A relatively short Sø.Nws this week. Mainly due to the pile up of work I still need to get through having spent yesterday dressed in tweed, shooting clays. A long story but I suddenly have the urge to buy a 1,000 acre estate in Oxfordshire.
Maybe it’s time for that Tällt IPO.
I hear it’s all the rage these days.
Let’s dive in. Another fascinating couple of weeks in the world of insurance innovation.
Lemonade is now up and running in Germany, Trov is pulling out of the UK, and after a 900% growth in the past 12 months, Zego have raised a cracking $42m Series B to expand across Europe.
Money, big and small Honcho landed some more cash last week; a further £750k from PE firm Maven Capital. It’ll be interesting to see how these guys get on with their ‘reverse auction marketplace’ where companies bid for consumers’ business. They will be launching 'very soon’.
Sticking with the UK, Inzura.ai have raised £1m to grow its international teams. Its business, a set of platforms and apps that can be white-labelled for insurers and intermediaries, is already operating in Singapore and Thailand. There’s definitely a business in there but not sure it’s going to set the world alight.
The big bucks this week go to Collective Health who raised $205m, led by, who else but SoftBank Vision Fund? With the US health insurance sector running on antiquated legacy systems (aren’t they all?), Collective are making great gains, now with 45 enterprise clients serving 200,000 employees. I’ve always liked these guys and can’t wait to see where this injection takes them.
Places you know less about. Probably
Alright, it’s another investment but this time it’s Colombian fintech ADDI – a $12.6 Series A. Offering credit and banking services to the local market, borrowers receive approval within 3 minutes and don’t get charged fees for insurance, tech or admin fees. Nice. And they’re having a great time disrupting a pretty broken market.
With a presence in Boston and Singapore, we jump to Liberty Mutual Insurance who are launching their latest innovation lab in São Paulo. With the ‘mentality of a startup’, the lab aims to meet the changing consumer needs and expectations, providing solutions to consumers in Latin America and Western Europe.
Finally we have Temasek Vertex, the self-labelled unicorn hunters. With a new $770m fund its looking at 4 key regions – US, China, India and Southeast Asia, and Israel. Vertex has a pretty exceptional track record and was an early backer of Grab, one of the world’s ‘decacorns’ (that’s right, it is a word) worth over $10bn. You know when people talk about ‘smart money’? Think these guys.
Till death do us part
A couple days back I read about MetLife Asia’s innovation centre partnering up with a Singaporean media company and a local, socially-focussed, insurer. The initiative will use blockchain to automate life insurance claims for bereaved families.
Brilliant. I can totally see the use case for this.
What I couldn’t quite get is…
‘The pilot, to end in October, will target 1,000 randomly selected Income life insurance policyholders. Family members who place obituaries in The Straits Times will be informed about Lifechain.’
WTF? You place an obituary and you’re contacted about Lifechain? Oh no, no, no. Let’s not forget the real-world folks. We all love our innovation but let’s step back from what we’re up to once in a while, right? There has to be a better way to PoC this.
Back to Europe and Luko, who I’m sure were ‘another Neos’ just a year or two ago, has partnered up with Munich Re to launch its AI driven satellite imagery home insurance. It’s a super interesting proposition – you enter your address, select your plot, and the satellite image instantly appears detecting a bunch of variables (roof type, pool, etc).
Within 2 minutes the user is presented with a tailor-made insurance solution. Not bad. And having spent a fair bit of time in a hack with founder Raphael Vullierme, I’m pretty keen to have a play around with this one.
What a 9am Monday morning webinar looks like
A few months back we headed out to China with a team of 15 from BGL Group.
Calling ALL (well, some) innovation directors
Robb, our Proposition Design Director, is interviewing a bunch of folk, the objective being to gather insight and learnings into the conditions that give organic innovation the greatest chance of success, with a view to sharing best practice.
Thanks to all those who have said yes to interviews. We could still do with a handful more.
We’ll be distributing this to our 2,500+ contacts; if you can spare a few minutes, want global fame and fortune and have something interesting to say, get in touch.
Right time to sign off. A little more graft and then it’s the Tällt summer party tomorrow so wish us luck.
Have good weekends all.
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