Insurtech venture Relay launches first online self-serve platform to structure and fill layered reinsurance and insurance placements, backed by leading North American insurance innovators
TORONTO, ONTARIO, March 9, 2020 – Toronto-headquartered insurtech venture Relay Platform Inc. (“Relay”) announced today that it has released its first full-fledged online Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) solution, after two years of development and testing with large participants, primarily in the U.S. It also disclosed that it has secured US$3M in funding from Fortune-500 American Family Insurance, Highline Beta, NFP Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, and various business angels from the reinsurance world. Its latest round, completed in January, was led by New York-based NFP Ventures.
The Relay platform delivers a strikingly user-friendly interface to structure, secure and track complex risk placements quickly and easily. It lets users, such as underwriters, ceding teams, reinsurance intermediaries and commercial insurance brokers, turn data from various formats into visual coverage towers (also known as “risk towers” or “mud maps”). Those can then be used to secure quotes, both directly and through brokers, as well as to manage and optimize placement portfolio more holistically and in full compliance with security regulations.
Relay CEO Greg Boutin comments that “The Relay Team is excited to see the fruits of our labor now accessible to all. We engaged with hundreds of potential users to create a better experience for anyone dealing with risk transfers. For instance, we heard that easy collaboration was key, and so we chose to fully support third-party emails, spreadsheets, and rapid system integrations. This even led us to allow quotes from any capacity provider without a paid account, and thus circumvent the chicken-and-egg problem that has afflicted other placement solutions.”
Relay’s first solution focuses on facultative reinsurance placements, and it is rapidly expanding beyond that. As an online SaaS service, maintenance costs and bank-grade security are all included in Relay’s subscription plans, freeing IT teams to focus on other priorities. Unlike most solutions to date, Relay is fully accessible online through a self-serve portal, and does not require lengthy, costly setup and training. Relay offers a free account, plus a free trial of all its functionality, along with three different monthly subscription plans.
NFP Ventures EVP & Managing Director Shawn Ellis adds that “Relay is built from the ground-up with users in mind, to improve the operational workflow of risk placements. It fits perfectly in our investment portfolio, being focused on providing immediate tangible benefits to users through great design and functionality. Relay helps dramatically lower transaction costs for anyone transferring risk on a regular basis, be it insurance brokerage networks, or reinsurance participants and intermediaries.”
Relay is currently being used or tested by several large participants in the US (re)insurance market. It was selected as a Top 10 Insurtech Company for 2020 by Plug and Play, a semi-finalist in the 2019 ACORD North-American Challenge, and a finalist in the upcoming Insurtech North 2020 Pitch Competition.
“Relay originated in a collaboration between our innovation team and Highline Beta”, said American Family Ventures Managing Director Dan Reed. “As we realized the potential Relay held to deliver efficiencies and effectiveness gains for the whole industry, we decided to spin it off and are excited to witness the rapid market adoption of this elegant – and now independent – cloud-based solution. There is no question that complex risk transfers, whether in reinsurance or insurance, can benefit from the boost into modernity that Relay offers.”
Relay Platform (“Relay”) is an insurtech venture making the process of structuring and securing reinsurance and large insurance placements simpler and faster. Relay helps reinsurance ceding teams, insurance underwriters and brokers quickly turn placement data into visual coverage towers, then use them to secure and manage quotes. This replaces a traditionally manual, painstaking process, and gives management better reporting on placements. For more information, please visit www.relayplatform.com
About American Family Insurance
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance group https://www.amfam.com/ is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 306 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes American Family Connect Property and Casualty Insurance Company, the proposed new legal name of Ameriprise Auto & Home https://www.ameriprise.com/auto-home-insurance/aah/, The General http://www.thegeneral.com/, Homesite http://www.homesite.com/ and Main Street America https://www.msagroup.com/.
About NFP and NFP Ventures
NFP is a leading insurance broker and consultant providing specialized property and casualty, corporate benefits, retirement and individual solutions through its licensed subsidiaries and affiliates. NFP enables client success through the expertise of over 5,600 global employees, investments in innovative technologies, and enduring relationships with highly rated insurers, vendors, and financial institutions. NFP is the 5th largest benefits broker by global revenue, 6th largest US-based privately owned broker, and 8th best place to work in insurance (Business Insurance); 10th largest property and casualty agency (Insurance Journal); and 13th largest global insurance broker (Best’s Review). Visit NFP.com to discover how NFP empowers clients to meet their goals.
NFP Venture, LLC (NFP Ventures) is a venture fund launched by NFP that focuses on strategic partnerships and investments in the emerging Insurtech, Fintech and HR Tech arenas. NFP Ventures’ mission is to find, fund and work successfully with visionary executives, providing them with expertise to foster long-term success. Typically, NFP Ventures targets companies seeking Seed to Series B investment that can benefit from NFP’s distribution, human capital and other unique assets to accelerate their growth.
About Plug and Play Ventures
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 20 locations globally giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 22,000 startups and 300 corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem including business development programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house VC arm. Since inception in 2006, companies in our ecosystem have raised over $7 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, Honey, and many others. For more information, visit https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com
About Highline Beta
Highline Beta builds and funds new ventures with forward-thinking global enterprises. Combining the industry experience of enterprises, agility of startups, and methodology of investors, Highline Beta is building a new model for corporate innovation and venture capital. Highline Beta helps assess market and industry opportunities, kickstart accelerators, initiate strategic collaborations and spark venture investment to unlock innovation and drive growth. Read more: https://highlinebeta.com/