Balance RE | September 01, 2021
Balance Re, the life reinsurance start-up specialised in quantitative asset-liability management, today announced it has raised $10m in Series A funding from leading financial services investor Anthemis Group, with participation from Global Brain and the company's existing investors, Roland Berger Industries GmbH and Talabot Finance.
Balance Re offers comprehensive reinsurance solutions to life insurance companies and pension funds to support capital management related to their retirement and saving products. The Series A investment will be used to further develop Balance Re's proprietary asset-liability management technology and to support its fully licensed German reinsurance company based in Cologne.
In Balance Re's launch market, Germany, Solvency II's transitional measures represent on average ca. 150 percentage points of life insurers' solvency capital ratios. Balance Re's technology-first and data-driven approach to reinsurance instead enables its clients to release capital to fund growth, support product repositioning and improve (or regain) a competitive advantage. Thanks to real-time risk management capabilities, Balance Re is the first reinsurer able to offer to its clients easy-to-implement and cost-efficient reinsurance solutions which transfer the challenging interactions of financial and insurance risks.
Balance Re's new shareholders, Anthemis and Global Brain, bring in-depth knowledge of the insurance sector and expertise in technologies dedicated to the financial industry, ideally complementing the experience of Balance Re's initial investors rooted in investment management and corporate strategy.
Lucian Rautu and Michel Gauer, the founders of Balance Re, commented: "We are delighted to welcome Anthemis and Global Brain in the capital of Balance Re and at the Board. Their deep industry knowledge and capacity to take an "outside-of-the-box" approach to venture investments in the insurance space make them the perfect partners to disrupt the life reinsurance market".
Matthew Jones, Managing Director at Anthemis, said "Balance Re's team and their technology reflect the complex interactions between actuarial, financial, accounting and regulatory matters. Balance Re's coverage is designed to help clients reach their strategic goals whilst also keeping the interests of their policyholders in mind – we're excited to see them drive much-needed change in the life reinsurance sector."
Naoki Kamimaeda, Partner at Global Brain, said "We believe that the technology developed by the Balance Re team has far reaching applications beyond life reinsurance and Europe. We are enthusiastic to join them at this important stage of the journey and look forward to helping them realise their vision to improve the management of long-term insurance and pension liabilities globally."
About Balance Re
Balance Re tackles one of the most fascinating problems of life insurance: managing the complex interactions between insurance and financial risks. These problems exist in a multifaceted environment spanning actuarial, financial, accounting, and regulatory matters. To operate at the crossroad of so many fields, Balance Re takes down the cultural silos between insurance, investment, and technology to blend the expertise required to solve its clients' needs for truly comprehensive risk transfer.
Anthemis cultivates change in financial services by investing in, growing, and sustaining businesses committed to improving the world. We are founded on three guiding principles — authentic collaboration, virtuous cycle outcomes, and diversity and inclusivity and our deep understanding of markets and models, passion for emerging technology and values inspire everything we do. By creating fertile ground for a diverse group of start-ups, investors, entrepreneurs, institutions, academics, and visionaries to converge, we believe we can solve the financial services world's most pressing challenges faster, better and for the benefit of all.
About Global Brain
Global Brain is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Tokyo. It supports start-ups that tackle pressing problems, create innovation, and contribute to the stimulation of the Japanese economy and beyond. Its high-achieving, experienced professionals identify excellent start-ups through multiple global locations in Europe, US and APAC, and provide hands-on growth support. Global Brain's total asset under management is over US$1 billion, making it the largest domestic independent venture capital firm.
PZU, Tractable | November 27, 2020
PZU, the biggest financial institution in Central and Eastern Europe, is using AI to upgrade how it audits its car insurance claims across Poland, it declares today.
PZU handles almost 500,000 motor damage claims for every year. Prior to implementing AI, Poland's biggest insurer was performing a detailed audit of around 20% of its motor claims that are handled by body shops (the remaining body shop cases were affirmed with improved control).
Presently, the AI solutions - gave by the tech organization Tractable - permit PZU to check in detail practically the entirety of the body shop claims it measures, progressively. The calculations can recognize any oddities that should be checked by PZU's specialists or affirm that all repairs are carried out in consistence with methodology and standards defined by PZU. Because of this development, PZU's specialists can zero in on those cases that truly need their consideration.
PZU has worked with Tractable since 2018 and is the primary insurer in Poland to utilize AI to handle its motor insurance claims. Up until this point, the innovation has handled more than 150,000 claims, or 1/3 of PZU's yearly auto claims volume, worth PLN 1.3bn (£260m). According to PZU, the applied arrangement has made claims handling essentially more powerful, while likewise shortening the waiting time for vehicle repair.
Marcin Kurczab, Director of Innovation Lab at PZU, and responsible for cooperation with start-ups, said: "At PZU, we strongly believe in cooperation with top insurtech startups to transform our business. I am pleased that together with Tractable, we have implemented innovative computer vision technology. Now, we are able to better control our cooperation with body shops and resolve any anomalies in a much more efficient way than ever before. We are pleased not only with the success of the project, but also with the fact that, as the first insurer in Poland, we have implemented this unique technology on such a scale in cooperation with a leading UK tech company."
