The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Jacqueline LeSage Krause, Munich Re/HSB Ventures
As managing director of Munich Re/HSB Ventures, Jacqueline LeSage Krause has since late 2014 accelerated a typical corporate venturing launch process by dint of her experience.
She was previously vice-president of innovation and corporate venture capital at US-based insurer Hartford Financial Services Group but left in 2012 after four years as the company embarked on a restructuring plan to sell a number of businesses and focus on the core.
She had been responsible for both internal innovation, incubating new offerings, customer experiences and business models through the Innovation Studio, and external innovation, investing venture capital in startups and forming strategic alliances through Hartford Ventures. LeSage Krause founded Hartford Ventures after being founder and CEO of a digital video startup and spending six years as a consultant with AT Kearney.
Now at Munich Re/HSB Ventures, based in San Francisco, LeSage Krause has applied her insights to help the firm and industry. At the Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit in January said: “As the industry is becoming more professionalised, there is increased interest in sharing knowledge on particular issues and establishing common practices.”
Giving an update on the newly-formed GCV Leadership Society accounting and operations taskforce she added: “What we realised is, whether you are a new CVC or have been in the industry for a long time, we are all coming across the same issues. Rather than tackling them on our own and as if it was the first time these were faced, we thought it made sense to get this small taskforce together and establish common approaches to address them.”
But her main focus is internally connecting Munich Re with startups. In 2017 alone, the venture unit, which works across all lines of business in insurance and reinsurance including life, non-life, specialties and health, completed at least six new investments, including four as lead investor. These were Slice Labs, Augury, WePredict, Next Insurance, Trov and Boughtbymany.
By the time of the symposium, LeSage Krause said she expected to have 11 companies in its portfolio, mostly in IoT and insurtech, with investments ranging from $500,000 to $15m, spanning all stages, and spread across North America and Europe.
This range of activity and experience has help LeSage Krause attract stars to join her team, including Matt McElhattan and Sophie Dingreville. For her GCV Rising Stars 2018 award, Dingreville said two things attracted her to Munich Re – the seniority of the team, including LeSage Krause, who has more than 15 years’ experience in CVC and is co-chairman of the GCV Symposium 2018, and the unit’s approach to venture, which implies establishing a commercial partnership with the startup first and investing subsequently, rather than the opposite.
LeSage Krause said two deals exemplified its model. First, its investment in Relayr and coordination with its internal internet-of-things (IoT) strategy.
LeSage Krause said: “HSB drives the commercial and industrial IoT strategy for Munich Re. Our team is highly involved in the development of the strategy and building of the business via transactional innovation, including investments, partnerships and M&A. Last autumn, Munich Re/HSB Ventures led the series B round for Relayr, our fourth IoT portfolio company.
“Along with the investment, we crafted a significant partnership with Relayr for bringing a new-to-the-world type of insurance to the market, creating a unique selling proposition for Relayr and opening up a new market for HSB and Munich Re.”
Her second example was in insurtech. “In spring 2016, Munich Re formed the Munich Re Digital Partners business specifically to partner insurtech companies to give them the insurance parts and pieces they need to launch a product, which vary by state and country.
After starting with HSB as its sole internal business partner and then expanding to include the rest of the reinsurance group, including the newly formed Munich Re Digital Partners, LeSage Krause said her ventures team was now expanding into Ergo, the other business group of Munich Re.
However, before its expansion to include Ergo, LeSage Krause said: “Munich Re/HSB Ventures exists to help create the future for Munich Re and HSB, while at the same time enabling the future for our portfolio companies and funding R&D for our industry.
“Over the past year, we have deepened and expanded our internal business relationships, as well as taken a more active role in leading deals. This combination has amplified the strategic value to both our portfolio companies and Munich Re businesses.”
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