Aussie insurtech wins local round of Zurich Innovation Challenge

Zurich Innovation Challenge

Australian insurtech start-up ‘Kanopi’ has won the Australian round of Zurich’s fourth annual global Innovation Championship.

Founded in 2016, Kanopi is pitched as a cloud-native, data-driven insurtech platform, using modular, low-code software to help insurance partners create, manage, distribute, embed, and scale new products for customers.

The insurtech said it helps to connect major insurers and digital platforms, providing relevant data insights to build insurance policies.

Among its high-profile insurance partners include CGU, Blue Zebra, as well as accounting software provider Intuit Quickbooks.

General insurance group Hollard is a major investor in the company.

Nigel Fellowes-Freeman, chief executive and founder of Kanopi said: “We are incredibly excited to win the Australian round of the Zurich Innovation Championship – and at the prospect of Zurich’s support to really scale our product offering to the next level.”

The annual Zurich Innovation Challenge invites the global insurtech community to devise new solutions to help transform key areas of Zurich’s business.

Opening for submissions in late January this year, Zurich hails its Innovation Challenge as the “largest global open innovation contest with start-ups in the insurance sector”.

Jacqui Lennon, head of retail, Zurich Australia & New Zealand said: “As an insurer, we understand how quickly risks can change. Investing in innovative, digital solutions is incredibly important to ensure we are evolving at the same rapid pace and can continue to serve customers to the high standard Zurich is known for.”

“The Zurich Innovation Championship provides a fantastic opportunity for us to support start-ups on their journey, propel their solutions and fresh ideas to market, and have a significant positive impact on our industry, customers and community,” Lennon added.

This year, start-ups can submit solutions in one of five categories: Customer Experience (developing “sophisticated and customised… best-in-class” CX solutions), Commercial Insurance (developing tailored solutions and risk services), Distribution Partnerships (helping the insurer elevate its existing partner relationships and attract new distribution partners), Digital Enablement (utilising technology to Zurich improve its agility and efficiency), and Sustainability (supporting the insurer’s goal of helping society “transition to a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable world”).

This year’s Innovation Championship attracted a record number of submissions, with a total of 3,500 applicants worldwide, up from over 2,600 last year. The Australian cohort totalled 100 entries.

Kanopi will now present to Zurich executives in Switzerland at the global round against other national winners from across the world.

The overall global winner will then enter a four-month accelerator program to test their solution, receiving up to US$100,000 (AU$149,800) in funding and up to US$120,000 (AU$179,800) for software and cloud support services.