Liberty Mutual invests in autonomous vehicle technology
Who’s involved: Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, the venture capital arm of Liberty Mutual Insurance and Edge Case Research, which provides software and services to tackle artificial intelligence safety problems.
What’s happening: Liberty Mutual has participated in Edge Case’s $7m seed funding round, which was led by autonomous vehicle pioneer Chris Urmson, the co-founder and chief executive of self-driving technology provider Aurora, and simulation software provider Ansys.
Significance of development: Liberty’s partnership with Edge Case aims to deliver mutual benefits for both companies and the customers they serve. One notable collaboration already underway is a pilot of Edge Case Research’s Hologram product – which tests the software and hardware used by autonomous vehicles to perceive their environment.
Timeline: With immediate effect
Waterdrop raises $145m to expand healthcare platform
Who’s involved: Chinese healthcare platform Waterdrop (called Shuidi in Chinese), a healthcare crowdfunding and insurance sales platform; private equity investor Boyu Capital.
What’s happening: Waterdrop has raised CNY1bn ($145m) in a series C funding round led by Boyu Capital. Other backers included CICC Capital, Tencent and Gaorong Capital.
Significance of development: The cash will help fund the adoption of artificial intelligence in product development and claims, as well as grow the health insurance team. In May, Waterdrop brokered insurance policies with annual premiums of more than CNY500m and about 90% of users bought their first online insurance policy through the platform, the company claimed. Ping An, China Taiping and People’s Insurance Company of China all sell policies via Waterdrop.
Timeline: Waterdrop was founded in 2016. Earlier this year it raised nearly CNY500m in series B funding round that was supported by Tencent and Banyan Capital.
Sapiens partners with Kovrr
Who’s involved: Sapiens, an Israel-headquartered insurance software provider and Kovrr, an Israel-headquartered predictive cyber-risk modelling firm.
What’s happening: Sapiens has partnered with Kovrr to maximise its open-API architecture and make third-party and insurtech solutions available to its customers.
Significance of development: Sapiens said its partnership will enable UK insurers to comply with the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) regulations around managing cyber risk. Sapiens highlighted the PRA’s cyber insurance underwriting risk statement SS4/17 published in July 2017
Timeline: With immediate effect
Digital home insurer snaps up motor insurance business
Who’s involved: Policy Expert, a UK digital home insurer; and UK motor insurance business Sure Thing!
What’s happening: Policy Expert has acquired Sure Thing! for an undisclosed sum.
Significance of development: The acquisition will support Policy Expert’s plans to expand into the motor insurance market and build on its position as a top 20 UK home insurer with over 500,000 live policies.
Timeline: With immediate effect. Both Policy Expert and Sure Thing! brands will continue as part of a multi-brand strategy.