Celeb investment, Insurtech 100 and a new dog for all Sø.Nws subscribers

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Hello all.

Let’s kick off with some market news.
 

From Leicester City to LA
One I’m sure we’re all across - Aviva putting a chunk more cash into London based Neos. Last year the Aviva Ventures team made a strategic investment in 2017 and, come the new year, when regulatory approval is complete, Aviva will have majority stake.

As a slight aside, I was running through their cap table yesterday and was pleasantly reminded that good old Gary Lineker is a shareholder. I’d forgotten that little nugget.

This leads on nicely to Lemonade. Another celeb invested Insurtech (Ashton Kutcher this time). The company announced just yesterday its plan to expand into Europe.

This is what Dan Schreiber had to say about things:
“Whether in Chicago, Paris, or Singapore, today’s consumers listen to music on Spotify, ride with Uber, and stay with Airbnb. Great digital brands don’t stop at the water’s edge. That’s why going global feels so natural for us: consumers are increasingly cosmopolitan, socially aware, and tech-native – everything Lemonade was built to be.”

Personally, I’m really looking forward to such a US heavyweight hitting our shores. I’m keen to see how it works with regulators, builds new audiences and challenges the innovation taking place in our local markets.

 

Insurtech 100: the season of togetherness
We’ve just submitted our quarterly update to the Insurance Post editorial team.

For those who are new to the index, at the beginning of the year we pulled together a snapshot of what the best and brightest of Insurtech has to offer globally, highlighting the new ventures that are truly innovating and reshaping the industry.

As you’d expect, there was the usual glut of money being invested across the board. More interesting was the sheer volume and mix of corporate partnerships, with one in five announcing some kind of new relationship in the past 3 months.

A big one I’ve mentioned before is China’s ZhongAn entering into a strategic partnership with SoftBank and continuing to show interest in expanding into Japan through its partnership with Sompo Japan Nipponkoa. Closer to home, France’s Shift Technology partnered with the US’s National Insurance Crime Bureau to help further combat ongoing insurance fraud challenges, Cover Genius extended their relationship with RentalCars.com, and Wrisk became the sole insurance partner to BMW Financial Services UK.

It goes without saying, as insurance becomes ever more commoditised, the pace of innovation is a clear competitive advantage. For many incumbents, partnerships with startups have now become table stakes, offering a new, accelerated route to new markets and customers.

Excuse the plug, but if you are considering the partnership route and would like to know who you should be working with, drop me a line. You could probably do with Sønr. Equally, if you’re further down the line and want to validate your choice of partner, I’d be more than happy to share our tried and tested PoC methodology – a 3-week process beautifully crafted to realise maximum value.

 

The eating and drinking has begun
I’ve never felt quite so full stepping into December. This past fortnight has been the perfect mix of work hard, play hard. A couple of standouts:

Market Gravity’s - if you don’t know these guys, you probably should. About 18 months back they were acquired by Deloitte, but don’t hold that against them. They’re a proposition design consultancy we work closely with and every year they hold their Corporate Entrepreneurial Awards. Having simply rocked up and enjoyed the evening last year, this time round they put me to work as a judge amongst esteemed company from Alibaba, The Bakery, Landsec and Blooming Founders.  

A big congrats to John Lewis picking up the ‘Dare to Defy’ with Residence, Vocalink AML Insights scooping the ‘Rising Star’ and Yolt winning the ‘Excellence in Innovation’ – all super interesting projects.  

Another judging gig culminated in a great big feast and fun afternoon – this time with Swifty and the Insurance Post Digital and Insurtech Awards 2018. A top event and congrats to our friends over at Zurich for sweeping up a whole bunch of those.  

Insurtech as a Service
Early in October, we welcomed Nik from Kasko onto our Future Disruptors podcast to unpack what the next generation of insurance providers and products might look like.

The London-based startup, which is now nearing its 4th birthday, already boasts more than 700 distribution partners,15 insurance partners and is now across 5 countries - and we expect this to only snowball in the coming years.

This week, we arranged another sit down with Nik - this time to find out how their 'Insurtech-as-a-Service' is gaining traction, along with learning what's on their agenda for 2019

 

New Year, new start?
With a pretty full on December, team Tällt decided to celebrate Christmas in November. Nothing says Christmas like a big pad in Devon, a boot-full of booze and a giant turkey…in November.

On that note, I’m sensing we might somewhere twice the size next year. We’re on the hunt for a pile of few new folk to join the company – from new business, client services, strategic consulting and a host of tech roles.

If you’re thinking of something new next year, let me know. But only if you’re exceptional.

Finally, a big thanks to all those who have offered your support as a Sønr Insider. Apologies to all those we’ve had to turn down or haven’t yet got back to. I will drop you a note soon, I promise.

Have a great weekend.

Matt


MATT CONNOLLY
Founder & CEO 
+44 7788 711 104 
www.tallt.ventures

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