Cambridge Innovation Capital is backing AI insurance tech company Cytora as part of a £4.4 million funding round alongside a range of investors including insurance companies QBE and Starr.
Cytora has built a risk engine applying artificial intelligence to identify patterns of good and bad risks over time, allowing commercial insurers to target, select and price risk more accurately. The technology enables insurers to achieve improved loss ratios and premium growth, whilst delivering fairer prices to customers.
Cytora arose from an idea nurtured by the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School Accelerate Programme and was initially supported by Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm. The Cytora team has taken natural language processing techniques and machine learning technology developed at the University of Cambridge and applied them to commercially relevant applications for the insurance industry.
We are excited to be partnering with Cytora as they continue to expand and bring their advanced analytical capabilities to the insurance industry. With ever-increasing levels of available data, we can really see the benefits that artificial intelligence and other similar technological advances bring to the industry. We believe that Cytora can use this information in a powerful way to provide a competitive edge to Starr and its other clients.Chairman, Starr Companies
The funding comes as Cytora prepares to deploy its Risk Engine internationally across property and casualty lines with a core group of insurers. For the past year, Cytora has been working selectively with a consortium of commercial insurers to embed its technology. These insurers, including QBE, Starr and XL Catlin have gained early access to Cytora’s Risk Engine prior to the technology becoming available to the wider market.
The funds will be dedicated to increasing data science and engineering capacity to establish Cytora as the market-leading AI solution for the commercial insurance industry.
Andrew Williamson, Investment Director at CIC said, “Cytora is an exciting company based on ideas created in Cambridge but with global applications. It has applied technology developed at the University of Cambridge, has been mentored by the University’s Judge Business School and has been backed by Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm. We are delighted to support the company as it starts the next stage of its evolution.”
Richard Hartley, CEO of Cytora, added, “Cytora’s technology opens up significant opportunities for the insurance industry. We are proud to be supported by pioneering technologists and leading insurers that share our vision for a new standard in risk selection and pricing that is underpinned by objective data and machine intelligence. The calibre of our investors and advisory board is a testament to our team, our technology and the scale of our vision.”
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.”
Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman of Starr Companies, said, “We are excited to be partnering with Cytora as they continue to expand and bring their advanced analytical capabilities to the insurance industry. With ever-increasing levels of available data, we can really see the benefits that artificial intelligence and other similar technological advances bring to the industry. We believe that Cytora can use this information in a powerful way to provide a competitive edge to Starr and its other clients.”