Established in 1803, PZU is the most seasoned and biggest insurer in Poland, with record-breaking benefit and deals in 2019. Net benefit totalled PLN 3,295m (£667m), deals totalled PLN 24.2bn (£4,91bn), and ROE was 21.2 percent, almost twofold the European normal among insurance companies.
Adrien Cohen, Tractable Co-Founder and President, said: "It's been incredible to see how PZU, one of the most respected companies in Poland, has deployed our cutting-edge solution on a large scale. This proves PZU's dedication to innovation and placing it amongst the most advanced insurers in the world. Our solution gives PZU control over 100% of its repairs and claims, all in real time, thanks to the speed and reach of AI."
Tractable's AI utilizes machine learning calculations and is trained on photographs and human repair choices across a great many verifiable mishaps. The innovation can be applied internationally to any traveler vehicle. The AI empowers insurers to survey car damage, shares suggested repair tasks, and aides the claims the executives cycle to guarantee these are prepared and settled as fast as could reasonably be expected. The framework continually improves as an ever increasing number of insurers and repairers profit by its utilization.
Tractable's AI has handled over $1 billion in auto claims for the world's top insurers, including Ageas UK, Covéa, the biggest auto insurer in the French market, and Tokio Marine, the biggest auto insurer in Japan.
Tractable develops artificial intelligence systems for accident and disaster recovery. Its AI solutions have been deployed by leading insurers across Europe, North America and Asia to accelerate accident recovery for hundreds of thousands of households. Tractable is backed by $55m in venture capital and has offices in London, New York City and Tokyo.
The Powszechny Zakład Ubezpieczeń SA Group (PZU Group) is the biggest financial institution in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. PZU SA heads up the group and its traditions date back to 1803, when the first insurance company was established in Poland.
The PZU Group's consolidated assets total PLN 377bn. The Group enjoys the trust of 22 million clients in five countries by offering products and rendering services to retail clients, small and medium enterprises and business entities. The Polish market is the PZU Group's core market measured by its magnitude and client numbers. Nevertheless, its subsidiaries play an important role on the markets in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine. According to spontaneous brand recognition surveys, PZU reached 92%, while aided brand recognition is 100%, making PZU the most recognisable brand in Poland. Since 2010, PZU SA has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, where it has been one of the large cap blue chips offering the highest amount of liquidity from its floatation.
Ascend | March 31, 2022
Today, modern insurtech infrastructure companies, Ascend and Stere, announced an anchor partnership. The two companies will be teaming up to provide existing brokers, MGAs, and carriers with the best-in-class digital experiences.
Ascend is the first modern insurance payments platform that provides automated all-in-one financing, collections, and payables. Stere is a one-stop-shop for businesses to find capacity and access digital tools to launch, improve and grow insurance programs. Both companies work to digitize key aspects of the insurance value chain and will be combining forces in a first-of-its-kind anchor partnership to further fuel their customers' growth.
We're incredibly excited to be collaborating with Stere as we enter the next phase of providing the best possible product/service for our customers, They've built an incredible ecosystem that connects "capacity seekers" such as MGAs, insurtechs, or embedded insurance partners, with "capacity providers" like carriers and reinsurers. Stere's capacity marketplace will support our customers' capacity needs and becoming a part of that ecosystem, benefits both ours and their customers."
Ascend Co-Founder & Co-CEO Andrew Wynn.
Stere allows interested parties to easily launch new insurance programs and products, and Ascend makes it easy to handle all aspects of payments for those new programs.
Working with Ascend further expands and strengthens the roster of network vendor partners our clients have easy access to via our digital ecosystem, Our mission is to be a go-to capacity marketplace for MGAs, reinsurers, and carriers as well as offer them a secure platform where they can launch and grow insurance programs with ease. By restructuring and modernizing insurance payments infrastructure, something that is long overdue, Ascend addresses a long-standing industry pain point and empowers our clients to increase their process efficiencies."
Stere CEO and Founder Dogan Kaleli.
This is the first of many partnerships Ascend will be investing in to deepen its relationships with other insurtechs, MGAs, AMS, and other embedded insurance carriers to complement the strategic ambitions of companies in the insurance market.
Ascend is the modern insurance payments platform that provides automated all-in-one financing, collections, and payables. Founded by two-time insurtech entrepreneurs Andrew Wynn and Praveen Chekuri, Ascend helps distributors sell more by eliminating labor-intensive, expensive processes while providing customers with the great online checkout and financing experience they've come to expect.
Stere is a digital ecosystem for insurance programs. With Stere, program leaders source insurance capacity and access digital tools to launch sooner and grow smarter. Stere clients are MGAs, insurtech MGAs, and embedded insurance programs, and their ecosystem partners such as carriers, fronting carriers, reinsurers, brokers, program consultants, and technology providers.