Allianz boosts tech VC fund to €1bn as it eyes bigger deals



Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

European insurer Allianz is increasing the size of its tech investment fund to €1bn, making it one of the largest corporate-backed venture funds in Europe.

Allianz X was launched in 2016 with a €430m chequebook and has done about 15 deals in total, including an investment in Indonesian taxi-hailing firm Go-Jek, German mobile bank N26, and US insurance startup Lemonade.

The new funds will target startups where Allianz sees some future cross-selling or use case, the company said yesterday.

Prior to its investment last year, Allianz Indonesia was offering insurance products to Go-Jek’s riders and customers.

Allianz X now has the option to make larger investments, said company CEO Nazim Cetin, and has plans to hire new staff.

The fund did not disclose any performance figures, but added that the current value of the portfolio exceeds the initial investment.

Some of Europe’s other major corporate-backed VC funds include that of BMW, which in 2016 announced it was creating an investment vehicle to spend up to €500m over a 10 year period. The same year saw Siemens pledge €1bn for startups via its Next47 venture. The increased appetite for venture deals mirrors the desire of Allianz CEO Oliver Baete to hunt out acquisition targets.

Originally conceived as away of backing startups, Allianz X switched focus in late 2017 to later-stage firms in areas such as mobility, wealth management, and cybersecurity.

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Insurers have been grappling with how technology will impact them. Deloitte, in its 2019 insurance outlook report, warned that “most insurers have long struggled with innovative product development”.

Allianz X is targeting how people may change their driving behaviours – and therefore how they take out policies – as a key market.

It has invested in Nauto, a startup that makes technology to help develop autonomous cars, and Urgent.ly, an app-based startup that provides breakdown cover.

Bloomberg

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