RegTech and Insurance Remain Hot with Seed-Stage VCs

Compliance, insurance, and workflow solutions: these are the most interesting areas for a seed-stage fintech investor right now.

Chris Fortunato, principal at KEC Ventures, named compliance and insurance as two of his biggest current focuses during Bank Innovation’s “For the Love of Fintech” meetup yesterday.

“We’re definitely very interested in compliance. It’s just a very good market; there’s a lot of risk out there,” said Fortunato, who was the featured speaker at the meetup. “The amount of costs companies incur to say ‘in compliance’ and then one day you’re out of compliance, it’s just a large budget that exists.”

This is especially true when it comes to regulations and fintech. It’s gotten to the point where some of the demands of keeping compliant for a financial institution can only be meet “with a piece of technology,” according to Fortunato. That’s where regtechs — and the venture capitalists behind them — come in.

Insurtech was another area Fortunato, whose fund provides early-stage seed to startups, has been keeping his finger on; KEC has invested in companies that attempt to simplify some of the convoluted, time-consuming processes insurance brokers have to deal with in their day-to-day.

“The broker plays a very important role … so we’ve been interested there, in things that make brokers more efficient,” said Fortunato. “Brokers only make money when they acquire new customers, so that means they don’t make money when they’re spending time helping people file claims, helping with renewals, or when they’re helping educate people on the products that they offer.”

Companies that are employing solutions to fix this are quite attractive, according to Fortunato, especially when those solutions also benefit the end user.

“Companies and startups can, looking at a problem [like this] from a standing-start, without any of the existing forces, can create a product that from just a user experience standpoint can create a lot of loyalty,” said Fortunato, adding that he was also interested in solutions that can educate the buyer. “You can create a competitive advantage just by putting in the work to simplify the decision that people are trying to make and the products that are out there.”

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