Israeli Insurtech Unicorn Next Insurance announced the acquisition of U.S. startup Juniper Labs, which was founded last year and leverages  machine-learning and open data for the insurance sector.

Making complex data accessible

Juniper Labs provides better risk transparency by leveraging open data and machine learning to build tools for streamlined data collection and automated underwriting. Using natural language processing (NLP), Juniper Labs blends fragmented data sources and unstructured content to provide more structured insights that strengthen the confidence and predictive power of their models, ultimately allowing for more precise risk assessment and a simplified customer experience.

"Next Insurance and Juniper Labs believe that data is a key differentiator in the effort to provide a better online experience at a more affordable price," said Lance Poole, co-founder and CEO of Juniper Labs. "We're excited to join this like-minded company and contribute to its continued success."

The ML startup was founded in 2019 in Denver by CEO Lance Poole and John Stevenson. Juniper employs a fairly small team, making the deal more of an Acqhire - where the focus is adding human talent rather than product. The acquisition details have yet to be published, however, a few weeks ago Next announced a massive $250 million funding round, which obviously helped cover the Juniper deal. Once the acquisition goes through, the onboarded Juniper team will spearhead the establishment of Next Insurance Data Labs.

Next Insurance was founded by CEO Guy Goldstein, VP R&D Nissim Tapiro, and CTO Alon Huri - three experienced entrepreneurs that founded Check and sold it in 2014 for $360 million to Intuit. As one of the most successful startups to come out of the Israeli Insurtech industry, the startup employs close to 300 workers, has raised $631 million to date, and the last funding round was based on a valuation of over $2 billion.

"The insurance sector is primed for innovation and our growth this year not only speaks to the industry's potential, but the benefits that can result from leveraging the right technologies and focusing on customer experiences," said Sofya Pogreb, COO of Next Insurance. "This strategic acquisition of Juniper Labs' technology and expertise in workers' compensation will deepen our investments in relevant technologies such as machine learning, which will help scale pricing and decision making. We look forward to bringing on the Juniper Labs team to further our goal of being the one-stop-shop for small business insurance."