Allianz.com: Please explain the idea behind Allianz Digital Corporate Ventures.
Marc Oerke: Allianz has an important initiative going on: The digitalization of the group. Allianz Digital Corporate Ventures supports this initiative by investing in young companies. As a strategic investor, we look for investment opportunities where a connection adds value to the startup as well as Allianz. Thereby, we get access to entrepreneurs who drive new ideas with the potential to offer new products or services to our clients or even enter new customer groups. They develop new technologies, which might even lead to a disruptive business model for the insurance industry. When it comes to enabling and leveraging digital innovation, we do not want to be a spectator, but to play an active role.
Recently, you invested in Argus Cyber Security, QuanTemplate and Urgent.ly. Can you explain their business models? What do you want to achieve by investing in these companies?
In general, the focus areas of our investments are Fintech, Connected Car/Home, Data and Analytics, Cyber Security and Digital Health.
Argus is an automotive cyber security pioneer, helping car manufacturers, their Tier 1 suppliers and aftermarket connectivity providers protect connected cars and commercial vehicles from car-hacking. Remember the Jeep hacked in July 2015, which caused a call-back of 1.4 million cars. In the future we will see more connected cars and autonomous cars driving on our streets. One of the key questions is: How can we make sure that these cars are safe from data breaches? This investment will help us to further explore our role in the world of autonomous cars.
QuanTemplate is a unique data and analytics company that focuses specifically on the needs of insurers to analyze and visualize risk. For companies like Allianz the capability of quickly analyzing the data at hand and acting upon them in a responsible and risk-oriented way is crucial. We think QuanTemplate have developed software that addresses this topic - we have not seen something comparable so far.
Urgent.ly: They have developed a very innovative service solution, taking advantage of the mobile on-demand economy and connected vehicles. In case of emergency, drivers can identify and connect with the nearest available, approved service provider and watch in real-time via their smartphone’s map, how help is approaching. A convenient, efficient and transparent service addressing customer needs in a stressful situation.
Allianz is approaching the digital ecosystem from various angles. Regarding the startup segment – what is the difference between Allianz Digital Corporate Ventures and the Allianz Digital Accelerator?
Allianz Digital Corporate Ventures invests in startups when they have grown to a certain level of maturity, characterized by a proven business model with a product, customers and first revenues. Allianz Digital Accelerator focuses on company building and incubating new ventures adjacent to Allianz core business, they screen and validate respective ideas, technology and business models.