Sønr 2.0, AI results and Cohort 13

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If you read my LinkedIn post a couple of days ago, skip this bit.
If you didn’t, keep reading. It’s big news.

TL;DR: Sønr is about to get bigger and better. We’re launching a new, ‘non-Enterprise’ version (we still don’t have a name for it 🤷) for startups/scaleups/smaller companies to access Sønr’s world-class market intelligence to help find new customers, track competitors and gain unique insight into key trends.

Actually, I’m not sure it needs much more than that.

The vision has always been to empower the entire insurance ecosystem with Sønr (formerly Tällt if you’re slightly confused by the image above!). I believe quality market intelligence is critical to building a successful business. And, if we’re able to make this available to everyone, then we all move forward together. Love it.

If you’d like to be part of the test group and access a trial version, let me know.

Right, no more of that.

We’ve got some good SøNws chat to get into.

AI driving meaningful change across incumbents

Alright, let’s start with the hot topic of the day month year – AI.

A couple of weeks back Ant Middle, CEO of Ageas UK, shared how AI has saved the business over £4m, with £2m of savings coming from AI-enhanced fraud models.

Alright, not the biggest of numbers, but a great start and I’m loving seeing some actual results being shared by incumbents 🙏. Good work team Ageas and look forward to seeing more to come.

Another was Ashok Krishnan, AXA XL’s Chief Innovation, Data & Analytics Officer, who shared that half of its AI use cases are already in production. Nice.

Before getting into the funding side of startupland, I enjoyed this one from Linas Beliūnas.

I couldn’t agree more and it reminded me of something similar said by Dr Christian Westermann, Group Head of AI at Zurich Insurance when on a panel with him earlier this year.

From incumbents to startups. Actually, just the one this week.

Norm Ai raised a $27m Series A led by Coatue and supported by Bain Capital, Blackstone Innovations Investments and a few others.

Norm has built the first AI platform for converting regulations into computer code.

They developed a language that represents government regulations and corporate policies as decision trees that become executable computer programs. And to translate that it means insurance companies can speed up the publication of highly regulated content.

Basically you can ensure AI-driven actions and content from generative systems adhere to policies. Nice.

You’ve got to love the foresight and vision from its founder John Nay. It’s so not a business I could have ever conceived of setting up.

Last plug regarding AI.

I’ve had a good couple of calls this week from insurers in both Mexico and South Africa about our Accelerate AI programme.

Do get in touch if you’d like to know more or explore it for your own business.

Let’s get into some emerging trends stuff.

Climate intelligence attracting interest

Climate risk intelligence company Climate X has raised a $18m Series A led by Google Ventures.

I like these guys. In part because they’re based in the UK but also because they’re building a business that’s outrageously valuable (from a need perspective!) in the world today.

What they get up to is creating proprietary financial insights into the likely impact of climate risks on physical asset valuations, from residential and commercial properties to road, rail and power infrastructure.

Better still, translating these risks into expected annual losses, Climate X’s technology then allows clients to determine the ROI of taking pre-emptive climate adaptation action.

Another fundraise is WindBorne Systems which has secured a $15m Series A.

These guys run a bunch of weather balloons and produce outrageously accurate data and weather intelligence.

Pushing out a little further afield and African Risk Capacity Limited has received $27m from the Dutch government to help in boosting climate resilience in Africa.

And finally, IBISA, has raised $3m to scale its parametric insurance solutions for weather-related risks in Asia and Africa.

Parametric, come rain or shine

And seamlessly linking into parametric.

Good to see FloodFlash has secured capacity from Munich Re’s Specialty division to help it expand its parametric flood product across all mainland US locations.

And one I’ve failed to cover to date, is Zurich Insurance‘s ‘Sole Protetto’, a parametric insurance policy for solar panels.

I like this one. The policy, powered by the platform developed by start-up Exante, provides compensation if sunlight levels fall below the level of average annual sunlight exposure.

Cyber 2.0

Thought I’d share a couple of interesting developments within the Cyber world.

One of these is PQShield which has raised $37m.

