From Spotify to health scanners, and an ITHM shout out

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Who doesn’t love a good stat to kick things off?

“The Innovation Management Market is projected to reach $6.2bn by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 16.4%, with North America set to be the largest market.”

The study describes innovation management as ‘the process of a company’s innovation, from idea generation to practical execution’.


And whilst we at Sønr have played its role in this, it seems that role is broadening. From a platform perspective, we’ve had a number of requests to develop out the CRM. And a much bigger client project is developing a brand new PoC and dealflow tracker.

What’s interesting about these requests is they’re from insurers who are using the big off-the-shelf innovation management tools listed in the report. Seemingly they’re either not fit for purpose or, without up-to-date, accurate data, somewhat redundant.

Now, if you’re already subscribed to Sønr you’ll see these new features roll out in-platform in the coming weeks. Lovely. And if you’re not a client, well, that’s okay too. You will be one day 😉

Transformation, innovation, moving the dial in the home market
Good to see BNP Paribas Cardif and Lemonade partnering to offer digital renter’s insurance in France.

With the ambition to attract a younger audience, customers will be able to complete policy subscriptions and claims wholly online.

Whilst it doesn’t sound like rocket science, it also sometimes doesn’t need to. Moving the dial is a good first step. Plus, Lemonade has developed some great tech which is only getting smarter, and BNP will get value from this.

The other story I liked this week was about the smart folk at Tractable, who have teamed up with Verisk to offer AI-powered estimates for property damage.

Leveraging AI, the identification, classification, and measurement of property damage will be possible. And both Tractable and Verisk customers will now have access to end-to-end, automated property claims. All good.

When you’ve already conquered the music world, what’s next?
For those working in health insurance, I’m hoping you’ve already clocked this one.

Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek has launched Neko Health in Sweden. The start-up uses more than 70 sensors and AI to collect 50 million data points about skin, heart, hair, respiration, microcirculation, and more, recording about 15 GB of health data in minutes.

The data points will be analysed by an AI-driven system, and the result is visualised for both readers and patients, says the company. Nice, nice, nice.

This maps to our world as Neko was created with the goal of creating a health insurance system that can assist individuals to maintain their health through prevention methods as well as early diagnosis.

SPACs back. Well, maybe
It’s been a while since we talked SPACs. How I’ve missed them.

A couple of days back I clocked insurtech Roadzen has announced its intention to go public via a SPAC with Vahanna Tech Edge Acquisition valued at $965m.

Founded in 2015, Roadzen uses advanced AI to provide data that enables insurers to build auto insurance products. And it’s had a good journey to date. The hope is the SPAC will accelerate its ambitions including growth in the UK and US markets.

Whilst talking auto and mobility, it’s worth mentioning OpenEyes, a New York-based tech company that provides telematics and commercial auto fleet insurance, raised an $18m Series A this week. The money is to be spent on building out their tech and further US expansion.

From trade secrets to digital assets
Chaucer continues to lead Lloyd’s market innovation charge, this week announcing a partnership with Crown Jewel Insurance to provide insurance for companies’ trade secrets. Love it.

Prior to the launch of this product, there was no insurance available for the loss in value to a business if its trade secrets were stolen. Now, that’s all changed. Chaucer is the lead underwriter for the policy, and the program is brokered by Acrisure LLC’s London-based wholesale unit. Good work team.

In other news, digital asset protection company Coincover has raised $30m in a new round.

The investment has been made off the back of the recent tumult in crypto currencies. It is hoped the new money will help Coincover solve one of the key problems digital asset adoption faces from consumers – fear of theft.

A quick check on emerging markets
A few announcements you may not have come across in the usual reads.

Indian online insurance platform InsuranceDekho has raised $150m from a round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

The company will use the unusually large raise to expand into new markets and grow the business it does with SMEs. It is hoping to reach small cities and rural buyers by using digital technology in a move away from the traditional insurance market dominated by the urban population.

Love it.

