The year 2019 is half over. In the past six months, the insurance industry has seen the burst of big things and great enthusiasm for insurtech. Insurance companies are using cutting-edge technologies to upgrade products, innovate business models and reshape the industry structure. Aiming at the insurance industry, more and more tech companies are committed to helping insurance companies improve their risk control abilities and core competitiveness. The application of emerging technologies such as AI, big data, cloud computing and IoT in the insurance industry is closed watched by the capital market.
Plug and Play is the world’s leading ecological platform for technological innovation. Established in Silicon Valley in 2016, its insurtech section has initiated accelerator programs in New York, Munich, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing. It has cooperated with more than 80 top insurance companies in the world to accelerate more than 240 startups and made more than 40 investments.
Since its establishment in 2018, Plug and Play China has been closely cooperating with primary insurance companies such as Swiss Re Group, Munich Re Group, Taiping Life Insurance, Willis Towers Watson and Sunshine Insurance Group. In the past three months, these partners have been actively involved in the Plug and Play China Insurtech Batch 1 Program. 24 insurtech startups were selected by them from hundreds of insurtech companies at home and abroad. They helped those startups verify the concept and make practice in business scenarios of innovative products through effective matchmaking and acceleration.
On June 27, Plug and Play China Insurtech Summer Summit – Batch 1 Expo Day was held as scheduled.
More than 150 guests including representatives from dozens of well-known insurance companies, representatives from more than 20 insurtech startups, and representatives from investment institutions and government departments gathered in Shanghai to share their experience in insurtech innovation.
Peter Xu, Executive Director and CEO of Plug and Play China, delivered the opening speech. He shared with the guests Plug and Play’s 20 years of experience and insight on innovation acceleration.
Peter Xu said that Plug and Play China is committed to building a leading innovative ecological platform covering the full life cycle of innovation. For startups, Plug and Play China pays attention to their whole development process and provides different services for their different development stages. For corporates, Plug and Play China helps them empower business through technology and make their innovation more efficient and targeted.
Peter Xu, Executive Director and CEO of Plug and Play China
As a platform established in Silicon Valley and dedicated to global technological innovation for 20 years, Plug and Play is keenly aware of the potential of the emerging field of insurtech. In terms of insurtech, Plug and Play China has a deep understanding of the needs of domestic insurance companies and hi-tech startups, and is capable of bringing the latest development ideas of global insurtech to domestic corporates with its global vision and leading experience, so as to help corporates of different sizes and stages improve innovation efficiency and achieve common development.
According to Lu Yao, Head of Insurtech of Plug and Play China, the current Batch focuses on many directions that domestic insurance companies pay close attention to at present, including distribution, proxy tools, customer management, underwriting and claims, with a comprehensive coverage of life insurance/health insurance/group insurance, property insurance/casualty insurance, insurance value chain, and general insurance technology. 24 startups were selected into the Acceleration program from hundreds of startups. Through many online and offline matchmaking, a number of pilot cooperation has been achieved in three months.
Lu Yao, Head of Insurtech of Plug and Play China
Compared with the Batch 0, she said, the startups in this batch are more mature, with a higher proportion in the early and growth stages. More B2B2C startups were selected, indicating that insurance companies paid more attention to expanding diversified distribution channels than last year.
It is worth mentioning that with the resource advantage of Plug and Play China in 10 vertical fields, the insurtech team has held many interdisciplinary exchange and matchmaking events for corporates and startups in the batch. Through brainstorming and mutual learning of different industries, Plug and Play China helps corporates learn from the experience of open innovation and inspire new business models for startups.
Tobias Farny, Tobias Farny, CEO of Munich Re Asia Pacific, also shared their experience in innovation. He said that Munich Re Group was aware that insurance companies needed an innovation ecosystem. However, innovation was not a flash of genius, but the result of huge work.
Tobias Farny, CEO of Munich Re Asia Pacific
Insurance companies should not treat innovation as a “leisure-time activity” or as a secondary service in pursuit of hotspot, said Tobias. Innovation in the real sense requires long-term and lasting investment and open business model, and the formation of innovation culture within the corporates. He suggested that corporates allocate their limited resources to several appropriate fields when conducting innovative services.
On the Expo Day, the last event of the Batch 1, 17 startups showed their acceleration achievements.
After the Expo Day, Plug and Play China Insurtech will launch the Insurtech Batch 2. The insurtech team will continue to work with corporate partners to explore more potential technologies and lead the digital transformation of the insurance industry. The Insurtech Batch 2 will last for 3 months, and the Expo Day will be held in November.
About Plug and Play China
The former entity of Plug and Play was founded at No. 165 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA in 1998. We have successfully invested and incubated a number of Internet Giants including Google, PayPal and Dropbox.
Plug and Play was formally established in Silicon Valley in 2006. With over ten years of development and 20 years of experiences in early-stage investment, Plug and Play has co-working spaces and regional offices in more than 28 countries and regions worldwide. We have made over 250 early-stage investments annually and invested in nearly 1,000 startups. Each year we provide innovation services for over 280 Global 500 Companies by holding over 700 matchmaking activities between startups and corporates.
Founded in 2015, Plug and Play China currently has four innovation centers in Beijing (headquarter), Shanghai, Chongqing, and Shenzhen. There are five main business sectors across our platform including investment, corporate innovation, startup incubation and acceleration, cross-border innovation and co-working space. We have formed China's leading innovation ecosystem online and offline, and created a multi-dimensional open innovation platform including university, government, venture capital, innovation research lab, and city innovation partner.
Please visit www.pnpchina.com for more information.