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Aviva invests £10m in start-ups and extends innovation partnership with Founders Factory

Business cards showing logos of start-ups supported by Aviva and Founders Factory

Aviva, the UK’s leading insurer, today announces a £10 million investment, and a five year extension to its innovation partnership with Founders Factory to support new start-ups in the UK.

Founders Factory is a global venture studio and accelerator that was co-founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox in 2015. Since its inception, over 200 businesses have been created and accelerated through the Founders Factory and have gone on to raise more than £400m in funding.

Aviva has been Founders Factory’s strategic partner in the FinTech sector since 2016. In the next phase of the partnership, Aviva and Founders Factory will support the growth of seven start ups each year,  selectively investing in entrepreneurs across a diverse range of backgrounds and with a varied range of skills.

The partnership will invest in start-ups that focus on emerging trends and customers’ evolving needs within the financial services sector. Themes in focus will include wellbeing and mobility  and the opportunities created by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Over the past five years the Aviva and Founders Factory partnership has resulted in a number of successful businesses being created and accelerated including Acre, Shepper and Tembo*.

Ben Luckett, Chief Innovation Officer, Aviva plc:

"Innovation is central to Aviva’s ambition to deliver great customer outcomes."

"Innovation is central to Aviva’s ambition to deliver great customer outcomes. The partnership with the Founders Factory ensures Aviva remains at the forefront of the new ideas and technology which will make customers’ lives simpler.  Working with the Founders Factory we can provide practical and financial support to startups who are moving quickly to test new ways of doing business and new customer propositions."

Brent Hoberman, Chairman and Co-Founder, Founders Factory:

"In renewing this relationship, we can continue to support talented and ambitious founders and be the world’s best partner for entrepreneurs."

"The UK’s fintech ecosystem continues to dominate in Europe and the £18bn investment into the sector is second only to the US. It is a gold-standard market that is the envy of others. The disruption we have seen these startups make is the tip of the fintech iceberg and we expect to see innovations come through that embed financial services into different areas and increase financial wealth and accessibility for all. As I look back on five years of partnership with Aviva it is clear that we have found a way for corporate venture building to deliver consistent success in great innovation. In renewing this relationship, we can continue to support talented and ambitious founders and be the world’s best partner for entrepreneurs."


Media Enquiries

Sarah Swailes (Aviva)
+44 (0)7800 694 859

Steve Whitelock (Aviva)
+44 (0)7800 691128

Monira Matin (Founders Factory)
+44 (0)7473 576329

About Aviva Innovation

We are transforming Aviva’s customer experience through innovation, including proposition development, partnerships and Aviva Ventures investments. For more details, visit www.aviva.com/about-us/innovation/

For more on Innovation at Aviva you can follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/AvivaInnovation 

About Founders Factory About Founders Factory

As the world's leading venture studio and accelerator, Founders Factory builds and scales technology startups solving global problems. Founded in 2015 by Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox and George Northcott, Founders Factory combines capital and bespoke support from a team of over 100 specialists with a broad network of corporates and established entrepreneurs.

The Founders Factory portfolio includes over 200 category-defining tech companies globally, 45+ of which have been built from scratch in its Venture Studio. Their partners include Aviva, L’Oreal, Guardian Media Group, easyJet, Reckitt, Chinese private equity firm CSC Group and Standard Bank.

More information is available on https://foundersfactory.com/

*About some of those in the Aviva/Founders Factory Portfolio

Acre is developing a full- stack mortgage platform for brokers and borrowers, designed to make buying and financing a home cheaper, faster and lower risk. Acre automates and simplifies workflows for brokers and is developing an innovative blockchain-based data store which will allow for the creation of new financial products. Acre was developed in the Founders Factory Venture Studio in collaboration with Sesame Bankhall Group.

Shepper carries out bespoke inspection and information capture on properties and assets using gig-workers – trusted networks of individuals who sign-up to do work using the Shepper app, with each inspection being akin to an individual 'gig'. Shepper uses image recognition & machine learning solutions to automate insights on the data that’s being collected for customers. Shepper are graduates of the Founders Factory accelerator.

Tembo have created an innovative alternative to equity release which will help families to unlock funds from property in an ethical and affordable way, providing younger generations with cash when they need it most – for example to get on the property ladder. Tembo are using technology to arrange and manage all family lending and external borrowing, ensuring optimum financing is always in place across the whole family. Tembo were developed in the Founders Factory Venture Studio.

Notes to editors:

  • For information on how Aviva is helping our people, customers and communities impacted by COVID-19 visit: www.aviva.com/covid-19-our-response/
  • We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives. We have been taking care of people for 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2020, we paid £30.6 billion in claims and benefits to our customers. 
  • Aviva is invested in our people, our customers, our communities and our planet. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Aviva has been leading this agenda for decades: Aviva was the first international insurer to go operationally carbon neutral in 2006 and we are champions of renewable energy and energy storage at our offices, allowing us to achieve our 2030 carbon reduction target (70% reduction on 2010 levels) 10 years early. Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition at www.aviva.com/sustainability.
  • Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at https://www.aviva.com/about-us/our-people/
  • We are focused on the UK, Ireland and Canada where we have leading market positions and significant potential. We will invest for growth in these markets. We will also transform our performance and improve our efficiency. Our transformation will be underpinned by managing our balance sheet prudently, reducing debt and increasing our financial resilience. We also have strategic investments in Singapore, China and India.
  • At 30 June 2021, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group are £522 billion and our Solvency II shareholder capital surplus is £12 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
  • For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit www.aviva.com/about-us 
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