This month, we’re looking at insurance, pharma and finance.
- Japanese pharma company Shionogi is planning a wide-ranging digital project that will see it ramp up its investment in cloud, cybersecurity and other technologies. This work, which includes a talent development programme, is set to take place over seven years and will be delivered by Accenture. Takuko Sawada, director and senior executive officer, said: “As a drug discovery-based pharmaceutical company, our goal is to contribute to a more vigorous society through improved healthcare. Through our initiatives with Accenture, we will streamline business operations by leveraging [cloud, cybersecurity etc], which will enhance our ability to leverage data analytics, enabling us to respond quickly to the rapidly evolving business landscape and promote innovative new drugs.”
- Lemonade, a mobile-first, AI-infused insurance firm backed by chatbots and self-proclaimed ethics, has announced a $120 million series funding round led by Japanese telecom giant SoftBank.The round saw participation from some existing investors, which include big names such as Google Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Allianz. Founded in New York in 2015, Lemonade is a fully licensed insurance carrier that underwrites its own policies, unlike many other entrants into the growing insurtech space. Lemonade differentiates itself in a number of ways, including by ‘cutting bureaucracy and speeding up the application process’. “The insurance brands we know today came of age in the era of the horse-drawn carriage,” noted Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber. “But insurance is best when powered by AI and behavioral economics, which is why we believe that companies built from scratch, on a digital substrate and with a social mission, will enjoy a structural advantage for decades to come.”
- South African bank Capitec has propelled itself to the forefront of innovative banking with a strong focus on digital banking – particularly secure mobile transactions.Smartphone app transactions now outstrip those undertaken in physical branches, which has helped them save around US$12.5 million a year in operations. With 120,000 new clients, on average, a month, Capitec has taken its market share in South Africa from 2% to 25% in just a decade. “A mobile-first approach, with banking-grade security that offers clients a smooth experience was our goal from the outset,” said Michael Swart, head of Electronic Channels Delivery at Capitec Bank.