‘Shark Tank’ Judge’s SPAC in Talks to Merge With Insurer

Home-coverage startup Kin Insurance is in talks to go public via Omnichannel Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company led by recurring “Shark Tank” guest judge Matt Higgins, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The combined entity is set to be valued at over $1 billion, one of the people said. Terms could change and as with all transactions that aren’t yet finalized, it’s possible talks could collapse. A deal, if agreed, could be announced next month, one of the people said.

‘Shark Tank’ Judge’s SPAC in Talks to Merge With Insurer

Representatives for Omnichannel and Kin declined to comment.

Chicago-based Kin says it offers affordable coverage in “catastrophe-prone” regions including California, Florida and Louisiana directly to consumers online. It is led by co-founders Sean Harper, the chief executive officer, and Lucas Ward, who is president and chief technology officer.

Kin raised $63.9 million in a recent funding round from investors including Senator Investment Group, Hudson Structured Capital Management, the University of Chicago’s startup investment program, Allegis NL Capital and Alpha Edison. Earlier backers include August Capital and Commerce Ventures.

The insurer recently said it surpassed $100 million in annual recurring premium after just 21 months as a carrier in an industry that still sees more than 90% of home coverage sold through brick-and-mortar agencies.

Omnichannel, led by Higgins -- an executive fellow at Harvard Business School -- in November raised $206.5 million in an initial public offering. The company’s website says it’s seeking a $1 billion to $2.5 billion acquisition, which it has defined in filings as including direct-to-consumer services. Beauty entrepreneur Bobbi Brown is on the SPAC’s board.

Higgins is also CEO of RSE Ventures, an investment firm that has made bets on companies including David Chang’s Momofuku, Bluestone Lane and & Pizza on behalf of billionaire Stephen Ross. Higgins is also a vice chairman of the Miami Dolphins, of which Ross is a co-owner alongside Serena and Venus Williams, among others.

Another so-called insuretech company, Hippo Enterprises Inc., in March agreed to go public via a SPAC. MetroMile Inc. in February became a public company after merging with a SPAC.

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