$100million -- Follow the Money: Investment in Innovation Ventures
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25 July 2014Michael Fitzgerald
The announcement yesterday that MassMutual has set up its own fund to invest in innovations that may/will affect life insurers is another move demonstrating how real money is being bet on disruption. Here is the link to their press release site: http://www.massmutual.com/aboutmassmutual/newscenter/pressreleases Celent is aware of several organizations which have set up similar funds. These are not 3rd party venture funds, but are managed, directed, and owned wholly by insurers. These moves signal that innovation leaders are increasing investments to discover new ways of responding to customers' needs. The difference from past behavior is that insurers want to own the technology, not just buy it once it is available on the market. In these companies a first mover advantage strategy is replacing the age-old fast follower approach. The bet is that, as technology investments pay off, patents and expertise barriers will prevent others from even being able to follow. Insurers will gain advantage because they own a protected capability, or they will be able to license it and capture an alternative revenue stream. Stay tuned. It's going to be exciting!