When a company as big as MetLife decides insurtech is worth investing in, it’s official: the marriage of insurance and technology is for real.
MetLife did just that this week, announcing the launch of two InsurTech investment programs for start-up companies: MetLife Digital Ventures and MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars. Both programs will be led under the umbrella of MetLife’s Chief Digital Office.
“The rise of globalization, changing consumer demographics and an exponential growth in technology are factors impacting all industries,” said Marty Lippert, executive vice president and head of MetLife Global Technology & Operations, in a statement. “MetLife is delivering on a strategy aimed at capturing this opportunity. MetLife Digital Ventures and the MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars are two examples of our strategic partnership approach to promoting a culture of innovation and bringing an entrepreneurial lens to bear across the insurance value chain. These partnerships provide MetLife first-mover advantage in identifying and capitalizing on emerging consumer and technology trends.”
The new initiatives are backed by a $100 million co-investment fund, MetLife Digital Ventures. It is aimed at making direct investment in start-up companies that can bring be used with MetLife products. MetLife’s already has existing relationships with 16 venture capital firms it says “continue to provide MetLife unique access to a portfolio of top-tier investment opportunities.”
The MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars will identify and mentor startups that are developing industry-disrupting technologies in the insurance space. Startups selected will be hosted at MetLife’s Global Technology Campus in Cary, North Carolina, for a 13-week program focused on the development and acceleration of transformational ideas. The company is taking applications for the first MetLife Digital Accelerator class.
“Techstars is the worldwide network that exists to help entrepreneurs succeed, and our relationship with MetLife, an insurance powerhouse, advances our ability to do exactly that,” said David Brown, founder and co-CEO of Techstars. “The InsurTech startups selected for this program will create deep connections with MetLife’s industry experts, advancing and growing their businesses faster.”