The insurtech tripled its GWP last year to $650m 

Insurtech Next Insurance has hired former Airbnb vice-president of finance and initial public offering (IPO) veteran Teodora Gouneva as its new chief financial officer.

Gouneva will help drive the insurtech’s financial operations and continue to scale its performance and management processes for sustainable growth.

Guy Goldstein, Next Insurance’s chief executive and co-founder, said: “We are thrilled to have Gouneva join Next and her appointment marks a significant step in our journey towards scaling our business and becoming the number one insurance provider in the US for small businesses.

“2021 was another incredible year at Next and I could not be prouder of our team for making such significant and bold strides to support our mission to help entrepreneurs thrive. In 2022, we are determined to continue providing affordable, customised and accessible insurance coverage for our customers.”

Gouneva will be taking over from Michelle Cheung, who will now assume the role of Next’s first chief corporate officer. In this position, Cheung will lead the insurtech’s legal, people and operations functions.

Transforming small business insurance

Gouneva has more than 20 years of experience working in finance at investment banks and technology companies, including PayPal and Airbnb. At these companies, she supported successful IPO processes.

She also has knowledge across mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financing, international expansion and new product launches.

As the vice-president of finance at Airbnb, she built the business’ finance function and created the performance and financial management processes needed to enable growth as a public company.

Prior to Airbnb, she spent more than 15 years at PayPal in various finance leadership roles, including chief financial officer of acquired companies Venmo and Braintree.

Gouneva said: “I’m very excited to join the dedicated team at Next, who truly care about helping unlock the potential of entrepreneurs and small businesses everywhere, and I’m looking forward to building on the company’s achievements in 2022 and beyond.

”I am passionate about how technology and innovation can improve and advance age-old industries that people rely on everyday.

”Next’s mission to transform small business insurance for the good of their customers aligns incredibly well with my interests and expertise.”

Coinciding with Gouneva’s appointment, Next Insurance has also launched a mobile app that provides customers with on-the-go access to their policies.

Now available on the App Store and Google Play, the mobile app allows customers to easily access and share certificates of insurance, manage their coverage and payments, as well as file claims.

Next Insurance employs nearly 950 staff. Its gross written premium last year reached $650m (£475m).