In late February, AXA announced the launch of €200 million ($291 million) venture capital fund backing startups bringing innovations to the insurance, asset management, financial technology and healthcare service industries.
Through the fund, AXA aims to provide capital, technical expertise and market access to the startups, AXA said in a statement.
Already, AXA has five made investments in five startups, including three relevant to the property/casualty insurance sector in the areas of climate change consulting, customer acquisition and travel insurance:
- ClimateSecure, which aims to provide tailor-made insurance and weather-risk management solutions to help its clients understand, mitigate and insure financial losses caused by weather anomalies. ClimateSecure serves weather-sensitive sectors such as the construction, transportation, and agricultural industries.
- Widmee, a cloud platform that uses the collection and analysis of smart data to generate qualified sales leads. The platform also improves rates of transforming leads into sales by pushing a personalized offer to the prospects using the best channel.
- FLYR, a San Francisco-based startup company that predicts changes in airfare up to 120 days in advance.
AXA, which provided funds for the European expansion of the company, indicates that FLYR could change the travel insurance industry. Its main benefit, however, seems to be to travelers of all types, allowing them to input itineraries for planned travel and through the magic of data analytics to receive prompts to buy or wait to purchase the tickets for flights indicated.
Said Anders Malmstrom, chief financial officer of AXA U.S. and a member of the Strategy Committee of AXA Strategic Ventures: “AXA will share its global reach and expertise to serve as an accelerator for start-up companies that bring new, customer-focused ideas to insurance and financial services.”
“We will target emerging companies at all stages of growth that are strategically relevant and offer attractive returns,” he added in a statement. “The fund advances our digital and customer strategy in the U.S. by connecting our people and our business with new technologies, new solutions, and new ways of thinking,” he said.
The fund’s longer-term technology focus complements AXA’s major operating investments, across all entities, into research and digital development that transform how customers experience AXA, the company said.
Sources: AXA S.A., a Paris-headquartered holding company international insurance and financial services companies, including AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC companies; AXA Strategic Ventures.