QBE Insurance Group (QBE) announces today that QBE Ventures has closed an investment into Cytora, a three year old London-based start-up that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and open source data to help commercial insurers lower loss ratios, grow premiums and improve expense ratios.

In addition, QBE has entered into a commercial use agreement for the Cytora product.  In 2018, the Cytora Risk Engine will be deployed across QBE property and casualty lines.  The Cytora Risk Engine, driven by machine learning algorithms, combines an insurer’s internal data on a specific cover with external information from a broad spectrum of sources. This generates a risk score, which provides enhanced insight into expected claims activity on the whole portfolio and also at an individual risk level.

Richard Pryce, Chief Executive Officer, QBE European Operations said “This is an incredibly innovative use of the ubiquitous open source data available.  Combining external information with our own internal intelligence gives a more complete view of a risk which in turn enables QBE to provide protection to our customers at a fairer price that reflects the true level of exposure. The partnership with Cytora enables us to accelerate the adoption of advanced analytics in our business and complements the expertise we have been developing in-house.”

“Cytora’s technology has broader application beyond risk scoring and will enable us to identify attractive areas that match our risk appetite and expertise but where we are currently underrepresented.  This will assist us to focus our efforts on the customer relationships where we can add greatest value.”

Ted Stuckey of QBE Ventures said, “This is the second significant partnership QBE has made since setting up QBE Ventures earlier this year and demonstrates our commitment to engaging globally with start-ups from both an investment and commercial perspective.” 

The first partnership announced at the end of October was with RiskGenius, a machine learning platform for analysing policy wordings.

The final decision to partner with Cytora was made after the successful outcome of a proof of concept undertaken over the summer.  QBE and Cytora worked closely together to investigate and test the ability of the Cytora Risk Engine to deliver insights on UK commercial property fires.

Richard Hartley, CEO of Cytora adds  “Our Risk Engine introduces an entirely new approach to risk selection and pricing and our customers are experiencing transformative loss ratio improvements across multiple lines of business. But it's not just about improving underwriting performance, it’s about moving the industry forward. We are proud to partner with leading global insurers like QBE that share our vision for a new standard in risk selection and pricing that is underpinned by objective data and machine intelligence.”

 For further information, please contact:
David Symons
QBE - Australia
Tel: +61 (0) 410 559 184
david.symons@qbe.com

About QBE Ventures

QBE Ventures is the venture capital arm of QBE Insurance Group. QBE Ventures invests globally in companies that provide access to differentiated technology which has the potential to enhance QBE’s business model, drive efficiencies and develop new avenues of growth.

About Cytora

Cytora is an artificial intelligence company powering a new way for commercial insurers to target, select and price risk. With the Cytora Risk Engine, insurers can grow premium by up to 10% and improve loss ratios by up to 18%. Cytora is backed by leading venture capital, global insurance companies and builders of some of the world's most successful technology companies including Funding Circle, Risk Management Solutions, Indeed.com, and Swiftkey. For more information please visit www.cytora.com