AXA Strategic Ventures (ASV), a global $250 million venture capital fund launched in February, focused on innovation in insurance and financial services, announced that it has added four new investments over the second half of 2015 to its portfolio in the US.
Among companies added to the portfolio are predictive analytics company PriceMethod, online stock picking firm GoldBean, marketing platform CoPromote and a mobile-first in-person US bank, Bee.
Bee was launched in New York in June and has over 3,200 clients. They will be operational in San Francisco and Oakland this month. Bee allows users to access their money anytime and anywhere. The mobile-first bank provides an opportunity to deposit checks, to perform a direct deposit, pay bills, mail a check, etc.
ASV plans to continue a similar pace of investments in the coming year. Manish Agarwal, ASV US’s General Partner, commented in the official press release, “Our world is becoming more transparent, digitally enabled and customer centric. These developments are changing financial services and we are excited that our portfolio is helping shape this trend. Through these new companies, we want to capture innovation and invest in technologies that will tomorrow transform our industry.”
AXA Strategic Ventures invests in startups via seed funding and also provides venture capital for growth companies. The fund currently has offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Zurich and Berlin and will expand to the Asian market by opening a new office in Hong Kong later in 2016.
“Through AXA Strategic Ventures, we will leverage our global reach, capital and scale to serve as an accelerating force for start-up companies which have the potential to bring new approaches to the insurance model. We are aiming through this investment to better serve our customers and improve our daily interactions with them”, said Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO of AXA.
AXA has already successfully seeded startups in Europe, with investments in five companies through the “AXA Seed Factory”, a seed fund launched in France in June 2013, which became a part of AXA SV. AXA SV will invest AXA Group money in various industries such as healthcare, peer-to-peer insurance, micro-insurance, data analytics, etc. With active investments in those sectors, AXA will not only contribute to a stronger customer experience, but will also be able to anticipate the needs and market trends.
AXA Strategic Ventures has been pursuing its mission with three main components:
- Identify and support innovative startups that can help AXA improve the customer experience
- Help young startups go international through AXA expertise and market access
- Contribute to the development and profitability of these young innovative startups.
Apart from its successful contribution to FinTech startup ecosystem development across various markets, AXA was also recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands among 12 financial institutions represented in the Interbrand ranking. Within a year, AXA saw 14% growth of the brand worth with more than $9 billion in brand value.