- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Keeping Up With Innovation

By Dan Gordon, CTO, Sønr

If you want to stay on top of technological innovation in insurance, you need to consider far more than just insurance startups. You need to be looking at all technology that can impact the sector.

Tech and Deep Tech have the potential to refashion the industry, so to stay on top of the next big innovations, you need to watch and respond to a much wider set of organizations. You should be considering all the technologies that can be viewed as both a competitor insurance and an enabler to help bring change.

Suddenly this is a much wider horizon to scan and the number of organizations grows massively. But so does the number of opportunities. Now we have a really interesting problem to stay on top of it all. Let’s dive into the data to get a better understanding of how big the space is.

What innovation should you be tracking?

When we first launched Sønr at the start of 2018, we were presenting around 6,000 startups focused purely on insurance and major insurance companies and an additional 6,000 associated organizations.

What quickly became apparent was that this was only a small subset of the organizations that could impact insurance. Coupled with the rapid growth of new insurance ventures we had to rapidly expand the number of profiles we showed in Sønr.

Since 2018, we have doubled the number of purely insurance disruptors in Sønr. However, the number of profiles that could directly have an impact on the insurance sector has grown almost 20 times to over 115,000.

This data is still growing. Since 2015, there have been over 600 new insurance startups and over 8000 new startups founded every year that could immediately impact the insurance industry.

This is before we even start to consider the other industries and organizations that do not have a direct link to insurance but could apply their technologies to the insurance market. When you start considering all these organizations you need to start considering most tech-related industries. Suddenly the number of organizations you need to track jumps high into six figures. In fact, Sønr contains 1.5 million profiles that are continually tracked and updated.

Just as important as knowing about the organizations is understanding the interconnections. Knowing which players are investing in, partnering with, buying or even building startups and tech organizations will give you even greater insight into the changes you could soon see in the industry.

Keeping up with the changes

Now that we’ve defined the organizations to include in our data set, we need to consider how to keep everything up to date. This is where things get really fun.

To ensure this, Sønr’s system continuously and automatically scans for new startups and updates to those we hold. On an average day, Sønr will scan around 60,000 new data points. On a busy day that number jumps to around 300,000 new data points.

Imagine doing that by hand. Day in day out you need to update tens or hundreds of thousands of data points. All accurately. Let’s say it takes you five seconds each, that will take you nearly 85 hours a day. Every single day.  Or to put it another way, that is 15 extremely efficient full-time employees working purely on data entry.

In addition to the scanning for new information, we perform reconciliations of all the data we currently hold against our sources to ensure that no errors have crept in. Each time we do this means that we check an additional 23 million data points. Needless to say, this is not a task you want to do by hand.

Scanning all this information is important, but we have another powerful set of tools at Sønr – our researchers, analysts and data scientists. The Sønr team work tirelessly to find those nuggets of information that even the technology cannot. Via their multiple channels, contacts, networks, and relationships with accelerators, venture capital and private equity firms, they bring in the information before it is available for our systems to find.

Importance of source

Now you have decided that a data aggregator will help you to innovate and stay on top of the insurance innovation world, it is key to pick the right source.

Let’s compare Sønr to one of our data sources – a major paid-for provider that has the greatest cross over with Sønr in terms of organization profiles. Of the profiles that cross over:

  • 70% have additional updates applied to them in Sønr
  • 11% are vastly different in Sønr, providing far more in-depth profiles. Most of these organizations are key insurance innovators.

In fact, Sønr contains almost 1,000 emergent organization profiles that do not appear in any of the data services we use and are all profiles that are highly relevant to the insurance industry.


Even narrowing down to just the areas of interest to the insurance industry, the innovation activity is vast and complex. This makes it hard to keep on top of. It is certainly too much for one person and even for a team to do. This is where a great platform can do the hard work for you and present you with easy to find information. It is also where Sønr is strong, as it is focused on innovation within insurance. It gives you the important information without overwhelming you with a cascade of data.

To save you time and make you productive, a good platform needs to give you more than just accurate data. It also needs provide you with the tools to manage your tracking and interactions with the ventures. A really good tool will make this simple, both for an individual and across a whole organization. (Who hasn’t contacted a startup just to find that one of your colleagues has already contacted them?)

This is why we run Sønr. To give you the tools to track innovations that will impact your business and use them to your advantage.

About The Author

If you’d like to know more about any of the above you can reach Dan Gordon, Sønr’s CTO, at [email protected].

About Sønr

Sønr provides insurance companies with the knowledge and tools to stay relevant, compete and plan for the future.

Our clients use it to access innovation globally – the latest market trends, startups and scaleups reshaping the market, and insight into your competitor’s innovation activity. The critical intelligence needed to compete in today’s ever-changing world.

Sønr’s toolset enables client teams to work smarter, faster and be more connected. And improved collaboration means less duplicated effort and ensures everyone’s on the same page.

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