Cytora, an AI spinout from Cambridge University, has raised £4.4m from investors including Starr Global Holdings.

QBE Ventures, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Cambridge Enterprise, Parkwalk Advisors and angel investors Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell; and Paul Foster, co-founder of Indeed.com, also participated.

Cytora is gearing up to deploy its Risk Engine, which helps insurers transform the way in which they select, target and price risk by leveraging AI.

The firm has spent the past year working with a selective consortium of commercial insurers, including QBE, XL Catlin and Starr – all of which have gained access to Cytora’s proprietary technology before it gets released to the wider market.

Richard​ ​Hartley,​ ​CEO​ ​of​ ​Cytora​, commented on the news: “Cytora’s technology opens up significant opportunities for the insurance industry. We are proud to be supported by pioneering technologists and leading insurers that share our vision for a new standard in risk selection and pricing that is underpinned by objective data and machine intelligence. The calibre of our investors and advisory board is a testament to our team, our technology and the scale of our vision.”

Richard​ ​Pryce,​ ​CEO of ​QBE​ ​European​ ​Operations,​ added: “This is an incredibly innovative use of the ubiquitous open source data available. Combining external information with our own internal intelligence gives a more complete view of a risk which in turn enables QBE to provide protection to our customers at a fairer price that reflects the true level of exposure.

“The partnership with Cytora enables us to accelerate the adoption of advanced analytics in our business and complements the expertise we have been developing in-house.”

The cash will be used to fuel Cytora’s expansion and to boost its data science and engineering capacity.

Ted​ ​Stuckey,​ ​head​ ​of​ ​global​ ​innovation​ ​Lab​ ​at​ ​QBE​ ​Ventures,​ said his firm was “incredibly excited” to partner with Cytora’s team.

Cytora raised £2.4m in Series A funding in a round led by Parkwalk earlier this year.

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