Aug 11, 2020

AirTree supports the Open platform for InsurTech disruption

William Girling
2 min
Co-founder and joint-CEO Jason Wilby believes that InsurTech necessitates AI-based innovation
Venture capital firm AirTree has confirmed it will provide AU$3.1mn in top-up funds to support Open, an InsurTech platform from the creators of Huddle...

Venture capital firm AirTree has confirmed it will provide AU$3.1mn in top-up funds to support Open, an InsurTech platform from the creators of Huddle.

Based in Sydney, Australia, Open is an emblematic platform which highlights the growing distinction between ‘legacy’ and digital insurance companies, allowing brokers to create personalised rather than standard products. The received funds will be used for further R&D and global expansion.

Co-founders Jason Wilby and Jonathan Buck’s previous endeavour, Huddle, bills itself as a simple and powerful insurance tool utilising technology to make the underwriting and claims process straightforward. Currently, the company states that it pays out $1mn per month.

The ‘Australian Lemonade’

While companies such as Gryphon Group Holdings in the UK and Lemonade in the US have been establishing InsurTech’s reputation on the global stage, Australia is yet to secure a truly international offering of its own.

The creators of Open are hoping that their platform will not only reverse this trend but also innovate a method for insurance brokerage. 

Using AI (artificial intelligence) technology to automate process-driven back office operations while allowing human staff to focus on value-adding services, the company will subsequently be able to pass administrative savings to customers.

“Today, much of the industry is overly reliant on traditional human-based processes, often resulting in complex and undesirable customer experiences,” said Wilby. 

“By using tech to automate insurance, from quote to claim, we’ve significantly improved the product experience, simplifying insurance for brokers, brands and customers.”

Insurance: ripe for disruption

Even though Open is approaching ‘cash flow break-even’ it is reportedly still hoping to raise additional funds in the hope of capitalising on the InsurTech boom. 

James Cameron, Partner at AirTree, stated that he believes Open’s AI-based strategy to be in-line with similarly successful formulas in other international markets. As such, he considers now to be the perfect time for the company to ante up.

“Insurance is ripe for disruption and Open has the team, the experience and the ability to do it. We’ve seen brands like Lemonade emerge in the direct-to-consumer market, but the opportunity to build the platform that powers the end-to-end insurance experience for insurers, brands and brokers is even bigger. 

“The company has been growing incredibly quickly and we’re thrilled to support their next stage,” he said.

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Jun 18, 2021

TrueMotion insurtech acquired by Cambridge Mobile Telematics

3 min
US-based TrueMotion and Cambridge Mobile Telematics provide mobile phone telematics technology

Two leading US telematics firms have joined forces as Cambridge Mobile Telematics acquired TrueMotion, another Massachusetts-based insurtech firm. 

One of the world’s leading telematics insurtechs, Cambridge Mobile Telematics, was launched in 2010 and powers 65 enterprise programmes in 28 countries.

Meanwhile, TrueMotion, which launched in 2012, has enjoyed significant success as a telematics operator, raising US$10mn in its seed funding round in 2010, and then partnering with the motor insurtech Noblr in 2019. 

TrueMotion has also entered the European market, collaborating with LB Forsikring to promote safe driving in Denmark.

Telematics expansion

The joining of the companies means TrueMotion’s 150-strong workforce will join Cambridge Mobile Telematic’s already established team, along with their client list, which includes Travelers, Farmers, and Progressive. 

The new company will focus on increased interest in using telematics for crash reconstruction in personal lines claims and more innovation in the telematics space. 

Speaking about the acquisition, William Powers, CEO, and co-founder of Cambridge Mobile Telematics, described the move as an opportunity to explore new markets, expand throughout the US and bring telematics to a much wider customer base.  

"With this acquisition, we will use our world-class talent, technology, and scale to help our partners overcome the complex challenges of global road safety,” he added.

Ryan McMahon, VP of insurance and customer affairs for Cambridge Mobile Telematics, explained that expanding the company with additional talent and customers would help meet the demands of a growing telematics market. He also quoted data from a study by J.D. Power which revealed that personal auto telematics users have doubled in five years to 16% of policyholders.

McMahon told the press, “This market is rapidly expanding, and building more capabilities is more important than ever,” McMahon says. “Both companies follow similar philosophies and grew up in similar ecosystems, and now we’re bringing those cultures together.”

He continued, “Telematics is absolutely the future of commercial auto and rideshare, and it’s kind of a step up beyond the normal telematics."

McMahon added, “We will not only widen our lead in smartphone telematics, but also use our combined talent to invent new products for risk measurement, contextual telematics, and crash mitigation across emerging mobile, IoT, connected-car, video, and sensing technologies.”

Five reasons why telematics is in demand

  1. It reduces fuel costs and increases operational efficiency. This is a consideration for most commercial fleets given the rising costs of fuel
  2. The technology enables fleet managers to plan operations with greater precision by providing exact locations, timescales, and speeds of vehicles. 
  3. It improves driving standards and monitors driver behaviour, reducing detours and ensuring responsible driving. 
  4. It helps fleet health and maintenance by monitoring the health of operational vehicles.
  5. It increases corporate social responsibility in terms of care for the driver, the vehicle, the impact of driving in terms of emissions, and also the security of the vehicle itself.

Image credit: Getty


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