Quantum computing will soon have the power to break traditional cryptographic methods. And on the basis it’s cryptography that keeps data, devices, connections, and components secure, things need to evolve.

And that’s where PQShield fits in.

They have built a comprehensive product suite for use in both hardware and software deployments, protecting machines from quantum computer-powered cyberattacks.

Keeping within cyber, it was good to read that Gallagher Re has launched a Cyber Academy.

The academy offers a three-year programme that combines top-tier education with practical experience in brokerage.

Students will gain foundational knowledge in cyber risk and hands-on experience in broking and analytics. Upon completion, candidates will continue their development in their chosen specialisations, equipped with comprehensive skills and practical expertise.

I think this is a super smart move from Gallagher Re.

Lloyd’s Lab. Apply now – you have 2 weeks

After a bunch of specialty news it seems a fitting place to drop a Lloyd’s Lab shout out.

I can’t stress enough how much I love and value what the guys at Lloyd’s Lab get up to.

It’s a gem of a programme and I urge all startup founders to take some time, look into it and get involved.

Cohort 13 is officially open for applications. All powered by Sønr of course.

Closing date for applications is 14th July.

Motor – telematics, embedded, dash-cams

To continue the seamless narrative, one of the Lloyd’s Lab alumni from back in 2019, Flock has partnered with Admiral, the UK’s biggest motor insurer.

Together they’re launching a suite of telematics-powered insurance products for commercial fleets with a focus on courier, rental, and trade fleets. Great to see.

And a couple from Bolt, the global shared mobility platform.

It announced a partnership with Stellantis to provide embedded auto insurance. And they’ve launched a super affordable dash-cam scheme.

The latter is in partnership with CCTV provider Matrix iQ, which enables Bolt drivers to purchase a compliant dash-cam at a significantly discounted price starting from £69, with a subsequent monthly £11.99 data-processing fee.


Life, health and VISA

On to health and this week Sidecar Health has raised $165m to expand its operations into new markets.

In the US, employers pay the highest rates for healthcare but these investments often don’t mean employees get better benefits. Sidecar is changing that.

Its model lowers premiums by reducing the providers’ administrative costs. The way it does this is providing employees with a Sidecar Health VISA card that can be used to pay for care directly.

Win. Win. Win.

On the life side Amplify Life Insurance has secured a $20m Series B.

The money will be used to enhance its technology platform, scale the team, and expand its distribution.

The good, the bad and the rebrand

The good – Supercede has completed a $15m Series A.

I’ve known Ben Rose, one of the co-founders of Supercede, for many years and couldn’t be more pleased to see the progress.

Founded in 2019, Supercede’s platform automates and optimises the reinsurance process, enabling greater risk management, optimised coverage, and enhanced pricing outcomes.

With over 140 member companies globally, including insurers, brokers, and reinsurers using the platform their revenues surged over 500% in the past year. Nice work team Supercede.

The bad – yet another twist in the troubled WeFox journey.

It looks like the new CEO Mark Hartigan, appointed in March, is set to be out by the end of the year.

Seemingly, that’s what happens when you back a proposal to sell to Ardonagh…which, btw, is now off the table.

It’s a proper rollercoaster for WeFox and not great for European insurtech.

And the rebrand – ZA Tech is now Peak3.

Alongside the rebrand they also landed a $35m in a Series A funding round.

The money will be used to build out its analytics and AI capabilities and expand its EMEA operations. Nice.

Right, that is me done.

I’m still nursing a slightly sore head from catching up with Óscar, Santiago and Kathia from Asociación InsurTech México. They’ve  been in London for the week.

Do check them out and of course their startups members.

For sure many have been specifically built for the local market, but there are plenty that will, and are, scaling into LatAm, the US, Europe and beyond.

It’s time for me to head to my kid’s sports day and try and win the parents’ race (whilst simultaneously doing my best to act casual and indifferent about the result).

As always, shout if you’d like to learn more about Sønr and how we can work together. That I’ll always make time for.

And if you’ve been forwarded this email and haven’t yet signed up, you can here: https://sonr.global/sonws/

Have a good weekend.


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