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Erie Insurance Launches Venture Capital Fund to Accelerate Innovation

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We are proud to announce the launch of Erie Strategic Ventures and our ongoing partnership with Erie Insurance. Below, you can read the official press release, which is also published here.

For additional information, check out this article from Fernando Moncada Rivera at Global Corporate Venturing.

-Rich Grant

What’s the news

Erie Strategic Ventures is an investment fund to support innovative startups shaping the future of the insurance and related industries. The fund’s focus spans the entire value chain of personal and commercial insurance — as well as natural adjacencies that offer the potential to deliver value to ERIE customers and its network of independent agents.

Why it matters

Erie Insurance is a Fortune 500 company with nearly 100 years of experience, and one of the nation’s largest regional homeowners, automobile, and commercial insurers. ERIE’s mission is to provide world-class service and protection to the people and places that matter most. The fund underscores ERIE’s commitment to this mission.

Who it’s for

The fund seeks to work with innovative, industry-leading start-ups and investors. ERIE plans to leverage its network and industry expertise to help startups scale and bring new products and services to its customers and agents.

ERIE, Pa., August 23, 2022 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 premium 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.”

Learn more about Erie Strategic Ventures at www.erieinsurance.com/ventures.

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About Erie Insurance
According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 11th largest homeowners insurer, 13th largest automobile insurer and 13th largest commercial lines insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written. Founded in 1925, Erie Insurance is a Fortune 500 company and the 19th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. Rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, ERIE has more than 6 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia. News releases and more information are available on ERIE’s website at www.erieinsurance.com.

About Touchdown Ventures
Touchdown Ventures partners with corporations to manage their venture capital programs. Touchdown works closely with each corporation to achieve the financial and strategic benefits from venture capital investments. The firm is a Registered Investment Adviser and maintains offices in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. More information on Touchdown can be found at www.touchdownvc.com.

Rich Grant is a co-founder and Managing Director of Touchdown Ventures, a Registered Investment Adviser that provides “Venture Capital as a Service” to help corporations launch and manage their investment programs.

This article includes information from third party sources believed to be reliable; however, we make no representations as to its accuracy or completeness. References to strategies are for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon as a recommendation to engage in any particular strategy or to invest in any particular security. Opinions expressed herein are based on current market conditions and may change without notice and we reserve the right to change any part of these materials without notice and assume no obligation to provide an update. Recipients are advised not to infer or assume that any securities, strategies, companies, sectors or markets described will be profitable or that losses will not occur. Any description or information regarding investment process or strategies is provided for illustrative purposes only, may not be fully indicative of any present or future investments and may be changed at the discretion of the manager. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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Rich Grant

Rich Grant

Founder/VC @ Touchdown Ventures; proud alumnus of Wharton, UCSB, Comcast, Sony Pics & Lehman Bros. Huge Angels, Eagles & Lakers fan.