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Sami, a Brazilian insurtech, gets $18 million

Illustration of a 3D health plus shape propping up an umbrella to cover itself.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sami, a Brazilian insurtech and primary care startup, raised $18 million in Series B funding led by Redpoint Ventures and Mundi Ventures.

Why it matters: Brazil offers universal health care, but 25% of its population — or about 48 million — seek out private insurance in the hope of better and faster care.

How it works: Founded in 2019, Sami says it lowers the cost of care because it is both the primary health care provider and the insurance company. It has a vested interest in negotiating prices lower for the consumer, CEO Guilherme Berardo says.

  • "The way we make money is by lowering the hospital admission rates through better clinical intervention," he says. About 95% of Sami's primary care work happens digitally — via text messages or video calls or through the app.
  • According to Berardo, Sami has a 30% margin on every dollar of premium written. On a bottom line basis, the company is still unprofitable.

By the numbers: The company has about 18,000 users and has raised about $53 million from investors including Monashees and Valor Capital.

  • Berardo would not reveal the company's valuation, confirming only that it's below $500 million.

Between the lines: Sami started out by focusing on selling to gig economy workers and smaller businesses. As it seeks larger clients, its private market competition will also grow.

  • "When we're talking about companies that are 400 to 500 employees, those are insured — and we'll be fighting incumbents," Berardo says.
  • For example, United Health-controlled Amil is a significant player, as is Hapvida.
  • Venture capital investors have also backed Alice, another Brazilian healthtech company that combines primary care with insurtech.
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