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Hollard joins capital injection into insurtech

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Hollard-backed insurtech Open has received $3.1 million in new funding from the insurer and local venture capital firm AirTree Ventures to support its recently launched broker-focused digital platform.

Open co-founders Jason Wilby and Jonathan Buck, who started Huddle Insurance together, say in a statement today that the capital will be used to expand OpenBroker in new markets including New Zealand, the UK and Europe.

They say hundreds of brokers have joined the platform since it was launched in July. It aims to help brokers compete against direct insurers in the personal lines market, using a range of tools that make it easier for intermediaries to sell car, home and travel insurance.

Mr Wilby told insuranceNEWS.com.au the platform “is going to be a game-changer.”

“We have already seen a huge jump in businesses with hundreds of brokers and some major brands coming on board since we launched,” he said. “We’re very excited for the rest of the year.”

Open also intends to allocate a portion of the $3.1 million capital injection to launch a new offering for online brands such as telcos and retailers to create their own branded insurance products.

Hollard declined to comment to insuranceNEWS.com.au on the new funding it has pledged to Open.

But AirTree, which led the capital top-up, says the investment reflects its confidence in the insurtech to continue challenging incumbent insurance providers.

“Insurance is a sleeping giant that's ripe for disruptive players,” AirTree Partner James Cameron told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “It’s crazy that an industry this big has seen so little digital innovation.

“I’m absolutely convinced that we’ll see more and more disruptors in this space build very big businesses, and Open is one of a few that are at the forefront of this.”