10:42 AM

A done deal: American Family, Bold Penguin come together for small businesses

The companies want to solve the complexity and frustrations of obtaining insurance


American Family's previously announced acquisition of insurtech Bold Penguin closed today.

Insurtech Bold Penguin and American Family Insurance have officially joined forces to reduce the time and hassle for small businesses to obtain insurance.

The previously announced acquisition of Bold Penguin by American Family closed today. Bold Penguin will operate as a subsidiary, continuing its relentless commitment to service, innovation, neutrality and protecting the data of its platform partners and customers.

Obtaining insurance for a small business can be a complex and often time-consuming process. Combine that with a market of insurance providers that offer specialized products, obtaining a comprehensive quote and appropriate coverage can lead to frustration for the small business, as well as the insurance agents and companies that want to serve them.

Bold Penguin, a Columbus, Ohio-based software provider, tackles that challenge. Its digital exchange of products from a range of insurers streamlines the purchase of small business insurance, significantly reducing the complexity and transaction time. The exchange is used by agents, brokers and alternative distribution partners.

Bold Penguin employees, including founder and CEO Ilya Bodner and co-founder and Chief Data Officer Ben Clarke, are remaining with the company. Bold Penguin will gain the financial strength and scale of American Family, a Fortune 300 mutual insurance company, to fuel additional innovation and growth.

“We’ve rapidly grown from a startup to the top exchange for small commercial insurance in the U.S., and we’re just getting started,” said Bodner. “With American Family’s backing, we’re committed to digital solutions that replace complexity with simplicity, enabling connections that help businesses safeguard their success and survival.”

“Bold Penguin is a game-changer for American Family agency owners and the small businesses that turn to them for trusted advice and support,” said Bill Westrate, American Family CEO-elect. “It gives agency owners direct access to a broader set of insurance options to serve more types of small companies, and with increased effectiveness, efficiency and convenience for agencies and their customers.”


About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 254 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America. Across these companies the group has more than 13,500 employees nationwide.

About Bold Penguin
Bold Penguin is where technology enhances the human touch in commercial insurance. With a heavy focus on agents, Bold Penguin upgrades the user experience for businesses, creates an easy tool for agents, and offers a streamlined process of underwriting for carriers. Bold Penguin was founded in 2016 by a group of entrepreneurs who spent their early days working with Allstate, Nationwide and Progressive alongside regional carriers and established insurance agencies. For more details, please visit