Erie Insurance launches $10 million venture capital fund

Erie-based Erie Insurance has found another way to invest.

The company, which has injected about $50 million into Federal Opportunity Zone Projects, which offer special tax incentives for investing capital gains in designated low-income zones, announced on Thursday the creation of another type of investment fund.

Erie Strategic Ventures is a $10 million fund designed to support what the company calls visionary entrepreneurs.

The fund is global, but will primarily focus on early-stage investments in North America that relate to the insurance industry.

After:Arctaris, Backed by Erie Insurance, Just Invested $12.4 Million in Erie; where will the money go?

According to a statement from Erie Insurance, the focus of the fund “will cover the personal and commercial insurance value chain as well as natural adjacencies that have the potential to deliver value to ERIE customers and agents. Early areas of focus include insurance innovation in risk prevention, claims, underwriting, digital sales, agency productivity tools, and products and services for home, families and small businesses. »

Matthew Cummings, company spokesman, said in a statement, “Erie Strategic Ventures will provide another mechanism for Erie Insurance to partner and align with entrepreneurs, shaping the future of the insurance industry and connected space”.

Based on the size of the company, Cummings said the fund’s investments would likely be between $1 million and $3 million, and the company would likely make four or five investments a year.

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Expand its efforts

“We are excited to continue our expanding innovation efforts with the launch of this venture capital 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 to supporting the founders in whom we invest. »

Erie Strategic Ventures will partner with Touchdown Ventures, a firm specializing in corporate venture capital.

Erie Insurance, Erie County’s largest employer, has raised its investor profile in recent years, investing $40 million with Boston-based Arctaris Impact Investors, which focuses on social impact investing.

The company has also invested in Erie Downtown Development Corp., International Recycling Group and Whitethorn Digital, an Erie-based digital games company.

Jim Martin can be contacted at jmartin@timesnews.com.

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