Volvo Financial Services is planning a second accelerator program to determine the next round of innovative startups ripe for investment in 2020, Vice President of Global Strategy and Head of Innovation Allen Atchley told Auto Finance News.
“We are planning right now for what we are calling iLabX2,” Atchley said. “We haven’t got that fully formed yet, but we do expect that we’ll be doing something for 2020.”
The captive’s inaugural innovation lab, which launched in February, gave seven startups an opportunity to utilize the captive’s resources to develop their ideas for 10 weeks. The program, called iLabX, streamlined the process of testing technologies VFS considered implementing, including data analytics, insurance technology and artificial intelligence.
In fact, VFS is now working with one of the finalists from the innovation lab — startup Rein — and has subsequently kicked off its VFS Innovation Ventures unit with initial investments in the insurance technology platform. VFS and Rein are planning a product launch in the U.S. in the first half of 2020.
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Meanwhile, VFS is “continuing work with a few of the other companies from iLabX,” Atchley said, declining to specify which companies. “We’ve got some pilots and [products] that we are testing,” he said. “We’ll see how those [pilots] go and follow up with more announcements.”
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