Chamath’s insurtech MGA business is winding down

Three years ago, during the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chamath Palihapitiya, alongside David Soloff, launched OTT Risk to much fanfare.

The former Facebook exec, known for his investments in Virgin Galactic, Clover Health, Opendoor, Metromile and Flock, tweeted, “Insurance is a key enabler of economic growth and backstops trillions of dollars of economic activity… significant gaps exist in coverage for the business interruptions that are becoming more and more frequent.” This venture was aimed at addressing those very gaps, particularly the non-damage business interruption (NDBI) losses that traditional business interruption (BI) insurance often fails to cover.

Founded in 2020, OTT Risk set out to offer business interruption coverage, focusing on the digital economy and leveraging the expertise of Apollo ibott Syndicate 1971 at Lloyd’s. The London-based MGA, with offices in the US and UK, was established with the goal of protecting businesses of all sizes across the economy from income losses during uncontrollable events. Its primary focus areas included retail and ecommerce, payments providers, hotels, tourism and attractions, travel and transit, and restaurants. Their approach combined machine learning with traditional risk underwriting.

David Soloff teamed up with Palihapitiya, acting as the co-founder and CEO of OTT Risk. Soloff had previously co-founded Metamarkets in 2009 to provide large-scale analytics to media companies and Premise in 2012 to track macroeconomic and human development trends in real time. Palihapitiya, an investor in Premise, participated in its $11 million Series B round in 2014 through Social+Capital, now known as Social Capital, which he founded in 2011. The marketing message of OTT was “Insurance is not doing enough to cover 21st century risks. We have significant legacy-free capacity and leading edge technology dedicated to solving this problem. We are building insurance for business resilience.”

Bottom Line: The venture, a team of 8 at some point in time, is now winding down.