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Photo by: India Picture//Getty Images

Lemonade, a mobile-first digital insurer for homeowners and renters, has raised $120 million in Series C funding led by SoftBank Group. Axios has learned that the pre-money valuation is between $450 million and $500 million.

Why it matters: SoftBank appears to have developed a property tech thesis, which could ultimately mean anything from partnerships to consolidation. Today's Lemonade news comes just weeks after the Japanese giant (via its Vision Fund) plugged $450 million into real estate platform Compass and three months after its massive WeWork investment.

Returning investors: Aleph, Allianz, General Catalyst, GV, Sequoia Capital, Sound Ventures, Thrive Capital, Tusk Ventures and XL Innovate.

Bottom line: "Lemonade is a fully licensed insurance carrier that underwrites its own policies, unlike many other entrants into the growing insurtech space. With a focus on homeowners and renters, Lemonade strives to differentiate itself in a number of ways, including by cutting bureaucracy and speeding up the application process. However, the company also touts its morals through an annual 'giveback' scheme through which it donates all unclaimed money to good causes." — Paul Sawers, VentureBeat

Go deeper

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

3 hours ago - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.

3 hours ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.