Insurer backs Myriota to monitor assets from space

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Insurance Australia Group will use satellites and the Internet of Things to monitor its customers’ business and agricultural assets under a new partnership with Adelaide space startup Myriota.

The insurance giant on Thursday announced its corporate venture capital arm had made an undisclosed investment in Myriota, which has already raised more than $50 million in two seed rounds.

Myriota CEO and co-founder, Dr Alex Grant, holding the Myriota Module. Image: Supplied

The Adelaide based company has developed low-cost, low-power, direct-to-orbit satellite connectivity for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and is popular with the agriculture and resource sectors. Energy efficient modules securely communicate with the Myriota’s constellation of low earth orbit nanosatellites to map devices and share data.

IAG, which includes brands NRMA Insurance, CGU and WFI, said it will explore how the technology can help its customers manage risks and protect assets, flagging agriculture, transport and logistics as areas of potential.

“IAG and Myriota are working together to explore ways to improve insurance for Australian businesses by providing reliable and accurate data about insured assets. IoT technology can overcome the confines of existing infrastructure and make data accessible for insurance customers, even when their assets are located in the most remote locations,” Myriota chief executive and co-founder Dr Alex Grant said.

“By filling existing gaps of knowledge on asset exposure, vulnerability and possible hazards, we anticipate that IoT technology will provide Australian insurers with greater visibility across insured assets.”

Myriota closed a $28 million series B round last year led by Main Sequence Ventures, with former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull a notable backer.

The Myriota Module. Image: Supplied

The Adelaide-based company is working with the South Australian government on water management and earlier this year moved into the North American Market with the launch of new nanosatellites.

IAG’s corporate venture capital arm, Firemark Ventures, is now onboard too, marking its first investment in IoT.

“IAG is looking at digital connected experiences to create value and better experiences for customers. IoT technology has the potential to unlock new ways to help our customers manage risks, which has until now been challenging without a physical presence on the ground,” IAG Firemark Ventures general partner Scott Gunther said.

“We see strong potential in Myriota’s leading technology and its ability to provide secure, cost effective IoT coverage at scale for customers in agriculture or transport and logistics and the opportunity to change the future of proactive risk management.”

IAG Firemark Ventures has previously invested in Airtasker, Digital Agriculture Services, Arturo and Bluedot.

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