Google invests in insurance

Cash injection.

Following tech giant Google’s recent investment in a minority stake of Applied Systems, which providers insurance technology and cloud-based software, the company has hinted that it will likely look for other insurtech companies in which to invest.

“We really like the market,” said Jesse Wedler of CapitalG, Google parent company Alphabet’s growth equity investment arm. “We will definitely be looking for additional investments in the insurance technology space.”

The Applied Systems investment was carried out by CapitalG, which also led financing initiatives for companies like Airbnb and Lyft. Applied Systems will now have access to the tech behemoth’s expertise in the realms of AI, machine learning and digital marketing – and it has assured suspicious customers that Google will not have access to any customer data.

Google, meanwhile, has said that any further investments it makes in insurtech entities will be on a complementary basis to Applied Systems, rather than a competitive one. The company will be on the lookout for platforms that ‘add insurance technology to the market,’ added Wedler: “Broadly speaking, the software businesses addressing the insurance market are interesting to us.”

In terms of how Applied Systems plans to utilise the reported nine-figure investment it has received from Google, its Senior Vice-President of international operations Joe Purdy said that the company could be looking at further acquisitions of its own, specifically in Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.

“Commonwealth countries are interesting to us,” he said, “where the legal systems, language and broker distribution is similar. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa would all align well.”

However, Applied Systems has said that it will only move forward with acquisitions if they fit with its strategic ambitions, suggesting a cautious approach.