Willis Towers Watson: Insurtech investment remains 'buoyant' in Q2

Willis Towers Watson: Insurtech investment remains 'buoyant' in Q2 | Insurance Business

Willis Towers Watson: Insurtech investment remains

The latest report from Willis Towers Watson (WTW) found that investment in insurance tech – “insurtech” – companies for the second quarter of 2019 remains at high levels.

The new Quarterly InsurTech Briefing report from WTW found that for the quarter, there were 69 insurtech deals announced with a total value of $1.41 billion. This, the report noted, makes Q2 2019 the fourth consecutive quarter wherein total new funding commitments exceeded $1.2 billion.

WTW also found that the value of investments in P&C-focused firms spiked by 283%, compared to Q2 2018. Life & health deals also surged similarly, seeing a 259% year-over-year increase in investment value. Additionally, the number of strategic investments by (re)insurers hit a record high of 36 for the second quarter of this year.

The report found that the continued “predominance” of later-stage, typically larger investments helped push down transaction volume by over a fifth, while the number of early-stage investments sank to its lowest point since Q3 2017. WTW suggests that this displays increased maturity in the insurtech sector.

Notably, there is strong interest in improving insurance distribution among investors, the report discovered.

Seed and Series A funding into insurtechs that operate globally attracted $147 million in Q2 2019, WTW reported. Of that total, 59% of target ventures were focused on insurance distribution. Another 54% was invested in insurtechs from outside the US or UK.

“Technology as a strategic vertical is now commonplace in nearly every single insurer and reinsurer across the globe, but the technology from the incoming insurtech pastures may not be quite as green or as impacting as many incumbents had hoped – or at least anticipated,” commented Willis Re’s global head of insurtech Dr. Andrew Johnston.

Johnston adds that while WTW believes in the value created by some insurtechs, it will maintain its position of “realistic pragmatism.”