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IAG invests in US artificial intelligence firm

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IAG’s Firemark Ventures has invested in Chicago-based Arturo, which uses remotely accessed images and artificial intelligence to analyse commercial and residential properties.

Arturo says an $US8 million ($13 million) venture capital fund-raising includes a “generous contribution” from IAG.

The firm’s technology provides data observations and predictions for properties, using satellite, aerial and drone imagery to deliver information that could previously only be gathered on the ground.

Firemark Ventures Director Scott Gunther says IAG is Arturo’s first investor outside the US “and we look forward to working with the team to bring their insights and capabilities to our Australian and New Zealand insurance operations”.

Arturo was the research and development component of diversified US insurance company American Family Insurance before it was spun off as a separate entity in 2018.

CEO John-Isaac Clark says IAG’s investment will create opportunities to understand how technology can be used to quickly assess property risk in Australia, which is “geographically diverse”.

“We will soon begin working with IAG to enhance how they analyse and evaluate property risk at the quote, pricing, underwriting, and renewal stages of the policy lifecycle, as well as identify which properties should be helped first and where to direct resources during natural disasters,” he said.

IAG launched Firemark Ventures in 2016 to invest in and partner with start-ups and other businesses pursuing innovations. Its investments in the first half of the financial year totalled around $24 million across 16 companies.