Helvetia Insurance is launching its own venture fund for investments in startups at the beginning of 2017 to help drive forward digitisation. The newly established Digital Ventures department will be responsible for the new fund.
The Swiss insurance giant plans to systematically invests in startups which are contributing to the digital transformation of Helvetia’s existing core business, thus facilitating targeted business model innovations. Around CHF 55 million (more than €51 million) will be invested in approximately 25 young companies over the next few years. Helvetia will set up a fund management company in Luxembourg for this purpose.
The new fund will focus on insuretech startups. These are young companies active in the traditional value chain of an insurer. On the other hand, it will invest in startups whose business models link to Helvetia’s business in any way possible. Helvetia aims for operational cooperation with all startups. The investments are therefore made primarily in countries in which Helvetia operates, i.e. Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Spain.
Philipp Gmür, the Group CEO of Helvetia, stated: “The Helvetia Venture Fund will make a substantial contribution to the successful implementation of the helvetia 20.20 strategy. In order to make use of business model innovations, we want to invest in the appropriate start-ups and work together with them.”
In the venture capital sector Helvetia is working together with St.Gallen-based b-to-v Partners AG. The Helvetia Venture Fund will thus benefit from the startup deal flow and the experience of b-to-v. However, the investment decisions will be taken by Helvetia. This allows for the necessary agility, lean processes and short decision-making routes for all investments.