CURATED INSURTECH NEWS | What’s going on in the D-A-CH region?
What is new and what is hot in the FinTech and InsurTech space? I have selected some interesting and groundbreaking news and information from the past few months from startups and incumbents in the insurance and financial service space in the German speaking countries (aka ‘D-A-CH’ region). A lot has happened, let’s start with InsurTech:
All mentioned sources are listed at the end of the article.
The digital P&C insurer Neodigital from Germany has won another well-known investor in a current financing round. In addition to Alstin Capital, led by Carsten Maschmeyer and Clemens von Bergmann, the growth fund from Christian Angermayer Investor is now on board, too. Elevat3 Capital, supported by Peter Thiel, is investing a notable amount in the young insurance company.5
For two startups, 2020 also means the end of operations: Joonko and getsurance strike their colours.6, 7 What’s particularly unfortunate here is, that this is not a result due to a lack of success or due to the coronavirus crisis, but rather the group of investors who apparently don’t seem to agree on the further course of the startup. And I am wondering why there isn’t a ‘plan B’.
Allianz, again and again, it is Allianz. They not only showed up with a fully digital life insurance product in Germany in 2018 (brand name Fourmore). Afterwards, they generated headlines with some further bold moves (financial platform called Iconic, forming the direct insurer Allianz Direct on European level). And this time, it is their new digital life insurance product.8 The product is running under the brand name ‘Allvest’. Major differentiation to Fourmore is that no sales commission is included into the pricing. Obviously, they follow a B2C approach with this new offer. Another milestone that perfectly fits into their entire ecosystem strategy. Hats off!
The German paragon InsurTech Deutsche Familienversicherung (DFV) has published some new figures and announced some more news.9 They declared to enter the life insurance market by the next year. And they will do so via an own risk carrier. In addition, the CEO explained that they will afterwards roll out their products and services to Europe. That is what I call a ‘big bang’, isn’t it?
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated growth among FinTechs. Their apps are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. Many industries are down, hit hard and continue to struggle to survive. However, not all players will look back on 2020 with negative emotions. The published Mobile Finance Report has revealed that fintech apps are on the winning side. According to this, investment apps are the second fastest growing app category worldwide.1 Really!?
Goldman Sachs FinTech startup Marcus shall be expanded into a financial platform and its plans for Germany have been currently revealed, too.2
Revolut recently announced the introduction of Open Banking for German users, thus enabling them to connect their accounts at Comdirect, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, ING-DiBa and Sparkasse with the Revolut app and view all their finances in one place. This new offering has been developed in collaboration with London-based FinTech TrueLayer.3
Klarna, the Swedish payment-services fintech, is working on a new offering that would propel the company into a new sphere of finance and put it in direct competition with traditional banking.4
The Insurtech Friendsurance from Berlin and the German top dog of Banking, Deutsche Bank, have set up a digital insurance manager. In the future, bank customers will be able to manage P&C insurance in online banking and banking app of Deutsche Bank.10
Who is afraid of the Big Techs? I would say: all the others! I have collected three(!) different sources with fantastic insights into the ambitions of Big Techs in finance.11, 12, 13
In a nutshell and my take: Big Techs have two options and thus two roads to go. One is further innovation and the other is to broaden their existing business and to deepen the value chain. I guess they will do both. And the letter means that they will have to enter competition with traditional banks and insurers. This is going to be exciting! Dear incumbents, better shield your existing clients from now on!
The year 2021 will be dominated by the race for ecosystems, too. Established large players (insurers, reinsurers, banks, asset managers and Big Techs) and many, many startups are working from different directions towards ecosystems that holistically serve retail clients on a specific topic like for example finance or health. It will be interesting to see if and how the traditional sales channels will manage to integrate themselves into these ecosystems. From my point of view, this will be key if they want to keep the interface to the retail client and stay in the pole position.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. All information without any liability. No claim to completeness.