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Insurance tech startup bolttech raises $180 mln, valued at over $1 bln

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U.S. dollar notes are seen in this November 7, 2016 picture illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

July 1 (Reuters) - Insurance tech startup bolttech on Thursday said it raised $180 million in a funding round, led by private investment firm Activant Capital Group, that valued it at more than $1 billion.

The New York and Singapore-based company's online platform serves as a matchmaker between insurance companies, allowing them to offer customers products that may not be in their area of specialization.

Insurance providers spend billions of dollars a year on advertising to bring in customers, some of whom may want financial products not in the providers portfolio, Rob Schimek, bolttech's group chief executive officer, pointed out.

The insurance providers "just don't want to say no" to these clients so they use bolttech to offer additional products, said Schimek, previously a top executive at insurance giant AIG.

Bolttech has 150 insurance providers across 14 countries and $5 billion worth of insurance premium has been transacted through the platform, he said.

Bolttech also allows non-insurance companies to offer insurance products to customers and individuals and small businesses can buy insurance directly through the platform.

"The brilliance is that the (insurance) exchange, it's never really been done properly and everyone held on so tightly to the customers and wouldn't sell other people's insurance and that's really just started to change," said Activant Capital partner Steve Sarracino about why he led such a big round of funding.

Schimek said the funds will be used to improve bolttech's technology and expand its global footprint.

Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee; Editing by Himani Sarkar
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