Munich Re acquires tech company relayr

By: Munich Re

Munich Re is taking a further key step to create new business models in the industrial Internet of Things (IoT). The Group will acquire the software company relayr via its subsidiary, Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB), and will therefore play an active role in shaping business opportunities in this rapidly expanding sector.

From an initial consultation on the right technology through to overseeing implementation and supporting operations, relayr offers industrial companies seeking to digitalise their business a comprehensive range of services. By way of example, relayr has developed a platform which can be used by companies to connect new and legacy hardware and software to extract and analyse data from physical objects such as machines and equipment. This makes it possible to determine when a machine is likely to fail, for example, and conduct maintenance to ensure that this does not happen. With relayr’s IoT solutions, companies can obtain critical business data which can be used to improve processes and thus profitability. Costs can be cut, energy efficiency increased, and product quality improved, to name just a few. Since it began to cooperate with HSB in 2016, relayr’s offering has been supplemented by financial and insurance-related components.

Torsten Jeworrek, member of Munich Re’s Board of Management: “The Internet of Things is already changing our world and has the potential to disrupt the traditional insurance and reinsurance industry through new business models, services and competitors. This acquisition is a clear example of our strategy: we are combining our own knowledge of risk, data analysis skills and financial strength with relayr’s technological expertise. This is our basis to develop new ideas for tomorrow’s commercial and industrial world.”

Josef Brunner, CEO of relayr: “We are delighted to be intensifying our relationship with Munich Re/HSB and working together to drive digitalisation in commercial and industrial markets. We help companies in those markets to successfully navigate disruption and stay relevant. The unique combination of our companies demonstrates the importance of applying first-class technology and powerful financial and insurance offerings to deliver business outcomes to customers. This transaction is a great opportunity to build a global category leader.”

Greg Barats, President and CEO of HSB, and responsible for Munich Re’s IoT strategy: “HSB has always focused on insurance and technology. Back in 2016, HSB invested in relayr in an effort to harness the strategically significant business potential offered by IoT. relayr’s end-to-end IoT solutions for the industrial and commercial sectors are an ideal addition to our Group’s capabilities. relayr will help us to rapidly implement our global strategy to develop new IoT solutions for our clients. Digital transformation in the industrial and commercial sectors offers opportunities for new services and financial applications.”

While relayr’s offering can be applied in many industries, the company currently focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises. relayr sells its solutions directly, in cooperation with consulting partners, and indirectly via technology companies. Munich Re’s contacts with industrial companies will help relayr to grow in future.

Though part of Munich Re, relayr will continue to operate autonomously and will retain its distinct start-up culture in order to drive innovation and attract IoT talent. As part of the Munich Re and HSB network, the company benefits from the stability and financial strength offered by the Group. In addition, it can use Munich Re’s and HSB’s large client base and gain access to potential new customers. relayr can also utilise the Group’s know-how in the area of financial engineering in order to develop new solutions. Both parties are looking forward to continuing their existing partnerships and developing an IoT ecosystem with partners. Munich Re’s IoT strategy continues to be based on a combination of building in-house solutions, cooperating with partners, and acquiring IoT expertise. The aim is to position the Group strategically in the market so as to secure direct access to clients.

Jeworrek: “I am really excited to welcome relayr’s employees to our Group. With their expertise and passion, they will help us to move forward with our IoT strategy.”

The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, which are expected to be obtained within the next four to six weeks.