Insurtech 2020, Ted Stuckey (QBE) confident in AI and New Data Sources

Ted Stuckey, Managing Director of QBE Ventures, outlines how QBE works and shares with us his thoughts on the future of insurance and insurtech 2020

Pubblicato il 28 Nov 2019

Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) has gained a lot of importance nowadays in many industries as a means to innovate products, services, processes in a faster way. As Forbes reported, over the last decade, corporate venture capital (CVC) has been growing at an unprecedented rate. In 2018 alone, over $60.8 billion was invested in more than 1,065 deals, representing an increase of more than 100% from the previous year. This is equivalent to 23% of all venture deals.
The insurance sector is also part of the game: Axa Strategic Ventures, Aviva Ventures, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Allianz X, are some of the players, as well as QBE Ventures, the CVC arm of QBE Insurance Group, which portfolio includes RiskGenius, Cytora, HyperScience, Jupiter, Zeguro.

Ted Stuckey is the Managing Director of QBE Ventures, outlines how QBE works and shares with us his thoughts on the future of insurance.

Hi Ted, can you explain the specific model of open innovation of QBE Ventures? What kind of partnership do you establish with start-ups? 

Ted Stuckey, Managing Director QBE Ventures

QBE Ventures acts as a front door for start-ups to have access to QBE. We’re partnering with start-ups that provide QBE with access to technologies, products or capabilities that allow us to accelerate our strategic goals and objectives. As a strategic corporate venture capital fund, we work to deploy start-ups product and capabilities across our Global divisions. It is important that both parties see the investment as a mutually beneficial partnership. We want to provide unique resources that go beyond the capital we are putting into the company to help fuel the start-ups’ growth and development.

What kind of startups do you look for? Can you describe your scouting process?

We want to engage with start-ups across all sectors, ranging from back-office automation to new products, new markets and new means for client acquisition. We’re looking for start-ups with strong founding teams that have demonstrated domain experience and a proven ability to deliver. As far as the types of businesses we’re looking to work with – it falls across the spectrum of property and casualty insurance.

QBE Ventures invests in, and partners with, startups globally. We’re active in the startup ecosystem both directly and via partners like Techstars. This allows us with access to startups at all stages and provides us with a unique insight into new trends and opportunities. An example of an investment that we’ve made is with Cytora and a partnership that we’ve recently announced with Nimbla. Startups can always contact us at

You have operations also in Europe, maybe also in Italy. Can you tell us more about this?

We’re always looking for amazing start-ups wherever we operate, that includes Continental Europe. That means providing our European operations with start-up partnerships that are mutually beneficial and allow them to accelerate their specific country goals and strategies. In some cases that might be growing or developing new, innovative products. In Europe, QBE has offices in eight countries, including Italy.

Insurtech global scenario: which technology trends we will see booming in 2020?

We continue to be incredibly bullish on the impact of the intersection of artificial intelligence and new and non-traditional data sources. We’re excited about the impact that the intersection can have on the development of new and exciting insurance products and the streamlining of existing insurance processes. Ultimately, these technologies coming together will create a better customer experience and more customised set of products. By harnessing this with the help of these start-ups, it will also allow us to be more competitive in the geographies we operate in.

More generally, how do you see the future of insurance?

I’m a firm believer that the rapid increase in the number of start-ups that are operating in the insurtech ecosystem will push the industry to heights that we’ve never seen before. It will make us a better industry and a more efficient industry, it’s challenging us to think differently about the value we provide to our customers which is good for everyone and It’s opening our eyes to new opportunities that maybe we wouldn’t have been able to find on our own.

Since the digital transformation is not a phase but a never-ending process, do you think that collaboration with startups will be the ‘standard’ scheme for insurance to innovate?
 As one of the largest commercial and specialty insurance carriers, digital transformation takes time. We’ve recognized that we cannot adapt to the changing times by ourselves and that we need to find startups who will help us and challenge us to be better. In an industry ripe for disruption, we need startups who will dispute the status quo and push us to reexamine our assumptions. 

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