Marine Insurance

Jessica shares the reasoning behind AlbionVC's investment in Concirrus

by Jessica Bartos

Big data analytics is shaking up one of the world’s oldest industries – marine insurance.  The insurance sector is ripe for digital transformation, having historically been underserved by technology vendors and trailing behind other financial services in tech adoption.

An important shift in insurance is the application of big data gathered from the proliferation of internet of things (“IoT”) devices and of machine learning (“ML”) to underwriting. Albion is excited to be backing the category leader in this field, Concirrus, leading their £12m Series B fundraising alongside existing investors IQ Capital and Eos Venture Partners. 

Marine insurance is a large market, encompassing $30bn of gross written premium a year and reflecting insurance coverage of 80% of world trade which moves on the seas. In marine hull insurance, underwriting has worked in fundamentally the same way for almost 300 years, basing pricing on a handful of demographic risk factors, such as the age and type of vessel, vessel flag and tonnage. Inadequate data and excess of capital in the market has led to decades of unprofitability, with losses in excess of premiums in 17 of the last 20 years.

Concirrus has reimagined the underwriting approach to look at behaviour rather than just demographics, building proprietary predictive models that significantly outperform traditional risk assessment in insurance. These behavourial risk factors include speed, ship mileage, night sailing, speed moving in or out of port, sailing in war/sanction zones, time spent at port, weather, ship management and engine maintenance.

Using this additional data and predictive models, Concirrus has already demonstrated it can improve loss ratios by up to 25% in hull insurance and will shortly release products for the cargo and aviation insurance markets. And major players in the insurance market are responding to the Concirrus proposition, with the company signing partnerships with the largest brokers and underwriters in the marine market.

Jessica Bartos - "We cannot wait to work with Andy Yeoman and the team he has built around him at Concirrus. Andy has assembled a world-class team of insurance industry experts and data scientists who share the vision of bringing data analytics to the transport insurance ecosystem and are making it happen. We look forward to many years of close partnership working with Andy and the Concirrus team."

Our investment in Concirrus reflects AlbionVC’s focus on building category-leading enterprise software vendors that are leveraging advancements in data science and disrupting underserved industry niches. The success of Concirrus reinforces our core belief that the world is shifting towards a data-driven economy, with those players who are best at gathering and analysing big data profiting from the shift. Our investment in Concirrus follows multiple investments into data analytics and AI/ML companies including Avora, Black Swan, Elliptic, Hazy, Imandra, Panaseer, Phrasee, Speechmatics and Quantexa.

For further information on our investment in Concirrus, please contact Jessica Bartos at jbartos@albion.vc