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HOME AND AUTO INSURANCE MARKETPLACE YOUSET RAISES $2.1 MILLION, LAUNCHES IN ONTARIO

Montréal-based insurance marketplace YouSet has secured $2.1 million CAD in pre-seed funding as it launches its digital offering in Ontario.

The financing, which closed in December came primarily from a group of angel investors, according to YouSet. The group consists of Don Fox, former executive vice president at Intact; Neil Mitchell, former managing director at Marsh Canada; and Mike George, founder of Trisura. Other investors include Joe Canavan, principal of Canavan Capital; Nicholas Bouchard, founder of DuProprio; as well as Michel Lozeau, chairman of Anges Québec.

YouSet co-founder CEO Xavier Freeman told BetaKit that the $2.1 million involves $1.6 million in equity.

Led by Freeman and Fellipe Monteiro (CTO), YouSet’s online platform connects consumers with multiple insurance companies to find the best rates for home and auto insurance.

Customers that buy insurance through YouSet can delegate post-purchase processes to the company, such as policy modifications, renewals, and communications with the insurance company. YouSet claims a user base of more than 75,000.

“Other marketplaces such as comparison tools help users compare rates, but then redirect them to an insurance company when the time comes to buy their policy,” said Freeman. “This creates extra friction and impacts the buying experience. Our approach leads to a better experience.”

This pre-seed capital is earmarked for YouSet’s growth strategy with a focus on sales, according to the company. With roots in Québec and its latest expansion into Ontario, YouSet said that it also plans to launch across Canada.

Part of the investment will also be dedicated to recruitment, as YouSet said it is currently looking to fill roles in marketing and software engineering to bolster its team of 11 employees.

“We have been working for years towards our vision of making the process of buying insurance more efficient and today’s news is an important milestone on our journey,” said Freeman. “We believe that this investment from individuals with such tremendous industry experience is an acknowledgement that our vision is the right one.”

YouSet joins the insurance marketplace space comprising incumbents and fellow new players. Other Canadian companies that offer insurance marketplaces include Ratehub, which recently received a major investment from private equity firm Novacap.

Brizia, which focuses on commercial insurance, raised $10.2 million CAD in Series A funding last year. Covera, whose platform finds annual insurance rates for customers, secured $1 million in its seed funding round in 2017.

Burlington-based Surex also offers comparison tools for vehicle insurance, home insurance, and other insurance products.

Youset seems to be an amazing startup with immense capabilities. Congratulations to the entire team. This will bring them immense success in the future.

Shishir Gupta CEO & Founder Startupalnes

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