Ki plans to ‘rapidly scale the business’ as it gears up to launch later this year
Brit Insurance’s digital follow-only Lloyd’s syndicate Ki has raised $500m (£386m) from two backers, managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.
The $500m is ”committed capital”, which means the investor has agreed to contribute to an investment.
It will be used to fund Ki’s expansion as it prepares to launch in quarter four this year and scale significantly.
Mark Allan, Ki’s chief executive and group chief financial officer of Brit, said: “Securing support from Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms, is a significant statement of confidence in Ki and the vision we have set out.
“Blackstone’s commitment to Ki completes our world-class group of partners with Fairfax, Brit, Google Cloud and UCL already supporting the business. With our investors, we have the financial firepower to rapidly scale the business and support our plan to provide a truly differentiated offering to brokers and clients.”
Qasim Abbas, senior managing director at Blackstone, said: ”Ki’s first-of-its-kind digital model will deliver a unique advantage to its business partners, which we believe will enable it to build to significant scale, while its algorithmically-driven approach represents an important evolution in the portfolio management of specialty risks.”
Ki was first announced in May 2020; it aims to significantly reduce the amount of time taken for brokers to place their follow capacity.
The digital syndicate’s algorithm, developed with support from University College London, will evaluate Lloyd’s policies and automatically quote for businesses through a digital platform that was built by Google Cloud.
Meanwhile, Matthew Wilson, chief executive of Brit and chairman at Ki, said: “Our partnership with Fairfax and Blackstone on the launch of Ki will allow the business to reach its full potential with significant committed capital. Blackstone has a phenomenal track record and is entering the Lloyd’s market at a pivotal moment, with increased acceptance of digital models and a flight to quality.”
Burkhard Keese, chief financial officer at Lloyd’s of London, added: “We are delighted to see Blackstone entering Lloyd’s at this key moment in our modernisation, illustrating the appeal of our market. Ki is fully aligned to the Lloyd’s Blueprint, driving the adoption of new technology to deliver a more competitive market, and we wish the team success as it launches later this year.”
Abbas continued: “Matthew, Mark and the rest of the Ki team have created a unique opportunity in Lloyd’s to revolutionise the market and we are excited to be a part of this, in partnership with Fairfax.”