COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — Branch Insurance, central Ohio’s newest tech unicorn, has cut 55 jobs in Ohio and an undetermined number elsewhere, citing catastrophic claims losses from unprecedented natural disasters this year.

The Columbus digital home and auto insurer quickly added both policyholders and employees so far this year, in step with an “ambitious” growth plan — at the same time it raised premiums faster than any U.S. insurance carrier, co-founder and CEO Steve Lekas said in a companywide email announcing the workforce reduction, which he reposted to

But this year’s catastrophic storms caused losses even at some century-old giants, he said, and as a startup Branch does not have the capital cushion to sustain that amount.

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