Volvo Financial Services has kicked off its VFS Innovation Ventures unit with an investment in startup Rein and plans to integrate the insurance technology platform into its captive operations, said VFS VP of Global Strategy and Head of Innovation Allen Atchley.
“Coming out of [the] iLabX [accelerator program], we were looking at some potential investments and other things in innovation we’d like to do,” Atchley told Auto Finance News. “We see VFS Innovation Ventures as an area of the company for strategic partnerships and incubation of internal activity that we could separate from other ongoing operations of the company.”
VFS and Rein are working on a product to launch in the U.S. during the first half of 2020, with plans to expand globally over time, Atchley noted. Rein’s machine learning and data analytics capabilities allow the startup to manage insurance offers for VFS customers and then work with the insurance company on better mitigating risks.
Specifically, VFS plans to replace its current insurance platform with Rein. “Today, contracting for insurance is very paper-based and email-heavy, and that can be very time consuming for a customer,” Atchley said. “What we are looking to do here [with Rein] is replace all of that with digital documents and save time for the customer on contracting their insurance.” Additionally, Rein’s platform enables VFS to manage customers’ insurance over time. “How [a customer’s] claims are made would be a part of the platform, as well,” Atchley added.
To that end, VFS will spend the first quarter of 2020 finalizing product development and integrating Rein’s technology with the captive’s legacy system. Product details will be announced closer to the launch date, Atchley noted.
Since participating in VFS’s inaugural iLabX accelerator program earlier this year, Rein has raised $14.3 million in funding from VFS, Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Kiplin Capital, and private investors.
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