Erie Insurance, an auto, home, business and life insurance company based in Erie, Pennsylvania, today announced the establishment of Erie Strategic Ventures to support visionary entrepreneurs. The fund is the most recent example of ERIE’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurship and delivering innovative products, services and experiences to its customers and network of independent agents.
Erie Strategic Ventures’ focus will span the personal and commercial insurance value chain as well as natural adjacencies that offer potential to deliver value to ERIE customers and agents. Initial areas of interest include insurance innovation in risk avoidance, claims, underwriting, digital sales, agency productivity tools, and products and services for home, families and small businesses. The fund is stage and geography agnostic but will focus primarily on early-stage investments in North America.
“We are excited to build upon our expanding innovation efforts with the launch of this venture fund,” said Keith Kennedy, senior vice president for Next Level Innovation at Erie Insurance. “ERIE is committed to a culture of service and our corporate values will translate well into supporting the founders we invest in.”
Erie Strategic Ventures is the venture capital arm of Erie Insurance, a Fortune 500 insurance company that generated $7.9 billion in direct written premiums in 2021. Founded in 1925, ERIE is the nation’s 11th largest homeowners insurer, 13th largest automobile insurer and 13th largest commercial lines insurer based on direct premiums written. ERIE is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best and has more than six million policies in force.
In addition to capital, Erie Strategic Ventures will leverage ERIE’s industry leadership and value proposition to support portfolio companies. With nearly 100 years of insurance expertise, ERIE has the potential to serve both as a customer and development partner for startups. ERIE will seek to partner with startups to bring innovative products and services to market, leveraging a strong network of independent agents across 12 states and Washington D.C.
Erie Strategic Ventures will partner with Touchdown Ventures, a firm specializing in corporate venture capital, which will work closely with senior executives at ERIE on fund operations.
“We are thrilled to partner with a values-driven company such as Erie Insurance that has the scale, resources and ability to make a positive impact on the corporate venture landscape,” noted Rich Grant, co-founder and managing director of Touchdown Ventures. “Our combined Erie Strategic Ventures team has significant insurance industry and corporate venture capital experience. We will leverage this expertise and ERIE’s unique position in the market to support entrepreneurs.”