AXIS Capital Holdings launches InsurTech-focused investment firm

AXIS Capital Holdings has launched a new InsurTech-focused investment firm AXIS Digital Ventures.

The new division will lead efforts for partnerships with companies focused on data and analytics which have high-value (re)insurance applications, new product opportunities including emerging risks, and new distribution and (re)insurance business models. Alongside this, the unit will be responsible for introducing innovative technologies across AXIS.

AXIS director of corporate development Zach Powell has been named as head of the new venture firm and he will report to group chief underwriting officer Eric Gesick. Powell worked on sourcing, evaluating and executing acquisitions and strategic investments, during his previous role at AXIS.

This launch comes after AXIS announced earlier in the year that it hoped to bolster its operating model and become more agile and adaptable to the rising use of technology.

AXIS Capital president and CEO Albert Benchimol said, “With the launch of AXIS Digital Ventures, we are accelerating our efforts to leverage digital technologies and InsurTech more broadly to drive innovation, increase efficiency, enhance profitability and identify new products and solutions that will deliver more value to our clients and partners in distribution.”

The firm is a global provider of insurance and treaty reinsurance products, covering energy, marine, cyber, aviation, property and mortgages, among a variety other policy types.

InsurTech startups raised a combined total of $1.9bn in funding last year, according to data by FinTech Global. The investment volume was up by $400m compared to 2016, but slightly down from the $2bn which was raised in 2015.

Since 2014, there has been a rise in the value of deals, with the percentage of deals between $10m and $25m increasing by 8 per cent.

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