The Australian insurance market is worth $100 billion annually and $7 trillion worldwide, offering a massive opportunity for startups in the space
With that prize in mind, Insurtech Australia brought together startups in the space, early-stage investors and business leaders in Sydney at at event sponsored by Investment NSW to debunk investment myths around early-stage insurance ventures and what defines an insurtech startup.
Simone Dossetor, CEO of Insurtech Australia, the not-for-profit industry association for insurtech startups and insurance industry innovation, said insurtech can be any venture that uses technology to deliver a service related to insurance.
“This means insurtech is a diverse sector, touching adjacencies like climate and property, just to name a couple of intersections,” she said.
“In Australia, our insurtechs are known for building sophisticated technology that is proven in the local market and easily scalable across other developed and emerging economies,” she said.
FloodMapp at the forefront
FloodMapp is an insurtech startup that provides rapid, real-time and hyper-local flood mapping, to save lives and reduce the impact of floods on business and property. In turn, this benefits insurance underwriters.
Allectus Capital was an early investor in FloodMapp, whose 2022 $8.4 million seed round was an Australian record.
Pierre de Villecourt from Allectus Capital was a guest at the event.
“Allectus invests in exceptional founders with a mission to use world-class technology to transform or disrupt global industries,” de Villecourt said.
“We like FloodMapp’s mission, deep domain expertise, intellectual property and their world-first modelling technology using big data, automation and machine learning.
“Given the global nature of the climate change problem, we also see synergies with fintech, where we are a very active investor.”
Trendspek connects with real assets
Trendspek’s software benefits the real estate and insurance industries, providing better intelligence and proof of existing condition and maintenance activities concerning high value real assets.
The software gives real asset owners, engineers and property managers the power to digitally inspect buildings and critical infrastructure via 3D digital models that are generated – or “stitched” together – using thousands of hi-fidelity images, usually captured by drones.
Derek Feebrey, cofounder & CEO at Trendspek, was a panel speaker.
“Trendspek provides a complete and accurate digital timeline of assets that enables better decision-making and certainty for insurers,” he said.
Trendspek solves for safety, operational and financial inspection risks in commercial property and public infrastructure, where representative sampling methods are typically employed.
“Traditionally, maintenance and insured risk decisions have been based on a mere 20 per cent knowledge that is only updated every 3 to 5 years … and the rest is just assumptions,” Feebrey said.
“We’re challenging the status quo and enabling a better, more streamlined asset lifecycle, from visual inspection through to active monitoring.”
Trendspek is an alumni of both IAG Firemark Labs and Taronga Ventures RealTechX accelerator programs and both VCs participated in Trendspek’s 2022 $6.3 million Series A round.
Insurtech investment myths
Tetiana George is an Insurtech Australia director and hosted the panel.
“Insurtech Australia has busted the investment myths around early-stage insurance ventures,” she told the audience.
“We punch above our weight in terms of the value of our insurance market compared to our population.”
George noted that insurance is a well-defined market in Australia, with 200 APRA registered underwriters and managing general agents, plus 11,000 brokers.
She added that most insurtechs qualify for ESVCLP investment structures and industry sales cycles are standard for B2B businesses.
“Insurtech is a great sector for angels and VCs to consider,” she said
Insurtech Australia is hosting its annual marquee InsurtechLIVE 24 event in Sydney on Tuesday, February 13, 2024. It will bring together vision and insights from global and local leaders, spotlighting the insurtech investment environment, and the role of technology in enabling insurance innovation.