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UK insurtech incubator set to move into Australia

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London-based Insurtech Gateway, an accelerator for insurance-focused digital start-ups, has announced plans to launch in Australia.

It has recruited Insurtech Australia Chairman Simon O’Dell as CEO to oversee its Australian operations, according to online media reports in the UK.

The business will be based in the Sydney office of fintech hub Stone and Chalk.

Insurtech Gateway Co-founder Stephen Brittain is quoted in the UK reports saying that “we share a belief that high-scale insurtech businesses will come from Australia”.

“We’re trying to keep up with the ambition of a country that thinks globally from day one and was the home of startups like Trov, Atlassian and Xero.

“The Gateway will connect Australian entrepreneurs with a global network of ambitious founders and investors. This is just the beginning; we’re going to expand into Asia and other key international markets”.

The Australian branch will provide insurtech partners with pre-seed funding and a 12-week program with ongoing support.

The UK reports say selected partners will have access to investment company Envest and the recently launched Gateway Fund, which revealed last month it had already invested £2.25 million ($4 million) in four start-ups.

“Insurtech is a fast-growing part of Australia’s fintech ecosystem, but bringing new ideas to market can be extremely challenging due to complex regulatory hurdles and access to customers,” Mr O’Dell is quoted as saying.

“We are rolling out a proven [model].”