ZurichGPT and Asia’s rapidly evolving landscape

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First and foremost thanks for all the love on the Sønr x ITC partnership. 
It’s a good ‘un. 
Forgive the brevity today.
Been in a tonne of meetings and seemingly more to come. 
Let’s kick off a client update – Lloyd’s Lab has selected 13 pretty epic startups for its 10th cohort. 

Off the back of 200+ applications (note: all these companies are in Sønr should you wish to see them – nice huh?) from 32 countries, the selected few will now undertake the 10-week lab programme.  

Whilst I didn’t manage to get to Pitch Day, I heard it was bigger and better than ever. Good work Lloyd’s Lab team. Plus, they’ve selected some beauts: 
Aanika Biosciences, Armilla AI, Axio, Diesta, FireBreak, Gabriel, Intelligent AI, PolArctic, REOR20, Signal Intelligence, Simulytic (A Siemens AG Venture), spacebands, and Value.Space
Congrats to all who made it through. 

Last week I mentioned how we’re exploring and evolving SønrGPT. It looks like we’re not the only one (which you would kinda hope, right?). 
Zurich has revealed it has been experimenting with it for claims, data mining, and modelling.  
It’s using the past six years of claims data to identify the specific causes of loss in order to enhance underwriting. Nice. Digging into this a little further, it’s not the only AI testing Zurich has been conducting either – it’s also been exploring automated risk inspection and AI-powered bill processing. 
Better than all that was Musk signing a letter urging a moratorium on advanced AI development. His worry is that the technology could advance so rapidly that it creates existential risks for humanity. 
What’s the phrase…’Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted’!!

To ChatGPT and beyond!
Given everything that’s going on in this space it’s kind of unsurprising that AI’s been cropping up on client calls so much. Equally, AI featured in about 25% of companies featured in the Insurtech 100 report.
So, we thought it’d be a good idea to send ‘the other Matt’ (F) out to chat to some experts about what’s going on in the AI space. We managed to grab some time with Rob Jarvis – Head of Innovation at Tokio Marine Kiln and David King – co-founder and CCO at Artificial to explore its value, reality vs hype and of course whether the robots are coming for us all.

Check out the podcast here – a big thanks to Rob and David (and the Artificial team) for their help.

From startup founder to corporate venture lead
Great to read Phoebe Chibuzo Hugh, formerly of Brolly and now Venture CEO at Direct Line Group, has announced the launch of Caha!
It’s the first venture incubated by DLG and sounds great – a one-stop car ownership and management app. 
Launching this summer, it’ll make it easier for users to park, fuel, charge, store documentation, check a car’s specs, and receive reminders about a vehicle’s MOT, tax, and insurance. 

I like seeing talented startup founders making their mark in the corporate world. I can’t imagine it’s always the easiest and I look forward to seeing Caha! in action. Nice work Phoebe. 
Across the other side of the world and Koba, the Australian pay-per-KM insurtech has raised AUD$1.5m from Ensurance
Ensurance will now be able to distribute Koba’s insurance, while Koba will have access to ensurance’s broker and distribution network. 
Keeping with investment and AI-powered fleet insurer Fairmatic has raised $46m in its latest round. The new capital will be used to bring the full power of AI to commercial auto insurance. Watch this space.

From PoC to full blown partnership
One of my favourite clients. 
One of my favourite startups. 
Generali UK has officially partnered with reinsurance software provider Supercede, as its reinsurance technology provider. 
Generali undertook a trial of the Supercede platform in autumn 2022, testing the software’s performance in preparing their January 2023 renewal data. And, as you’d hope from these kinds of trials, Supercede will now prepare and manage Generali UK’s reinsurance data, including data cleansing, preparation, and validation.

According to Generali, this will significantly speed up the process and reduce manual processing time. Nice. 
If you haven’t met Ben and Jerad from Supercede, you should definitely reach out. And also listen to their pod. It’s ace ( and it’s in the top 3 podcasts in Bermuda…or some other equally brilliant claim to fame!). 

