Brazilian online insurance broker Minuto Seguros has closed a Series A round led by Redpoint e.ventures, the company announced today. This makes it the first company to receive capital from the VC firm’s new fund.
As you may remember, Redpoint e.ventures has recently raised a whopping $130 million for this fund, which is based in São Paulo and will be fully dedicated to Brazilian early-stage startups – a first for a Silicon Valley-affiliated venture.
As for Minuto Seguros, its name roughly translates as “Minute Insurances.” Since 2011, it has been helping Brazilian individuals and businesses find and purchase insurance policies online. In practical terms, users can search for personalized quotes free of charge, and buy products via the website with the support of the company’s in-house call center.
This is a promising market in Brazil, where a large portion of the population is uninsured and where insurance companies operate mostly offline. On the other hand, the country’s growing middle class is now getting online and making their first digital purchases.
This represents a chance for companies such as Minuto Seguros to address a new and wide audience with more pricing transparency and scale, its CEO Marcelo Blay explains:
“In Brazil, there’s a clear gap between the growing population in need of insurance and how slow and fragmented the traditional insurance market has been in meeting those needs. We believe we are at the forefront of a great market opportunity.”
According to the startup, it will now use its new capital for product development and marketing in the hope of leapfrogging competitors such as TaClaro.
“Partnering with Redpoint e.ventures gives Minuto Seguros a strategic advantage to consolidate our lead: not only are we the first to receive significant funding from an institutional investor but we are the only local player in this space so far to benefit from Silicon Valley’s rich consumer Internet experience,” Blay says.
Minuto Seguros isn’t the first Brazilian company that Redpoint e.ventures has backed. As a matter of fact, its portfolio already includes 5 Brazilian ventures – computer security holding Grupo Xângo, shoe retail site Shoes4You, social media analytics company 55Social, jewellery marketplace Sophie & Juliete and travel platform Viajanet.
Still, Redpoint e.ventures’ co-founder and managing director Yann de Vries described this new deal with Minuto Seguros as the firm’s “biggest investment to date.” While the exact amount wasn’t disclosed, he told us in a previous interview that the fund would make Series A investments of $3m to $5m.