Lemonade Insurance is exactly what the CRE tech space needs

Recently, I had the great pleasure of meeting with Maya Prosor, Founding team member of Lemonade Insurance, one of the hottest startups in the tech world. I was absolutely blown away by Maya and her team. Besides raising a crazy amount of money and assembling an all-star team, what really impressed me was their approach to how they are going about to disrupt the insurance industry.

“How should insurance look if you had zero legacy and needed to build it today and not 100 years ago?”

That’s how Maya describes their approach to how they planned to build their site. Love that.

What if that was the approach we took in the CRE tech space?!? What if instead of trying to fix things, we approached it from a more holistic perspective like Maya and her team.

“How should commercial real estate look if you had zero legacy and needed to build it today and not 100 years ago?”

Now that is something really, really interesting to think about.

Here is excerpts from my meeting with Maya. I hope it gives those of us in the CRE tech space something to think about and maybe a new approach to the sector.

(P.S. - Lemonade’s focus is on the residential real estate sector so if you’re in that space as landlord/owner, I would encourage you to check out their site!)

Michael: What is your background?

Maya: Grew up in the outskirts of Jerusalem, spent 4 years at the IAF as an officer. My first encounter with the startup world was at school, being part of the Zell Entrepreneurship program. It really opened my eyes to the startup world and changed my career direction completely (up until then, I was sure I would go work for a marketing agency ;) )

During the program, I founded (together with a partner) a company called Communisea, which allowed sailors at sea to receive on the go relevant information.

After the program ended I joined Powermat, the world leader in wireless technology. I oversaw the establishment of Powermat Networks and partnerships with Starbucks, McDonalds, Delta Airlines, Westfield Malls and more..

Michael: How did Lemonade originate and what’s your relationship with the other Co-Founders?

Maya: Lemonade Co-Founder and CEO, Daniel Schreiber and I worked together at Powermat. He left a few months before I did and was introduced to Shai Wininger his co-founder (who is also one of the Founders of Fiverr) by Michael Eisenberg (a big name in the investment industry - was a partner at Benchmark and then started Aleph VC). Daniel and Shai were both looking for their next company. After circulating a few ideas they landed on insurance. I told Daniel I was leaving Powermat and he asked if I'd be willing to join the founding team at Lemonade.  

Michael: What does the site do and why is it unique in the marketplace?

Maya: We basically reinvented insurance from the ground up! We said, “How should insurance look if you had zero legacy and needed to build it today and not 100 years ago?” Change it from a necessary evil into a social good… which is what it actually used to be. So we cut down all the unnecessary processes paperwork and costs that are eventually transferred to consumers. We developed kick-ass technology powered by bots and AI. We took away our incentive to decline consumers by collecting a fixed fee and added charities to become the beneficiaries when our customers behave :)

Michael: How does it actually work?

Maya: Just go to lemonade.com! it will take you 90 seconds!

Michael: When did you launch the site and who are your investors?

Maya: We launched last September. Our investors include: Aleph, Sequoia, General Catalyst, Google Ventures and Thrive.

Michael: What is the charity component to the site and where did that idea originate?

Maya: The idea came from our willingness to eliminate the adverse relationship between insurance companies and their customers. In order to do that, we added Professor Dan Ariely (The Honest Truth About Dishonesty) as our Chief Behavioral Officer and injected our product with flows and tools that bring out the best in people. For example, the charities… so now if you misbehave and ask for more than what you deserve or what you really lost, you are not cheating Lemonade… but you're cheating a charity you believe in.

Michael: Who are your target audiences and what markets are you currently focused on?

Maya: Young adults who are financially aware! We launched in NY and Illinois and 47 additional states are coming soon!

Michael: For a real estate owner/property manager, what are the advantages of offering Lemonade to their buyers/renters?

Maya: They want their tenants to have insurance. It makes for a better community, less headache and better risk for everyone involved. More and more landlords actually require their tenants to have renters insurance.

Lemonade makes it easy for their tenants to sign up, as its starts at $5 and only takes 90 seconds. and for them to receive tracking on who has insurance and who doesn't.

Michael: What has surprised you most about the real estate sector?

Maya: I guess that there's a lot of innovation happening- and there are so many areas that can be disrupted. anything from title insurance, move in process to home services- and our partners are key- they are perfectly positioned to offer all of this to their residents.

Michael: What are the future expansion and product plans for Lemonade?

Maya: Expanding geographically first. That the main focus. We want to launch 40 more states this year. And the cool thing about our product is that because we are a licensed insurance company, we are able to add more product lines as we move forward.

Michael: How has Israel become such a successful tech-focused country with so many incredible startups emanating with technology?

Maya: Wow... I don't think I'm the right person to answer this one. There’s a phenomenal book called Start Up Nation that actually analyzes this in depth... Probably a combination of a country with limited natural resources, the army and government programs.

Thanks Maya!

Maya Prosor is a founding team member and the VP of Business Development and Partnerships at Lemonade, a licensed insurance carrier, offering homeowners and renters insurance powered by artificial intelligence and behavioral economics.

She previously worked at Powermat Technologies the world leader in wireless charging, heading all US partnerships including: Starbucks, McDonald’s the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and more.

Maya holds a B.A cum laude from IDC university and  is also a graduate of the Zell entrepreneurship program at the IDC.Recently, I had the great pleasure of meeting with Maya Prosor, Founding team member of Lemonade Insurance, one of the hottest startups in the tech world. I was absolutely blown away by Maya and her team. Besides raising a crazy amount of money and assembling an all-star team, what really impressed me was their approach to how they are going about to disrupt the insurance industry.

“How should insurance look if you had zero legacy and needed to build it today and not 100 years ago?”