Photo: iStock

9 exciting start-ups in the HDI cosmos Photo: iStock

Banking App, voice analysis, emergency cyber assistance: The HDI Group is making use of innovative technologies from start-ups in order to drive its digitalisation forward. We are presenting nine of them that HDI is involved in or which the Group is cooperating with.

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Photo: Finanzguru

The Finanzguru app gives more than 500,000 users a convenient overview of their finances. Anybody who links their account with the app gets to see all their fixed costs like rent, electricity and insurance policies at a glance. The financial assistant automatically calculates disposable income at the end of the month and also assesses any potential savings. Users are able to cancel or optimise any contracts that have become surplus to requirements or too expensive directly using the app. Today, Finanzguru is already offering its customers more cost-effective or more sustainable alternatives to existing electricity and gas contracts. Other types of contract will follow in the course of this year. In 2016, the founders brought their idea to a Hackathon organised by Deutsche Bank and beat the competition straightaway. One year later, Deutsche Bank came on board. HDI also acquired a stake in the start-up as an investor. The app is available to online customers of all banks in Germany.

Wherever communication plays a role – written or spoken – Precire supports organisations and individuals in the analysis of the language used and its appropriateness to the intended target group. This ranges from areas like daily email communication to tailoring of marketing messages and even annual reports. The Aachen-based start-up also provides support for managers and employees alike in improving their direct, personal communication in an impact training session. This is because the effect of our language on other people depends on innumerable factors that are frequently only registered subconsciously. Precire uses a combination of psychology and artificial intelligence to identify the complex interplay of different factors within communication, measure their impact and identify strategic improvements.

The same technology is also used when recruitment processes require analysis as to whether particular types of personality will match the culture and values of a company. Voice analysis can give employers additional objective information. Statements about the impact of a candidate are an important aspect of the decision-making process involved in hiring new people. HDI currently uses Precire as part of the development of executives (HDI Grow) in Germany and holds a stake in the company.

Intelligent automation software is the flagship project being developed by the start-up in New York. They are one of the first providers to combine artificial intelligence and robotics within an overall solution such that many diverse processes can be automated significantly more easily than in the past. For example, this enables the software to automatically filter out the most important information from letters, invoices and emails after a brief training period without human intervention. Since even just the claims department of HDI Versicherung AG in Germany receives millions of documents each year, Talanx entered into a strategic partnership with WorkFusion last year. One of the objectives was to process a large volume of invoices relating to glass repairs for automobiles without any human intervention. This is already happening today, for example when large companies submit uniformly structured documents to the insurer. When documents are sent in by small businesses and retail customers, automated capture of the documents has been a challenge up to now, but this problem is now being solved as a result of the cooperation with WorkFusion. HDI is planning a rapid scaling up in the German property insurance business and Talanx is testing application with international subsidiaries.

Photo: Shutterstock

Tractable (4 out of 9) Photo: Shutterstock

The technology company in London uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help insurers settle claims faster and more efficiently. Polish insurer WARTA uses Tractable’s technology on motor claims to compare pictures of damage with estimates from cooperating bodyshops. Through using computer vision and an AI trained on millions of images of collision damage, Tractable can quickly assess whether the bodyshops’ estimates are correct. In this way, the company is helping to improve how WARTA processes and settles motor claims. This allows WARTA to check a larger number of cost estimates from its accredited service centres more quickly and improve the work of its claims experts. WARTA’s goal is to fully automate this process.

Photo: Next Big Thing

Next Big Thing (5 out of 9) Photo: Next Big Thing

Next Big Thing focuses on developing high-end start-ups in the Machine Economy. This encompasses the technology fields Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. The aim of the incubator established in 2016 is to develop technologies from these areas to the point at which they mature into market-ready business models for products and services. If the ventures are successful, new start-ups develop and Next Big Thing takes shares in them as a co-founder, supports the fledgling companies and accompanies them as they enter new financing rounds with investors. Next Big Thing has already launched eight start-ups. Last year, HDI took a shareholding in the company so that HDI Global SE can access additional strategic input from the Internet of Things and Blockchain technology. Next Big Thing is supporting HDI in building up HDI TH!NX GmbH. The industrial insurer is working there together with its customers and partners from industry to develop new products, services and business models in the area of IoT.

The FinTech in Berlin has been using Artificial Intelligence to analyse the credit risk of loans since 2019. The algorithm searches through data sources like financial releases, business figures, market prices and credit ratings, and determines their impact on the credit rating of a company. Scorable converts the analysed data into a score so as to help the asset managers better assess the risk of a loan. Talanx finances the start-up through its subsidiary company for asset management, Ampega Asset Management GmbH. The asset management has been on a consistent global growth trajectory for many years and is at the beginning of a fundamental digital development. Ampega is also one of the first customers of Scorable: The company is deploying the algorithm for managing financial investments.

The business operated by Alyne thrives on the complexity of our era. The start-up from Munich helps companies to retain an overview in the jungle of increasing regulation. Alyne offers its customers risk management in the form of Software as a Service. The company’s customers are given an overview on topics like risk management, cyber security and compliance, indicating the regulations that they have to meet, outlining the steps that are necessary in the company and assessing how far advanced the departments involved are with implementation. So far, the company has been on a powerful growth trajectory. In 2018, Alyne attracted several million euros from investors and since then, HDI has had a stake in the start-up. The new capital is empowering the founders to drive forward expansion in the USA. This year, HDI is introducing the software also with the aim of supporting its own international risk management processes. Moreover, consultations are under way about developing a joint product.

Elinvar has developed a platform for asset managers and private banks that allows them to digitalise all the processes in the value chain and offer their customers their investment expertise in digital form. Some of these Fintech customers have literally centuries of experience and contribute both proven investment expertise and customer trust. However, they lack the appropriate partner with the technical know-how for digitalising and scaling their offering. The customers of Elinvar include the private bank Donner & Reuschel, DKB, M.M. Warburg & CO and Fürstlich Castell‘sche Bank. Ampega Asset Management GmbH has been supporting the company as a shareholder together with company builder Finleap since it was established in 2016. Meanwhile, US investment bank Goldman Sachs has also taken a shareholding in Elinvar.

The start-up has specialised in the prevention of cyber risks and emergency cyber assistance. The HDI Group has taken over the Berlin-based company in February. The acquisition enables the HDI Group to offer cyber insurance policies and cyber security concepts, alongside other services from a single source. The objective is to develop the business model of Perseus Technologies on an ongoing basis.

In the area of Cyber, the HDI Group has successful operations as a major industrial insurer and in the corporate customer sector. The acquisition will enable HDI to continue the present collaborative cooperation with Perseus Technologies. Since the beginning of 2019, German HDI Versicherung AG and HDI Global SE have been partners of Perseus Technologies and they have integrated the services of the company in their cyber protection. Perseus will retain its status as an independent brand and provider for existing customers and thirdparty companies.

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WorkFusion automatically extracts the most important information from documents. Dr Gunnar Dolling, Head of top.Claims at HDI Versicherung AG, explains the rationale for HDI’s new strategic partnership.

The Internet of Things is changing the business model of many industrial companies. And the same is also true for HDI Global SE. Dr Thomas Kuhnt and Dr Verena Brenner talk about how the insurer is responding to this.

Polish insurer WARTA is using artificial intelligence to assess the level of damage for cars. In future, this will enable the insurer to settle claims within a few minutes.


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