Erie Insurance launches investment fund. How will the money be used?
Erie-based Erie Insurance has found another way to invest.
The company, which has pumped about $50 million in federal Opportunity Zone projects, which provide special tax incentives for investing capital gains in designated low-income areas, on Thursday announced the creation of a different sort of investment fund.
Erie Strategic Ventureswhich is expected to invest millions of dollars, is a fund designed to support what the company calls visionary entrepreneurs.
The fund is global but will focus primarily on early-stage investments in North America that have some connection to the insurance business.
According to a statement from Erie Insurance, the fund’s 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.”
Matthew Cummings, a spokesman for the company, said in a statement, “Erie Strategic Ventures will provide Erie Insurance with another mechanism to partner and align with entrepreneurs, shaping the future of the insurance industry and related space.”
Based on the size of the company, Cummings said investments from the fund will likely range from between $1 million and $3 million and that the company would likely make four or five investments annually.
Expanding its efforts
“We are excited to build upon our expanding innovation efforts with the launch of this venture fund,” Keith Kennedy, senior vice president for Next Level Innovation at Erie Insurance, said in a statement. “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 will partner with Touchdown Ventures, a company that specializes in corporate venture capital.
Erie Insurance, Erie County’s largest employer, has been raising its profile as an investor in recent years, investing $40 million with Boston-based Arctaris Impact Investors, which focuses on investments with a social impact.
The company has also made investments in the Erie Downtown Development Corp., International Recycling Group and Erie-based Whitethorn Digital, a digital game company.
Jim Martin can be reached at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: venture capital fund” class=”link “>Erie Insurance rolls out venture capital fund
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