Insurance 2.0 and not so smart ChatGPT

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Entrepreneurial. Argumentative (in a good way). Global.

The three words I’d use to describe the vibe in Tel Aviv.

I’ve also got three words to describe Luton airport, where I landed back last night. ‘Absolute’ is the first word.  ‘Hole’ is the third.

Thank you to the SOSA team for your hospitality over the past few days. It’s incredibly special to spend time with others so focussed, capable and passionate about the open innovation space.

And if that wasn’t enough, I got to hang out with Gil Arazi from FinTLV. A double win.

And whilst away, the usual brilliance from the Sønr team.

A session with Generali folk from around the world talking through the emergent trends and relevant insights drawn from the recent Forward50 publication. And if that wasn’t enough we were joined by some of the startups profiled – Anansi, Kita, Mitigrate, Wallife and Stoïk.

A big thanks to all those involved.

We’ve a number of other Forward50 client sessions coming up and are happy to share the love if you’d like to explore for your own company. Do shout.

Right, time to get into what’s been going on out there this past fortnight.

Insurance 2.0. And a couple of innovation beauts
I’m enjoying this term getting banded around a little more.

Even better when the incumbents are using it. This week we heard it from Ericson Chan, Chief Group Chief Information and Digital Officer, at Zurich.

These guys have just launched Zurich Edge, an embedded play for the Asian market which brings their products and services to where the customers are…at any time and any place.

It’s powered by a new tech stack and their eXchange platform. Nice.

Keeping with embedded and one for all the luxury watch collecting folk out there (and from what I’ve seen, there are plenty of insurance execs who fit that profile!).

Micro-insurance marketplace, Yas has introduced TimeCare.

It’s a really interesting concept – a luxury watch insurance program powered by blockchain. Embedded into the purchase process it provides enhanced security and an indisputable record of ownership and authenticity. Simple but smart, right?

Another great concept (and nothing to do with embedded…sorry 🤷) is a collab between Zendrive and Autio.

Zendrive is a US based driver analytics platform.

Autio is a location-based audio entertainment app that delivers travellers compelling stories about the places they’re driving through. How have I not come across these guys before?!

Zendrive will power Autio Drive & Save, giving users a chance to save on auto insurance with safer driving behaviour through tracking via its Mobility Risk Intelligence (MRI) technology. In Autio, drivers hear stories narrated by professional narrators, including Co-Founder Kevin Costner, about surrounding history and culture.

The older I get, the more I need this in my life. Love it.
Well done Mr Costner.

Is ChatGPT getting worse? Or the users getting smarter? 
Some interesting recent coverage on users complaining about GPT-4 degrading over time.

If you’ve not been following it, it’s worth a read.

That said, it’s still the #1 hot topic at the innovation table with clients and insurtechs alike. The big question, understandably, is who is using and what’s the value they’re getting/bringing?

One such this week is SESAMm, an AI company that provides investment firms with critical insights on ESG and risks.

It’s brought Gen AI in to enhance ESG risk mitigation and streamline processes. Their new tech enables users to derive insights on data from 20bn articles and 4m public and premium sources on 5m public and private companies, in more than 100 languages.

Another darling of the AI world which hit the headlines this week was Tractable.

These guys specialise in AI assessments of vehicle and property and they landed a $65m Series E.

Interesting to read Tractable now process over $7bn in annualised auto and home repairs – more than doubling its claims volume compared to one year ago.

Why can you never trust an atom?
They literally make up everything.
Alright, there you have. My best science joke.

When we’re not exploring Gen AI opportunities with clients, it’s invariably talk around ESG. Or in particular, innovation in and around the carbon space.

A couple of notable investments this week.

Isometric raised a $25m Seed to develop its carbon credits registry. The registry focuses on long-term carbon removal projects, using methods like biomass removal, direct air capture, and enhanced weathering. It’s also launching a platform for carbon credit suppliers to share data and protocols, charging a flat fee per purchase to avoid over-crediting.

And carbon data provider Sylvera raised $57m in a Series B round.

Sylvera offers companies and asset managers data on the quality of carbon credits they plan to purchase. Using satellite images amongst other sources, Sylvera monitors the performance of approved credits from registries like Verra and Gold Standard.

It’s an interesting and fast evolving space. And one which undoubtedly will grow ever closer to the insurance world.

Data, data. It’s all about the data
A quick rattle through this one.

Wildfire detection firm Pano AI has extended its $20m Series A by another $17m. I like these guys. In the age of satellites and drones it feels like old skool meets new tech…and there’s definitely a place for that still.

The company mounts high-definition remote-controllable cameras that can be operated by a human, or go into rotational scanning of one rotation per minute. The video footage is monitored by AI, which looks for smoke and fire and can raise the alarm.

The company has 45 employees, and actively monitors more than 6m acres of land.

A company I wrote about last time, Ondo, has come together with Sweden’s largest non-life insurer, Länsförsäkringar Trygghetstjänster to sign a new five-year contract to support Ondo’s LeakBot rollout across the group.

Länsförsäkringar estimates the opportunity is worth over £30m of revenue and the product is already live in 4 of the 23 regional businesses.

Finally digital risk processing platform, Cytora, has partnered with maritime data provider ShipsDNA to integrate their APIs into the Cytora platform.

This collaboration aims to enhance insurers’ maritime risk assessment capabilities by providing them with comprehensive and up-to-date maritime data.

Keeping with Cytora, I read an interesting post on how they’re tapping into LLM’s to build out greater risk and underwriting intelligence. Worth a read if you’re in this world.

Cyber, crypto and a brilliant Spøtlight interview
Buy. Partner. Build. It’s rarely more complicated.

And this week it’s cybersecurity Coalition’s time to acquire. They’ve bought privacy control mobile app Jumbo to enhance their team’s privacy and security capabilities.

Jumbo’s key feature is a dashboard to manage privacy settings across various online platforms, employing background page loading and JavaScript interactions.

On the crypto side, Nayms has launched an Industry Loss Warranty (ILW) denominated in a cryptocurrency – a world first.

The ILW was purchased by Bermuda’s Prospero Way, with Guy Carpenter as the sole placing broker, and will cover US-based named windstorm events.

It’ll be an interesting one to keep an eye on, as it opens up a whole range of new opportunities for various parties within the global catastrophe reinsurance market, such as giving insured parties access to alternative capital, and enabling investors to earn regulated returns on their cryptocurrencies.

From emerging space to an evolving one. Interest in Parametric seems to be alive and kicking in the minds of our customers. So, we sought to get some expert perspective – this time in the form of Riskwolf’s co-founders: René Papesch and Thomas Krapf.

Check out the interview to hear their perspective on what’s driving the market, how parametric solutions are helping close the (massive) protection gap and of course what Riskwolf are up to.

Some reads for the weekend
I say ‘reads for the weekend’ but just to be clear I’m planning anything but reading about insurtech for 48 hours.

But for those a little more committed to the cause, here are a couple of interesting reads on the European state of play:

And finally, less a read, rather a good signal for the industry.

Bain Capital has successfully raised $1.15 billion for its inaugural fund dedicated exclusively to investments in the insurance industry.

Who said capital was drying up huh?

The fund will be targeting opportunities in North America and Europe.

Right, that’s me, done. Time for some calls before some quality family catch-up time.

As always, do reach out to connect.

That said, it’s been amazing just how much inbound interest there’s been since the Tokio Marine press release. And hey, if you’d like a hand scouting for new innovation or are in the market for some help bringing a little more knowledge-share and connection across your teams, do check out Sønr.

Until next time.


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