Munich Re buys IoT startup for $300m

Written by Hannah McGrath

Reinsurance giant Munich Re has agreed to buy Relayr, a German Internet of Things (IoT) startup for industrial machinery, in a deal that values the company at $300 million.

Berlin-based Relayr employs enterprise middleware and IoT solutions to enable industrial companies to extract data from their machinery and speed up digital transformation. The company has around 200 employees working in the US, UK, Germany and Poland.

The firm’s technology extracts the data by hooking up physical objects such as machines and equipment to sensors, with the results, such as signs a machine is likely to fail or need maintenance, used to drive efficiencies in processes and profitability.

In a statement, Munich Re announced it is buying Relayr through its Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB) subsidiary, which has been working with the startup since 2016 to assist in the process of adding financial and insurance-related services to its platform.

Torsten Jeworrek, member of the Munich Re management board, said the acquisition was a clear example of the reinsurer’s strategy to combine knowledge of risk, data analysis skills and financial skills with Relayr’s expertise in order to develop new ideas for tomorrow’s commercial and industrial world.

He added: “The Internet of Things is already changing our world and has the potential to disrupt the traditional insurance and reinsurance industry through new business models, services and competitors.”

The completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, which Munich Re said it was expecting to obtain by the end of October.