One of Australia's largest insurers, IAG, has announced it has invested in Airtasker through its A$75 million ($57 million) venturing fund Firemark Ventures, as part of its strategy to enhance customer experience and generate growth through investing in partners with the potential to disrupt the insurance sector.
Airtasker is the leading marketplace for services in Australia. With more than two million Australians using the platform to outsource everyday tasks, IAG and Airtasker will now be able to explore how to design and deliver insurance protection tailored to the sharingeconomy platform.
The investment was a part of Airtasker's capital raising exercise in October last year, to support the development of its platform ahead of its successful international expansion into Britain.
“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,” Ms 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.
IAG 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 provides Airtasker Insurance through its CGU brand, providing up to A$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.
"Most Airtaskers take every precaution when performing their tasks. But this partnership with IAG will ensure our Taskers get that extra level of protection and provide peace of mind to our members.
IAG’s A$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.
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.