WELLINGTON, New Zealand (July, 2019) - Dutch courage, kiwi practicality and a healthy dose of high octane data-science lie behind one of New Zealand’s fastest growing tech gems. The company, founded by three Dutch surfing buddies originally based in Lyall Bay, is tackling the serious business of transforming the life insurance industry’s out-dated modes of pricing and risk projection.
In a year of triumphs for the company, Montoux announced it has raised a total of $10.5m from investors in New Zealand and Asia. Investors have included Zino Ventures, Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1, the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund and a number of well known former life insurance executives and angel investors, including members of Angel HQ and Ice Angels. Montoux credits the strong and ongoing support it receives from its investors to its consistent track record of delivering on targets.
Montoux’s proposition is a compelling one for investors interested in enterprise SaaS companies with high scaling potential. Nelson Wang of Zino Ventures says that this is what drew them to join the round. “This is a well established team with impressive leadership that has proven their proposition with some of the largest life insurance companies in the world. That’s no mean feat, and is exactly the type of company we look to invest in. We’re excited to be a part of their plan for expansion into Asia.”
If you haven’t heard of Montoux (“Mon-too” for the uninitiated), you’re not alone, and you probably don’t work in life insurance. It may be difficult to guess it from visiting the company’s unassuming, light-filled Cuba Street headquarters, but this affable team of maths and finance nerds is making a serious impact on one of the world’s oldest and well established industries at a global scale.
The past year has seen a serious growth spurt, with Montoux’s workforce having doubled since 2018. Acquisitions include top talent sourced from backgrounds at Apple, Deloitte, Xero, 8i, and most recently AMP’s Shelley Cox, who will direct Customer Success for the growing list of insurance companies using Montoux.
“With this investment, we’re able to rapidly build on our existing success in both in the US, and Asia,” says Co-CEO of Montoux Geoff Keast. “We’ve established that we have a compelling proposition with our customers, and we know we can scale that in a sustainable way. The fact is most life insurers have no way to know what products, experiences and prices will be most compelling to their customers. We give them that knowledge, which allows them to improve financial performance, and achieve their broader innovation ambitions.”
Montoux is batting at a global level in an industry that is famously risk (read:change) averse. With offices in Wellington, New York and Hong Kong, the company has signed some of the largest global names in life insurance. MetLife, AIA, TAL (a subsidiary of Dai-ichi Life), Haven Life (a subsidiary of MassMutual) and Deloitte are among the relationships the company has revealed publically, but this number includes multiple customers in the US and APAC that Montoux is unable to disclose.
This announcement closes out a big year for the company. In addition to the most recent fundraising round and team growth, Montoux has just added Scott Houston to a board that already boasts fintech heavy-weights Sam Knowles, Serge van Dam and Charles Hett. It’s not hard to see why this board line up was enticing to investors. Sam Knowles, who is best known as the founding CEO of Kiwibank and as the former Chair of Xero, recently won NZ’s Director of the Decade when it comes to annual returns for shareholders (companies Knowles directed achieved returns 37.4 percentage points above the NZX average).
Van Dam, the Board’s Chair, has considerable bragging rights of his own as a director investors watch. With an eye for rapid, sustainable growth van Dam is on the board of some of Wellington’s fastest growing tech upstarts. Known for his clarity, van Dam was equally as certain about Montoux “this investment allows Montoux to execute on our very ambitious plans. The life insurance industry is ready for and must change, and Montoux is the right company to provide transformational innovation at the core of their business - pricing products and propositions.”
Montoux is the global leader in pricing transformation for the life insurance industry. It provides an actuarial modeling platform which blends actuarial and data science into a powerful, easy-to-use software that helps insurers price their risk. Its customers include several of the world’s leading insurance providers and it’s rapidly expanding in both the United States and Asia and Australasia. Montoux improves life insurance carrier's profitability and speed to market and allows them to respond easily to fast-changing market dynamics.