I picked up on a couple of new insights this week.
One was off the back of a few conversations with CVC clients. Rather than their usual investment route, the startup valuations are so low they’re choosing to put in a few more dollars and swallow the business whole. Interesting.
And the other was having had a bunch of conversations with insurtech founders. A few years back, most of them boldly stated they wouldn’t walk away from their business for less than £100m. And yet roll forward a few years, in many cases their businesses stronger than ever, and they’d happily take £20m and run to the hills.
What’s the read on all this?
It’s a tough old market and there are some deals to be had. And some hills to run up.
If you want a hand finding those deals, get in touch. We’d be happy to help out.
Forgive any typos today. It’s a sore head day.
Happy 5th birthday Lloyd’s Lab
A big thanks to team Lloyd’s Lab for last night’s festivities.
But my favourite has to be the Head of Lloyd’s Lab, Rosie Denée, interviewing Hayley Maynard of Chaucer. I honestly don’t think you can find two more brilliant and funny people in insurance than these two.
Where else but Lloyd’s of London can you find a DJ dressed in a crisp white shirt? Love it.
Sønr is officially the Lloyd’s Lab market scouting partner for yet another year. Couldn’t be prouder. Next stop, Cohort 12 – the Americas. Watch this space for more.
SkyWatch’s policies cover a variety of drone operators – from small photography businesses to inspection services, drone deliveries, light shows etc.
And in Indonesia, Fuse has finalised a deal to acquire Lifepal.
There’s not too much out there on this one but will dig a little deeper when we can.
Parametric – from coffee to planes
Staying with Indonesia, Blue Marble and Nestlé have launched a pilot weather insurance product to provide over 800 smallholder coffee farmers with insurance against unpredictable weather rainfall and drought.
Whilst I’ll never feel much love for Nestlé, it’s a great initiative.
Using satellite-based climate data they can determine when coffee output has been adversely impacted by too much or insufficient rainfall in key phases of the crop cycle.
Then payments are triggered automatically to registered coffee farmers who have been affected, according to the severity of the weather.
This collaboration realises a unique travel insurance product suite by BCAA. Customers register their flight details. Blink keeps an eye on these flights in real-time. Should there be a delay exceeding 2 hours in the flight schedule, the system springs into action.
A couple more on the travel front.
Mobile banking app Lydia is partnering with insurtech Qover to offer travel insurance for its premium cardholders.
The French fintech will be offering this to its Black+ users in Belgium, France, Portugal, and Spain.
According to Qover, the collaboration is ‘redefining the way users engage with insurance’, with features including in-app claims submission and automated travel certification generation.
Another embedded play is bolttech Insurance, the Hong Kong general insurance arm of international bolttech, partnering with leading Chinese travel company Trip.com.
Through the partnership, Trip.com customers in Hong Kong can now purchase bolttech Insurance travel policies directly on Trip.com’s mobile app. Nice.
Staying with bolttech a little longer, I clocked they’ve also partnered with Allianz Partners, a B2B2C insurance and assistance service. The partnership is set to provide embedded device and appliance protection insurance across Asia Pacific and the United States.
Driving profits in India
Unusually I’ve only one thing to share on the motor side of things.
And that’s InsuranceDekho – the insurer that was incubated within the automobile marketplace group CarDekho, which has raised $60m in a new funding round.
InsuranceDekho works with most insurers in India, with direct integration into just shy of 50 of them.
I’m constantly fascinated by the opportunities out in India. Its current insurance penetration remains less than 5% of the GDP (compared to 12% in the US) and InsuranceDekho is on track to sell $432m worth of premiums this financial year. Oh, and it’s profitable…something you don’t often hear.
Before Covid we used to take clients out to these emerging markets a lot. There was always so much value in exploring innovation set within different market contexts.
Maybe that’s something we should revisit. Ping me if you’d like to discuss.
When GenAI meets claims
Reserv helps insurers improve claims handling and data availability with real-time insights and automated workflows. Better still, they’re using GenAI to help do this.
They’ve also just landed a $20m fundraise.
Putting a little more meat on the bone, customers across the UK and US using Reserv reported a 1.6x to 2.6x reduction in property and auto claim cycle times.
Another focussed on automated workflows is Appian who this week announced a partnership with Aon. Pulling from their press release:
‘Leveraging Appian’s prebuilt plug-ins and API framework, Aon seamlessly combines vast amounts of previously siloed data and logic, accelerating the creation of new claims workflows across the enterprise while leveraging existing algorithm, claims, and billing logic.’
The next generation of innovation
I’ve been looking forward to pulling this section of SøNws together.
There’s so much new and interesting innovation hitting insurance. Some from other industries; some borne out of new technologies, emerging risks or simply great ideas.
On the tech side, one company I’m a big fan of is Cleanlab.
These guys are a data curation solution for LLMs and the modern AI stack. And they’ve just closed a $25m Series A.
Their platform includes features to fix unreliable LLM outputs as well as cleaning text, image, and tabular data. Bottom line: if you’re using ML and LLMs in your business (and who isn’t these days?) then check these guys out. They might just improve some of your data accuracy.
On the emerging risk front, Berlin-based Novo has raised a €1m Pre-Seed to speed up the decarbonisation of buildings.
Novo is building technology designed to automate the complex process of analysing, planning and financing energy renovation. Novo is the first to offer this service directly embedded into their partners’ systems which currently includes banks and energy providers.
Lastly is Responsibly, a Copenhagen-based startup that uses AI to help companies evaluate, report, and act upon just how sustainable their suppliers are.
It’s a super interesting business and one which has just raised $2.4m in a Seed round. The money is to be used to develop its AI engine to capture more data types and expand functionality.
Again, one to definitely keep an eye on.
Right, I can’t wrap up without talking ITC Vegas. I thought I did pretty well not mentioning it til now!
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