Random industry news
Normally, I like to spend time carefully curating relevant news. Sadly, not today. 
CyberFenix24, an industry-leading cyber disaster recovery firm that is transforming the post-breach restoration process and impact, announced a $5m investment from our friends at Eos Venture Partners
HomeKin, the direct-to-consumer home insurance company raised an additional $15m in funding. This brings its total Series D funding to $109m. Interesting to read Kin has doubled its GWP whilst improving operational efficiency and driving towards profitability.
Creating ecosystems – I always love this stuff. Something we work hard on with our clients is to convey the need for innovation scouting to look beyond the traditional insurtech or startup world. And this is a great example of why. 

PhonePe has announced it will take steps to build and scale new businesses across insurance, wealth management and lending. The company has already been leveraging its 450m registered users to cross-sell insurance, but this is definitely a big, interesting step for the Fintech. It has recently secured $200m in funding from Walmart, part of an ongoing fundraising drive to raise up to £1bn after separating from parent company Flipkart.
Travel – France’s Koala, a travel insurtech, has raised €2m, led by Insurtech Gateway. The insurtech currently offers two products, Koala Flex (a cancellation-for-any-reason product) and Koala Trip Distribution (a disruption product for delays, cancellations, and missed connections).

Asia’s rapidly evolving insurtech landscape
Tonnes of activity across Asia at the moment. 
Singapore-headquartered bolttech today announced a strategic partnership with digital lifestyle insurer, Tune Protect Group (Tune Protect), to launch a new generation of device protection solutions and support services in Malaysia.
Through the partnership, customers will get a seamless end-to-end customer experience for device protection solutions.
Also, in Singapore, Surer, has launched a new feature that will enable insurance intermediaries to build and launch websites in minutes. If you’re not familiar with these guys, they’re a cloud-based platform with an ecosystem of intermediaries and insurers. 
In Indonesia, micro-insurtech Qoala has landed a Series B extension, raising $7.5m – $4m of which interestingly came from European investment firm responsAbility

The new funds will be used to expand both its product portfolio and expand geographically across emerging markets in SE Asia. The company previously raised $65m in Series B funding in May last year.
Also in Indonesia, Fuse, which operates B2C, B2B2C, and B2A2C models, has published a few numbers on how they’re getting on. And they’re pretty good.
It exceeded 150m policies last year, reaching over $200m GWP. 
This represents a growth of more than 200% in GWP, and 360% growth in policies, compared to that of 2021. Fuse, which already has operations in Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia, said they plan to expand even further in SE Asia in 2023.
In Thailand, Roojai, which offers motor, health, and accident insurance, has raised $42m Series B. There’s still decent money around. Even in these emerging markets.
And finally, India’s Acko is reportedly in discussions to raise $120m in funding which would value the startup at around $1.5bn. 
What really interested me was Acko’s recent acquisition of Parentlane – which provides young millennial parents with healthcare solutions. It’s a definite signal it continues to expand beyond its core insurance offerings.

If you’d like to know more about the Asian/APAC market, what trends we’re seeing and where the opportunities might lie for your business, give us a shout. It’s a big old market, evolving fast. 
We’re also doing a load of research with the ITC Asia guys at the moment, which we’ll be sharing at the event in Singapore at the end of May. If it’s a geography you’re involved in, make sure you come along. It’s set to be a belter. 
Before I go, a big shout out to my snowboarding buddies David Gritz and Tony Lew for getting the insurance world together in New York this week. Looked like an epic event, and I’m just sorry I wasn’t able to make it over.
On the event front, one from the ITC DIA Europe guys: 

Random fact: the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia has taken longer to complete than the Egyptian Pyramids. I feel there’s an analogy to insurance transformation in there somewhere!  
Right, that’s it from me. 
I’m off to watch a Friday night rugby match in the rain. Got to love the UK. 
Have a good weekend. 

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