Why we’re now Uncomfortable with Lemonade (LMND)
Lemonade is an insurtech company with a unique business model designed to do good.
Its use of AI technology to process claims in seconds helps streamline the insurance process, and the annual donations that it makes to global NGOs gives the company a humanitarian side that it’s more established competitors lack.
Unfortunately, Lemonade’s ties with Israel cast a shadow over the good the company is doing. Israel is currently in violation of international law with its occupation of the West bank, Gaza and consequent dispossession and displacement of those territories’ native inhabitants
A simple visit to the Lemonade website reveals a special relationship with Israel. Last we checked, 25 out of the 81 job listings on Lemonade’s website are in Tel Aviv. Notably, more job postings are listed for its Tel Aviv location than are listed for its formal headquarters in New York. This suggests a rather material and growing presence for Lemonade in Israel. From Director of IT to Head of Growth, to Senior Product Designer, Lemonade’s Israel-based staff consists of key positions in the company.
Further, Lemonade’s CEO’s (Shai Winneger and David Schreiber) met with the Israeli finance minister in January for talks about obtaining a “local insurance license” and expanding the company’s services into Israel. Far from avoiding a close relationship with the Israeli government, Lemonade’s management seems keen to build ties and strengthen their relationship with the country.
To be fair, we haven’t heard any explicit statements from Lemonade’s leadership signaling they support, what many consider, the unfair and inhuman treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli state. We also haven’t heard anything to the contrary either.
While we love Lemonade’s unique and innovative business model, Lemonade’s relationship with the state of Israel is tough for us to ignore. Ignoring it feels like ignoring the suffering and displacement of millions of Palestinians.
Consequently, we’re downgrading Lemonade’s overall comfort rating to “uncomfortable”.
We encourage Lemonade’s leadership to clarify its stance on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and provide assurances that the business does not directly support this treatment.