And then there was the time it looked like Chernenko was ascendant but what really happened was Ustinov was just late because he had to pick up the uniform at the dry cleaners.
Softbank’s Vision Fund plans to pump more money into insurance, a sector it sees as both ripe for disruption and a potential booster for its bigger bets in cars, health and financial services, a Vision Fund executive told Reuters.
In the past year, the world’s biggest private technology investor has backed China’s largest online insurer ZhongAn (6060.HK) as well as PolicyBazaar, India’s biggest online insurance distributor, and app-based U.S. home insurer Lemonade.
And these and other insurance bets totaling nearly $3 billion are just the start, Vision Fund dealmaker David Thevenon said. The Vision Fund has raised nearly $100 billion, almost half of it from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
“We believe that technology and how data is used, processed and collected is going to transform insurance,” Thevenon said.
Softbank believes a new breed of “insurtech” companies can work with other firms within its portfolio such as local transport juggernaut Uber and office sharing firm WeWork to roll out new products and services to their massive base of clients.
Three of the 10 biggest investments in new digital insurance firms over the past year — PolicyBazaar, Lemonade and Nauto — were led by Softbank, according to data from Willis Towers Watson and CB Insights.
Including its stakes in ZhongAn and two units of China’s biggest insurer, Ping An (601318.SS), it made half the dozen biggest insurance investments in the year to June.
“We are going to have to place several bets,” said Thevenon, a former Google executive. “The nice thing about insurance is that this is so big, it’s not exactly a market where you make one investment and you suddenly have 90 percent market share.”
Insurtech will represent just under 10 percent of the global insurance market by 2023, or more than $400 billion in premiums, against just 4 percent in 2018, according to a recent Jupiter report....MORE