracking and risk management software tools available to policyholders at no charge and maintains a marketplace where customers can find recommended software to run their businesses.
For example, the recently released compliance tracking software uses artificial intelligence to review PDF-based data and automate related workflows. It also integrates with construction-oriented project management platforms like Procore’s.
“The team behind Shepherd is taking a technology-forward approach, developing innovative insurance products that use modern software and data techniques to create a vastly superior insurance offering,” Mark Selcow, a new board member and general partner at Costanoa Venture Capital Partners LLC, said in a statement.
The company said it will use the funds to expand its underwriting and software team, accelerate product development and scale up its software offerings. Other investors in the round included Intact Financial Corp., Era Ventures LLC, Greenlight Capital Re Ltd. and Spark Capital Partners LLC.
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