Here’s how you can tap German investor Allianz X’s €1bn fund

Featured image: Allianz X corporate development director Oliver Ullrich (Supplied)

Are you running a growth-stage company that’s part of the insurance industry? Then you could just be the kind of firm that German investor Allianz X is looking to back with its €1-billion fund.

Earlier this month Allianz X, the digital investment unit of German financial services company Allianz Group, announced that it had invested in Ugandan ride-hailing startup SafeBoda.

The deal was the fund’s first investment in an African-based company.

Allianz X corporate development director Oliver Ullrich (pictured above) told Ventureburn in an email on Tuesday (21 May) that given that it forms part of Allianz Group, Allianz X seeks to invest in innovative digital growth companies linked to the insurance sector.

Allianz X is looking to back growth-stage digital companies around the world with its €1bn fund

This includes solutions or products in connected property, connected health, wealth management and retirement, mobility, data intelligence, as well as cybersecurity.

“We have a global investment mandate and are interested in growth-stage companies from across Africa,” said Ullrich.

Ticket sizes, he said, depend on the type of opportunity, strategic relevance to the wider digital insurance ecosystem as well as the needs and maturity of the company.

He said that beyond its investment mandate, Allianz X also actively supports the exploration of joint business opportunities between existing Allianz entities and its investment companies.

Turning to its deal with SafeBoda, he said Allianz X is looking forward to collaborating with Allianz Africa and the startup’s team to improve access for Africans to financial services, including insurance for millions of potential customers.

Earlier this month Safeboda co-CEO Alastair Sussock said the startup was excited to have Allianz X join its investor group as the company is looking to add fintech services for both its drivers and passengers (see this story).

In his email this week, Ullrich explained that being a ride-hailing platform, SafeBoda falls within Allianz X’s mobility ecosystem focus.

He said the investment arm learnt of the investment opportunity from within its investors network and “got involved”.

Allianz has a significant footprint on the continent, the company currently operates in 17 African countries and serves customers in 39 African markets.

Ullrich said investing in startups is a two-way process for the late-stage investor.

“We actively scout companies using our network and at conferences, and also welcome digital, growth-stage companies to approach us directly at,” he added.

He pointed out that in addition to SafeBoda, Allianz X has also invested in Swedish micro-insurance firm Bima.

The insurtech was founded in 2010 and uses mobile tech to deliver insurance and health products to under-served consumers in emerging markets — including Ghana, Senegal and Tanzania.

Read moreGerman investor Allianz X chooses Uganda’s SafeBoda as its first African investment

Featured image: Allianz X corporate development director Oliver Ullrich (Supplied)

Daniel Mpala


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