With the Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), Uniqa is the next big insurer in Austria to get in touch with the startup world. For this purpose, VIG has founded its own subsidiary, The Viesure Innovation Center, which moves into the new Co-working Space Talent Garden in Vienna. “Over the next three to five years, we plan to invest tens of millions in the development of our own digitization projects or cooperation or start-ups for customer service,” says Roland Gröll, IT director of Wiener Städtische. In total, the group invests around 50 million euros annually in digitization.
Twelve member team
Viesure starts with a 12 member team, which will be expanded in the coming weeks and months. The heads of Viesure take on two internal innovation experts, Dieter König and Karin Kafesie. The Corporate Startup, as VIG designates its new subsidiary, is primarily dedicated to the development of new tools for communication with customers and to work together with startups.
“Some of our insurers are already cooperating with startups and are taking advantage of the symbiosis of established business experience with a new spirit of innovation and an unconventional approach. I am pleased to announce that we are now launching our first startup under the management of Wiener Städtische and positioning it in Austria, “says VIG Director General Elisabeth Stadler. First results should already be available in the spring.
Close cooperation with Startup300
In Austria, VIG works closely with the startup network Startup300 from Linz, which is also involved in Talent Garden Vienna. “With VIG, we built a whole ecosystem last year,” says Startup300 founder Bernhard Lehner. Through the partnership, VIG now gets all the services from a single source.
The cooperation between VIG and Startup300 thus also counterbalances the partnership between Uniqa and weXelerate. The second-largest insurance group in Austria is very committed to the startup sector and launched a venture capital initiative with a volume of 25 million euros almost a year ago. Uniqa Ventures has already invested in a number of startups including Finabro, Fincompare, Twisto and InsurTech Bsurance. Portfolio startup Inzmo, an Estonian InsurTech, has already made an exit.
VIG engaged in German Insurance Innovation Lab
Up to now, VIG has only worked with startups in other countries through subsidiaries. In Poland, for example, InterRisk uses the software of an AI startup. In the long term, individual motor vehicle tariffs will be generated with artificial intelligence. Since 2017, VIG has also been involved in the Insurance Innovation Lab in Leipzig. There were already screened some startups, but so far have no direct cooperation or participation arise.