In Africa, and at the more emergent end of business, AI-powered claims and fraud management platform Curacel has raised a $3m Seed round.

It also plans to expand its operations, this time into North Africa, starting with Egypt and Morocco.

Curacel aims to drive insurance penetration in emerging markets via APIs enabling insurers to connect with digital distribution channels and administer their claims.

Heading further south, Naked, a South African AI-driven company that offers digital insurance for cars, homes, and valuables, has raised $17m.

The investment will enable Naked to grow its workforce, continue to invest in technology, and to also expand into new markets.

Some good stuff in Africa right now. A super interesting space to track.

Scaling into new geographies
The upside of a turbulent market is there’s a greater opportunity for good companies to thrive. And what’s been evident from the early days of insurtech is some insurtechs out there are beautifully set up to operate globally.

One such is Australian insurtech, an M&A insurance firm that is part of POP Group Holdings, which has entered the UK market.

As the creator of the first global M&A and specialty insurance online marketplace, the company wants to digitise insurance and fulfil the risk protection gap in the SME segment.

Another is Battleface, which has entered the Canadian market with the launch of a travel insurance product developed in partnership with Hunter McCorquodale.

The policy includes protection against medical and emergency expenses and Battleface plans to custom-build programmes for B2B2C and B2C travel distribution partners in the country.

Finally, Igloo a B2B2C insurance solution, is expanding its services in the Philippines thanks to a fresh Series B round of $27m.

The company hopes the new money will help it to accelerate financial inclusion in Southeast Asia with a particular focus on deploying more insurance products in the Philippines.

InsurTech Hub Munich – call out for all distribution startups
We’re helping InsurTech Hub Munich recruit for their 🚀 NXT: Distribution Innovation Programme: an opportunity for insurtech and non-insurtech startups to showcase their products and collaborate with an international network of partners and members within the insurance and tech sectors.

 The call focuses on ventures eager to reshape distribution channels as customers’ demands for transparency, convenience, and simplicity keep growing.

It’s a 1-month programme.

There’s a mountain of benefits, including getting in front of leading insurers from around the world.
Deadline: 20th March
Programme kick off: mid-April
Zero cost. Zero equity.

To apply, head here.

Denver > Milan > Tokyo > London
I’ve put a LinkedIn post out on the fantastic Insurtech Slopes trip organised by Stacey Brown and David Gritz already, so won’t go on about that one too much.

All I would say is if you’re an insurtech founder or investor, get yourself signed up to the 2024 trip as soon as you can!

What I did miss was joining up with the Generali team in Milan. We started working with these guys during Covid times, we’ve caught up in various places around the world, and yet I still haven’t hopped over to HQ.

The good news is Matt F (thanks for writing last week’s SøNws btw) and other Sønr folk made the trip. I’m now wondering who was on the boondoggle 🤷‍

Looking forward, I was meant to be out in Tokyo on March 1st for the star-studded ITC Japan Roadshow.

Sadly, due to a very ill dad I’ve made the decision to stay a little more local. If you are heading out, do connect up with George Kesselman from the Sønr team.

It’s worth noting one of our clients and Group Digital Officer of Tokio Marine Holdings, Masashi Namatame, is speaking. Having caught his presentation in Vegas last year, it’s not one to miss.

As I am now staying in the UK, I will be heading to Insurtech Insights in London, so please do get in touch directly or through Brella if you’d like to meet.

And if you are interested in learning more about Sønr and how we help (re)insurers source and create new opportunities, you’ll find a bunch of the team in London during that time. We’d love to connect and explore how we might help.

As per last year, Matt F is speaking on and moderating a couple of panels. Look out for him.

We’ve also been working with team Generali on the Startup Showcase, which should be a great addition to the event. I’m looking forward to helping judge that one.

I’m also moderating a pretty exceptional panel of folk talking about ‘Building a Culture That Breeds Innovation’…

It’s got headline billing so let’s hope we do a good job 😬🚀

Right time for me to call it a day.

As always, please do get in touch if you’d like to explore working together.

Have a good weekend.


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