This week we saw ZhongAn receive an undisclosed investment from Softbank. You know how in my last SøNws I mentioned Lemonade’s global rollout later this year? Well we managed to get hold of the ZhongAn investment deck – and it looks like their raise was to finance overseas expansion, too.
The rapidly establishing dominance of the US and Chinese startup markets is of real concern for me. The ambition of these businesses cannot be underestimated; ambition only matched by the inordinate stockpiles of cash they have for disrupting new markets.
We all get insurance is changing more quickly than ever and recognise the pace of change is accelerating. But at the same time the ability for incumbents to change and adapt has not sped up; the assets that once made them successful now act as liabilities, making change harder than ever.
I want to change this. Excuse the shameless plug but whilst Tällt is still a relatively small company, we are a mix of entrepreneurs, practitioners and consultants who have built, run and exited some of the largest companies in the world.
I want us to work together to rebuild, reinvent and provide a new benchmark for corporate innovation and new venturing. If you’re up for the adventure, get in touch.
Rebuilding health care from the ground up
We’ve mentioned Amazon. Time to balance the scales with a bit of Google chat.
For the 45.4% who read SøNws in early June, you’ll know I was in sunny Lisbon with Dr Henry Wei from Google and Mario Schlosser from Oscar (the US health insurer). Both these guys - and the armies of talented folk surrounding them - are seriously focused on the world of data and the opportunity it brings to advance health care as we know it.
Well, it so happens that last week Google’s parent company Alphabet poured some more money into Oscar - this time, $375m. Founded in 2012, Oscar is now valued at $3bn. Not bad for a company who had to shift the business model away from its roots aligned to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Plus, they’ve rebuilt each piece of the insurance stack with brand new tech and, in the first quarter of this year, posted underwriting profit in both Texas and New York.
If you’re involved in health care, or are interested in the space, you should clear the deck for 20 minutes and have a read of Oscar’s forward strategy for innovation (and then send it to all the senior folk in your business). When you drop us a note depends on whether you’d like to think on it over the weekend or not. Happy to hear from you today. Equally, next week is also fine.
From farmboy to founder
Enough with the big names. Now for a sneak peek into the next generation disruptors coming through. Both playing in the commercial insurance space – an area of Insurtech unfairly criticised for the lack of innovation.
First of all, the team chatted with Erik Abrahamsson, Founder & CEO of Digital Fineprint. I first met these guys in Germany and was immediately impressed. They’re developing AI and big data-driven tech solutions, working with insurers and brokers to protect SMEs, and having great success along the way.
The article is an incredible insight into the mind of the man and the opportunities and ambitions held within the Chinese market.
“Autonomous systems that operate on their own goals will revolutionize all industries; driverless cars are just one of the earliest applications. It will be the core infrastructure for a new generation of productivity, and this infrastructure can be deployed globally.”
“Data is the production capital of the new era. There are many Chinese people, it is a unified language market, which brings more experimental opportunities. Any experiment and iteration will be faster. China has a structural advantage in the development of artificial intelligence technology.”