The Future of Insurance Podcast – Amir Kabir

General Partner, AV8 Ventures

Season 6, Episode 3, June 18, 2024

Guest Bio

Amir leads Fintech and Insurtech investing at AV8 and has been one of the earliest investors in the Insurtech space. Amir has been an entrepreneur, operator and investor with over 15 years of experience, working with early and mid-stage companies on financing, partnerships and strategic growth initiatives.

Prior to AV8, Amir was an investment director and founding team member at Munich Re Ventures where he lead and managed investment efforts for two of the funds and made early bets in Insurtech, Mobility and Digital Health in companies like Next Insurance, Inshur, HDVI, Spruce, Ridecell, Babylon Health etc.. Earlier Amir worked for several venture funds, including Route 66 Ventures, focusing on Fintech and Insurtech, and investing in companies such as Simplesurance and DriveWealth.

He began his career in Germany as a network engineer and subsequently at Legodo AG (acquired by Open Text, OTEX (NASDAQ)), an enterprise software startup, where he held several roles in sales, business development and product management until acquisition.

In 2019, Amir was ranked 11 out of 100 on Global Corporate Venture’s Rising Stars list and was named a “VC Champions Select” by All Raise.

Amir lives in San Francisco and holds an MBA from Georgetown McDonough School of Business, a BS in Business Informatics from RFH Cologne in Germany and is currently finishing an MS in Law from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Highlights from the Show

  • Amir started investing in InsurTech in the mid-2010s, and spent most of his investing career at Munich Re in their Ventures team, as the third member of the team
    • They started investing in industrial IoT and similar topics since their funding was from Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB)
    • In 2016, there was more of a pivot into InsurTech as it emerged
  • At AV8, Amir focuses on early stage, focused on very early stage to some revenue traction but still pre-series-A generally
    • Their majority LP is Allianz, and the fund is heavily FinTech-focused
    • They like risk taking businesses like MGAs and full-stack carriers because of the long-term returns, plus the difficulty in selling to insurance companies and surviving the long sales cycles
    • Amir has focused on niche markets or areas where incumbents lack digital solutions, and leading with building a new insurance approach and adding tech after it’s established
  • Investing in long-term ideas may take longer, but then there’s strong moats that can stop competitors from eating your lunch, which is harder to do with short-term ideas or SaaS areas
  • Investment has gotten tough, but there are investors out there still; they just may be looking more critically at profit potential than might have happened in the past
  • InsurTechs that went public and haven’t done well were not alone – the market more broadly was pushing a lot of startups to go public so investors could get returns, but for many it proved too soon to go public because fundamentals weren’t there yet

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Thank you to our sponsor

This episode is brought to you by The Future of Insurance book series, part of the Future of Insurance thought leadership series (future-of-insurance.com) from Bryan Falchuk.

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