Inside VOOM’s mission to be the ‘Lemonade for Mobility’
Its CEO believes the mobility ecosystem is changing even faster than the insurance industry - and there’s a new space to dominate
On-demand platform for specialized mobility insurance, VOOM, has a plan. As drone deliveries and e-scooters become more common on our roads and in our skies, the company is setting out to fill a gap that has been created between the current insurance infrastructure and the customer needs that come with new mobility options: insurance for an on-demand and per-use basis.
“In general, the entire mobility ecosystem is changing much faster than the insurance industry,” explained VOOM co-founder and CEO, Tomer Kashi. “Innovation in insurance is extremely hard, but creating new products is one of the toughest problems.”
Enter VOOM. The company, which has raised $7 million to date after a $5 million series A in 2019, is “in essence, a digital insurance company,” creating new insurance products for emerging mobility categories. “We see new platforms, such as drones, e-scooters, and increased connectivity that enables a new insurance product such as pay-as-you-drive.” According to Kashi, it’s an industry that is ripe for disruption.
“Just like Lemonade is doing home insurance or people, or Next is doing small business insurance, VOOM is the Lemonade or Next for Mobility,” he said.
“You had insurtech 1.0 - with amazing success stories like Hippo, Lemonade, and Next,” he continued. “They have all disrupted the way insurance customers are interacting with insurance companies. Basically, it’s a different way to buy insurance. Online in a slick manner, super easy, and super friendly. Today, we’re starting with the new wave… it’s not only that the way you buy insurance is different, but the product itself is different. The risk is different, it’s pay-per-mile, it’s pay-how-you-drive, it’s episodic… that’s the wave we’re a part of."
What VOOM says makes it unique, and an asset for insurance companies who choose to partner with it, is its risk analysis and policy management technology. According to the company, its data-driven and usage-based insurance products can be applied to emerging verticals in the mobility space - such as e-scooters, e-bikes, motorbikes, and even small planes.
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“In emerging risks like e-scooters, in most cases, the platforms themselves are covered,” explained Kashi. “If the battery of the scooter catches fire and there is a big disaster, the BIRDs of the world are covered for their liability. However, in many cases, the riders are not… The reason for that is that insurance for this market is hard to obtain, it’s expensive if it’s the expense of the ride-sharing platform.”
According to Kashi, the solution lies in embracing technology, and understanding differences in needs (ie scooter vs. motorbike, which aren’t covered in the same way that cars are), thus calculating which ones require a higher cost than others. Today, the insurtech company claims to already be in the market, selling millions of dollars in premiums. Its drone branch, Skywatch, is the #1 drone insurance result on American Google searches, and Kashi expects VOOM to soon be right there next to it for e-scooters and pay-per-mile insurance - both through partners and as a direct solution.
“The secret sauce is the ability to use new sorts of data to combine it with our policy admin system and create a meaningfully different product,” he said. Admitting to CTech that he himself comes from a data science background and not insurance, Kashi says it doesn’t matter. “I am extremely passionate about insurance because it’s an extremely interdisciplinary problem. Insurance is an amazingly lagging industry, where you see the customer expectations of today and the mobility industry today, and where insurance stands, there is a huge gap. We are fortunate to try and fill this gap,” he continued.
VOOM is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel but has an office in Palo Alto and licensed insurance brokers in all 50 U.S states. It was founded by Kashi with Ori Blumenthal and Ronny Ahituv, who serve as CTO and former VP R&D.