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Daimler, Swiss Re Launch Mobility Insurance Venture | Investing News

Daimler, Swiss Re Launch Mobility Insurance Venture | Investing News

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Swiss Re

and carmaker Daimler

announced a joint automotive and mobility insurance venture on Monday, seeking to tap into a wealth of new data generated by highly automated vehicles to help insurers to calculate risk.

The reinsurer and Daimler, parent of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car brand, set up Movinx, a Berlin-based intermediary they will co-own equally, the companies said in a statement.

As connected and autonomous cars generate live data about traffic flows, vehicle reflexes and driver behaviour, the companies expect new opportunities will arise to customise automotive and mobility insurance products.

“Even before cars come off the manufacturing line, we know the specific features and how that car would react in an emergency situation and we can provide a score to insurance partners to better underwrite the risk,” said Pravina Ladva, Swiss Re’s digital transformation officer.

Swiss Re already offers to price risk by looking at the number of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) fitted to a car, calculating a car’s capability under various traffic conditions considering safety as well as the cost of repairs.

Daimler, which has spent decades refining advanced driver assistance systems, sees an opportunity for monetizing its know-how about vehicle safety.

Ingo Telschow, chief executive of Daimler Insurance Services, said his company was “going deeper into the value chain of insurance business, having more influence on product development and pricing.”

Aside from technological advances in the area of automated and connected vehicles, customer behaviour is also shifting from long-term ownership to short-term usage, creating new insurance challenges in the area of pricing and claims handling.

Movinx will position itself as a so-called Managing General Agent (MGA) to help insurers introduce new products across a range of currently fragmented markets, using a new jointly owned risk technology platform.

The first insurance products and

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Aboitiz to venture into small cell business

Aboitiz to venture into small cell business

a clear blue sky: Aboitiz to venture into small cell business

© STAR/File
Aboitiz to venture into small cell business

MANILA, Philippines — Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. is venturing into the small cell network business to supplement its common tower venture.

The infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group said it is ready to deploy small cell networks in key cities to boost connectivity.

The company is offering its small cell network nationwide to support telecommunication companies and internet service providers (ISPs) with its wireless network capacity and coverage.

“Consistent with our commitment to helping meet the demand for better telecommunication services, we are happy to partner with telcos and other ISPs in accelerating the expansion of their network capacity and coverage throughout the country,” Aboitiz InfraCapital’s small cell business general manager Rafael Aboitiz said.

A small cell network is a series of small low-powered, short-ranged antennas that provide coverage and capacity, meant to work in conjunction with macro cell towers.

Aboitiz InfraCapital said small cells are expected to play a key role in the deployment of 5G, which requires antenna density to deliver larger quantities of data at higher speeds.

Similar to the common towers business model, telcos and ISPs can co-locate in these network sites, helping them fast-track expansion, increase service reliability, reduce costs and lessen redundant sites.

“Our small cell network, which is readily available in high-density urban cities such as Subic, Cebu, and Davao, will surely complement their individual efforts to boost service quality,” Aboitiz said.

According to the Aboitiz Group, its strong nationwide presence and track record for project development, execution, and asset management makes it the perfect partner for developing innovative and sustainable ICT infrastructure in the country.

Aboitiz InfraCapital, one of the players in the government’s common tower initiative, intends to leverage its parent firm’s extensive experience in building and operating provincial utility networks for the

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Schafer: Venture capitalists willing to fund insurance startups who try to crawl over ‘wall’

Schafer: Venture capitalists willing to fund insurance startups who try to crawl over ‘wall’

When health care firms that haven’t been around very long announce new venture-capital financing, it’s hard to miss the big numbers.

This year, $225 million went into an East Coast health insurance firm called Oscar and an additional half a billion dollars of equity was just raised by Bright Health of Minneapolis.

These firms are very much still startups, and you can hear a little Silicon Valley-style language in how they talk about themselves.

Oscar claims to make health insurance simpler and easier to understand, yet it describes itself as “the first direct-to-consumer health insurer, pairing member engagement with our own full-stack technology.”

Well, that does sound better than having half-stack technology.

But the bigger point is how it’s at least a little surprising that upstarts can raise so much capital to jump into an industry with so many barriers to entry.

Health care is highly regulated, both nationally and state-by-state, and relies on a hopelessly complex payment system the incumbents have all mastered.

Scale matters, too, including the benefits of operating with a brand people respect when the stakes — health care and what it costs — are so high.

Yet entrepreneur and venture capitalist Tony Miller said it’s a much different world in venture finance than it was 10 years ago.

And the first half of the year “produced the largest two-quarter investment period ever for venture-backed health care companies,” according to Silicon Valley Bank.

To illustrate his point, Miller talked about the 2013 zombie apocalypse film “World War Z,” starring Brad Pitt, where the Israelis somehow anticipated the zombies would come and built a wall to keep them out.

The problem of relying on a wall, though, is once the wall is scaled or breached the zombies run wild.

The health care system seems similarly walled off,

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