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Munich Re expands Plug and Play insurtech partnership to China

29th October 2018 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Munich Re has entered into a strategic partnership as a Founding Anchor Partner of Plug and Play China, the Chinese business of Plug and Play, a global start-up accelerator and corporate innovation platform.

Munich RePlug and Play, which is headquartered in Silicon Valley, enables corporations to engage with start-ups that may complement their respective suite of offerings or create new potential revenue streams, and start-ups accepted into its program have access to the resources of the Founding Anchor Partner, Munich Re.

The insurtech platform aims to promote innovation within the re/insurance industry, and expanded to China in 2015 in order to source, partner, pilot and collaborate with emerging insurtech start-ups in the region.

Tobias Farny, Chief Executive, Asia Pacific, Greater China, Australia, New Zealand, Munich Re, commented on the partnership: “We have successfully collaborated with Plug and Play through our innovation lab in Silicon Valley and this new agreement extends our efforts to cultivate innovation in the insurance industry in China.

“It comes at an exciting time when China has truly established itself as a technology leader in a number of areas such as e-payments, artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning, all of which are having a significant impact on the future of the insurance industry.”

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Christoph Hoch, Chief Executive, Greater China, Munich Re, added: “This is the latest milestone in efforts to lead innovation and development across our business in China. In 2015, we set up Munich Re’s first Innovation Lab in Beijing, followed by the establishment of Si Tao Limited, our dedicated insurance solutions development hub.

“Through this new collaboration with Plug and Play, I am confident that we will be able to combine the best of our collective capabilities, expertise and local talent to play an important role in accelerating the development of tech-driven insurance solutions for clients here in China.”

Plug and Play recently announced its first batch of 16 insurtech start-ups in China after screening more than 500 firms, which will now enter into its 12-week program designed for early and growth-stage start-ups.

Start-ups accepted into the program receive funding from Plug and Play Ventures, weekly mentor sessions with industry thought leaders, and opportunities for potential pilot projects.

“We are honored to have Munich Re partner with us in China,” said Peter Xu, Managing Director of Plug and Play China. “We believe this expansion of our partnership will amplify the innovation development of Munich Re in China and the rest of the global market. I have full confidence and affirmation of the innovative solutions that Chinese startups bring to the global insurance industry.”

Ali Safavi, Founder and Global Head of Plug and Play Insurtech, also stated: “We’d like to help our corporate partners plug into the thriving China insurtech ecosystem as we’ve seen impressive growth in high impact technologies like AI or E-commerce coming out from China. We have already uncovered some fascinating entrepreneurs whose technology seems to surpass some of the leading edge solutions we are exploring in other well-known tech markets.”

“I urge all of our partners to explore the China market with us and see the technology fueling the world’s second largest economy,” Safavi added. “Together with Munich Re, we envision bringing the insurance industry in China to a new height.”

Both Willis Towers Watson and Tokyo-headquartered general insurer MSIG Insurance also recently expanded their partnerships with the Plug and Play platform.

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