Relayr, an IoT middleware startup based in Berlin, has been purchased by German insurance group Munich Re. The deal, which values relayr at $300 million, gives Munich Re’s subsidiary company HSB 100% equity in the startup.
The move is significant, marking an important milestone in relayr’s life as it has moved from a crowdfunded chocolate-shaped IoT kit to an industrial IoT middleware platform used by 130 businesses.
Essentially, relayr provides businesses with the software needed to connect industrial infrastructure to the internet in order for information and data about the performance and safety of that machinery to be managed and analyzed from a centralized place.
But, perhaps even more importantly, the acquisition is evidence of just how attractive IoT is to an insurance industry that sees data as a potential goldmine in gaining a detailed understanding of behavior and risk in a huge range of contexts and across demographics. It’s worth noting that HSB has invested in relayr before – back in 2016 the company put money into the startup’s series B round of funding.
What relayr and Munich Re had to say
relayr CEO Josef Brunner had this to say about the acquisition:
“We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with Munich Re/HSB to push digitalization in commercial and industrial markets and strive for our mission to help commercial and industrial businesses stay relevant… The unique combination of the companies demonstrates the importance to deliver business outcomes to customers and the need to combine first-class technology and its delivery with powerful financial and insurance offerings. This transaction is a great opportunity to build a global category leader.”
Meanwhile, Torsten Jeworrek from Munich Re’s Board of Management said that the acquisition “supports our strategy to combine our knowledge of risk, data analysis skills and financial strength with the technological expertise of relayr. This is our basis to develop new ideas for tomorrow’s commercial and industrial worlds.”
You can hear in the enthusiasm of both statements that this is a deal that works incredibly well for both parties. Munich Re now has its hands on an Industrial IoT startup that is already making headway in the market, while relayr now has the stability and support it needs to grow its business further.
It will be interesting to see how the acquisition influences relayr’s product development and how involved its parent company will be.