How startups and insurers come together in InsurNXT

Cologne fair / the color zero

An industry in transition: The first InsureNXT as a face-to-face event took place in Cologne this week. The congress fair aims to become a meeting place for insurers and start-ups in the insurance sector and support the networking of both groups, which are not as alien as experts sometimes claim. After all, a good 2,000 participants came to the Cologne fair, even though the location was well chosen as the center of the German insurance industry.

Rand 1 billion euros we will invest as a society in 2040 to achieve our sustainability goals. This is the largest reallocation of capital in the history of Europe,” Oliver Schoeller, CEO of Gothaer Versicherungen, predicted in his keynote address at InsureNXT 2022 in Cologne. The insurance industry as an industry is a melting pot of the megatrends of our time. On the one hand, this would create huge opportunities for growth and, at the same time, increase the complexity and risks for the industry. “We believe that sustainability and business can be brought together very well,” added Monika Schulze, member of the board of directors of Zurich Germany. As a company, it is more important to formulate a goal, constantly strive for it and learn from mistakes than to wait for the perfect solution.

Sustainability, digital ecosystems, and customer-centric thinking as well as innovative technologies were the focus of InsureNXT 2022. With around 2,000 participants, 165 featured speakers, 125 stage acts, and 150 exhibitors and partners, the premiere of the physical InsureNXT was a first service, which, although delayed by two years, was definitely of interest. Speakers and partners included major technology providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Salesforce, SAP and SAS, but of course also a host of national and international insurers: from A for AXA to E for Ergo and P. for Ping An to Z as Zurich.

Big InsurTech deals will take time to arrive

Florian Graillot, investor of, accounted for “45 transactions with a volume of around 570 million euros” for InsurTech investments in Europe in the first months of this year. However, he sees significantly higher investments in the US market. In his InsureNXT talk, investor Carsten Maschmeyer also recommended thinking big when it comes to startups:

We are too defensive in Germany. We have to create European technology champions so that interesting companies are not sold to the US or China too soon. Why don’t insurers invest together in startups?”

Carsten Maschmeyer, businessman

Cologne fair / the color zero

Maschmeyer sees the investments in Neodigital and Nect as his most successful InsurTech investments to date, but also explains that in this particular environment, the really big headline-grabbing exits are still missing. On the other hand, InsurTechs must also be seen from the perspective of insurers – and there are certainly interesting business models for an industry where a lot is still going on behind the scenes – with insurance companies often not knowing how to deal with the start-ups and with start-ups that are completely different in their internal DNA than traditional insurance companies. But Anna Christmann, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) commissioner for the digital economy and start-ups, also emphasized in her welcome speech that “start-ups in particular play a decisive role in transforming the world. digital”. economy.” Therefore, according to Christmann, the federal government has set itself the goal of significantly strengthening the venture capital ecosystem in Germany and Europe, for example through the investment firm KfW Capital.

Integrated insurance: Who wins with the megatrend?

“Does the insurer organize the ecosystem or is it part of the ecosystem?” Oliver Hein, Director of Insurance at Google Cloud Germany, asked in a panel at the insureNXT Center Stage. Naturally, the responses of the participants varied.

Most insurers won’t make any money off of built-in insurance.”

Gil Arazi, Founder of FinTLV Ventures

At the moment, they are mostly still microtransactions, which are currently only worthwhile for platform operators. For Carsten Maschmeyer, on the other hand, the integrated insurance market will be “a multi-million dollar business”. InsureNXT award winner Frank Kastholm of and Eric Gewirtzman, CEO of bolttech ventures, also saw excellent sales opportunities for the segment.

Music of the future in the Metaverse

Cologne fair / the color zero

Opinions also differed on the metaverse’s current relevance to the insurance industry. However, panelists agreed that digital assets also need insurance protection. “When Prada non-fungible tokens cost thousands of dollars, you need insurance,” said Tak Sato, president of MS&AD Ventures. Mark Klein, Chief Digital Officer of ERGO, reported on his personal experiences with, among other things, the department manager meetings and training courses he has been conducting in virtual worlds over the past year.

This year, insureNXT became the great face-to-face meeting party for the entire InsurTech community. As InsurLab Germany, we are overwhelmed by the fantastic response and interest.”

Sebastian Pitzler, CEO of co-organizer InsurLab Germany

And Prof. Christian Glasmacher, a member of the Koelnmesse management, adds: “We are not only pleased with the excellent and very positive response to the physical premiere of InsureNXT, but above all that the industry supported our concept.” together the current and next generation of the insurance industry and InsurTechs. The international orientation, the cross-sector idea and the participation of the relevant technology companies will expand in the coming years together with the industry.

The InsureNXT 2023 will take place again in Cologne on April 26 and 27, 2023. partially

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