Don’t get caught with your beard in the letterbox

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There’s a definite feeling we’re stepping into the 3rd chapter of insurance tech.
 
A good chunk of our client work now falls into two areas: introducing tech from outside the industry or exploring how we can shift a client’s business beyond insurance. Those we’ve been working with for a while have built new venturing units, now know what works, and are actively investing more heavily in opportunity creation.
 
In parallel the ‘startup’ market is maturing – we’ve seen 4 Series B investments just this part fortnight (Embroker, RiskLens, Amenity and Cytora) and of course Lemonade’s $300m Series D.
 
Insurance is now saturated with well-funded, ambitious, tech enabled businesses. They’re not held back by legacy systems, inhibited by culture or stalled by internal process. For them, and I touched on this last time, profit plays second fiddle to growth and value creation. Some are wholesale distruptors, others are playing nicely with incumbents.
 
But none of this is news.
The shift we’re seeing is how the market is responding.

The continued flow of VC and CVC is driving globalisation of these tech businesses, introducing new competition from overseas. Consumers are actively embracing innovation, in turn creating new relationships with insurers. And tech innovation which delivers measurable impact is being hungrily adopted by industry, whether it originated within insurance or not.
 
The result? A really exciting phase of accelerated innovation and growth.
 
And as always, if you need a hand tapping into the opportunities and want to make sure your beard doesn’t get caught in the letterbox, we’re here for you. Just drop me a line.
 
Explòr China
All our immersion trips have, to date, been a week of meetings with a minimum client contingent of 8 people. In September/October we’re taking our first delegation from different companies.
 
If you are interested in the Chinese market – whether you’re considering doing business over there or want to explore what tech you can introduce into your local market, you should come along.

And if you want to know more, let us know below. We’re launching a Tech Trends in China report on 15th May, will be running a webinar on the same day (time tbc) and the trip will be in September/October 2019.
 
Matt, send me over a report please.
Matt, let me know when you’ve a time for the webinar.
Matt, would love more details on the China trip.
 
Thanks to all those who have already expressed an interest. Good to have you on board.
 
Market news
Sorry to say I’m keeping the market news light this week. In part because I’ve a new client kick off in a few minutes and I’m also desperate to get out for a run.
 
I’ve touched on a few Series B investments already. Additionally, InnovAllianz fund strengthen its focus on mobility with an investment of €3.2 million into wilov, the French ‘Pay When You Drive’ startup. And it looks like B3i has secured three new corporate investors, taking their shareholders to 16.
 
On the new product side, we’ve got Cigna launching a new ‘skill’ in Alexa (if I felt comfortable using emojis, I’d definitely insert the face palm here), Crawford & Co launching a smart water detector, and Volvo enabling its cars to share safety-data with each other.

The latter is super interesting, as is opening up their research library urging their competitors to use it and make the roads safer for all. A great move all round. Kind of related, it’s worth checking out our Open Insurance report which explores the value exchange from opening data to the wider industry, and cites a few innovators enjoying the first-mover advantage.
 
Final super interesting read is on Uber’s $2.94 billion insurance reserves. With traditional insurers unable to price cover accurately, and therefore cost-effectively, it makes sense to build internal insurance units to manage the risk.  
 
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
Oh wait, that’s not the end. Tell me you saw this:
 

 
The design agency Rufus Leonard were tasked with the Halifax rebrand. It took Monzo’s CEO Tom to point out the card used in the Halifax ad still had Monzo’s BIN and includes the name of a Monzo staff member. If you get time, click on the image above and have a read of the comments. Just brilliant.
 
Innovation isn’t the same as invention, but it’s definitely more than just copying!
 
Until May…
I’ll be back with the next Sø.Nws on May 3rd at which point we’ll have officially announced this year’s Insurtech 100. If you want an advanced copy (by two days!), drop us a line. Equally go pick up or subscribe to the Insurance Post and you’ll find it in there too.
 
For those who get some time off over Easter, enjoy.
                                                             
Matt

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