IAG, via its $75 venture million fund Firemark Ventures, will invest in Airtasker. The company says the move is part of its strategy to invest with partners who might potentially to disrupt the insurance sector.

While not disclosing the actual dollar figure, a spokesperson confirmed it was several million, but less than five million.

Airtasker claims that two million Australians have outsourced via its service.  That opens up a potentially lucrative new opportunity for an insurer like IAG. The companies say they will now explore how to design and deliver insurance protection tailored to the sharing economy platform. The investment was actually part of Airtasker’s capital raise in October last year.

“The rapid growth of the sharing economy in Australia has created new opportunities for collaborative consumption and income generation, but has also created new risks for participants,” Julie Batch, IAG Chief Customer Officer said.

“IAG has been at the forefront of providing new insurance solutions to help protect participants in the sharing economy from emerging risks, including being the first Australian insurer to offer tailored protection for Uber drivers and Airbnb hosts.

“We see significant value in the platform and enormous potential for us to work together to find new and innovative ways to reduce risk and improve safety for its members, while connecting our customers to Airtasker’s services.”

IAG says it is now trialling propositions outside the insurance category, including Airtasker offers for CGU Insurance small business customers, and customers using its ShareCover short term rental insurance product.

The insurer also offers Airtasker Insurance through its CGU brand. This product provides up to $10 million cover to protect ‘Taskers’ registered in the Airtasker marketplace for their liability to third parties, for personal injury or property damage, when performing a task.

“We want to have a positive impact on the future of work and job creation, and developing a safe and rewarding environment for our community members is an important part of making this happen,” Tim Fung, Airtasker Founder and CEO said.

“The partnership will also create new ways for us to generate job opportunities for our members through helping IAG customers with tasks around their home or business, like cleaning, gardening and deliveries,” Fung said.

In 2017, IAG opened its first innovation hub in Singapore and insurtech incubator in Sydney to foster collaboration with start-ups, entrepreneurs, researchers and university institutions.

“We’re taking an ‘outside in’ approach to help bring fresh ideas and ways of working into our organisation from local and global businesses,” Ms Batch said.

“We can then combine these external insights with our internal capabilities, like data and analytics, customer segmentation and digital technology, to experiment with new products and services.

“Our partnerships mean we can offer products and services outside the core insurance category and deliver more tailored and valuable experiences for our customers.”

On your Firemark

IAG’s $75 million venturing fund Firemark Ventures was set-up in late 2016 with a global mandate to invest in new and emerging businesses with the potential to disrupt the value chain, create new pathways to market, and enhance customer understanding.

Since its launch, Firemark Ventures has invested in AI-powered data analyst Hyper Anna, personal finance app Pocketbook, and cyber resilience software UpGuard.

The venturing arm is part of a wider business strategy to drive customer innovation through external partnering.

Clarification. Due to an editing error, the story originally misreported the fund size for the amount of the investment in the headline. The headline and article have been updated to reflect the actual size of the investment – Andrew Birmingham.

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