FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Swiss Re SRENH.S and carmaker Daimler DAIGn.DE announced a joint automotive and mobility insurance venture on Monday, seeking to tap into a wealth of new data generated by highly automated vehicles to help insurers to calculate risk.

FILE PHOTO: The Daimler logo is seen before the Daimler annual shareholder meeting in Berlin, Germany, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

The reinsurer and Daimler, parent of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car brand, set up Movinx, a Berlin-based intermediary they will co-own equally, the companies said in a statement.

As connected and autonomous cars generate live data about traffic flows, vehicle reflexes and driver behaviour, the companies expect new opportunities will arise to customise automotive and mobility insurance products.

“Even before cars come off the manufacturing line, we know the specific features and how that car would react in an emergency situation and we can provide a score to insurance partners to better underwrite the risk,” said Pravina Ladva, Swiss Re’s digital transformation officer.

Swiss Re already offers to price risk by looking at the number of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) fitted to a car, calculating a car’s capability under various traffic conditions considering safety as well as the cost of repairs.

Daimler, which has spent decades refining advanced driver assistance systems, sees an opportunity for monetizing its know-how about vehicle safety.

Ingo Telschow, chief executive of Daimler Insurance Services, said his company was “going deeper into the value chain of insurance business, having more influence on product development and pricing.”

Aside from technological advances in the area of automated and connected vehicles, customer behaviour is also shifting from long-term ownership to short-term usage, creating new insurance challenges in the area of pricing and claims handling.

Movinx will position itself as a so-called Managing General Agent (MGA) to help insurers

When health care firms that haven’t been around very long announce new venture-capital financing, it’s hard to miss the big numbers.

This year, $225 million went into an East Coast health insurance firm called Oscar and an additional half a billion dollars of equity was just raised by Bright Health of Minneapolis.

These firms are very much still startups, and you can hear a little Silicon Valley-style language in how they talk about themselves.

Oscar claims to make health insurance simpler and easier to understand, yet it describes itself as “the first direct-to-consumer health insurer, pairing member engagement with our own full-stack technology.”

Well, that does sound better than having half-stack technology.

But the bigger point is how it’s at least a little surprising that upstarts can raise so much capital to jump into an industry with so many barriers to entry.

Health care is highly regulated, both nationally and state-by-state, and relies on a hopelessly complex payment system the incumbents have all mastered.

Scale matters, too, including the benefits of operating with a brand people respect when the stakes — health care and what it costs — are so high.

Yet entrepreneur and venture capitalist Tony Miller said it’s a much different world in venture finance than it was 10 years ago.

And the first half of the year “produced the largest two-quarter investment period ever for venture-backed health care companies,” according to Silicon Valley Bank.

To illustrate his point, Miller talked about the 2013 zombie apocalypse film “World War Z,” starring Brad Pitt, where the Israelis somehow anticipated the zombies would come and built a wall to keep them out.

The problem of relying on a wall, though, is once the wall is scaled or breached the zombies run wild.

The health care system seems similarly walled off,

Dallas-based Invitation Homes, the country’s largest rental home owner, is forming a joint venture with a private equity firm to buy up to $1 billion in single-family homes in Dallas, Seattle, South Florida and a dozen other U.S. markets.

Invitation Homes, which owns 80,000 homes, announced the venture with Rockpoint Group LLC on Wednesday. The companies will initially invest $375 million, with Rockpoint putting $300 million into the buying spree.

“We believe both the fundamentals in our sector and the need for high-quality rental housing in the U.S. are as strong as they have been in our company’s history,” said a statement from Invitation Homes CEO Dallas Tanner.

Single-family home rental companies grew out of the 2008 financial crisis, with Wall Street titans like Blackstone Group Inc. investing heavily in buying up distressed properties. Blackstone launched Invitation Homes but cashed out last year, netting billions in profit.

This year, Invitation Homes narrowed its focus to suburbs close to the city center in 16 markets. It bids on homes as they hit the market, competing with first-time homebuyers and other single-family landlords.

The joint venture expects to deploy as much as $1 billion, including debt, to buy and renovate homes.

Invitation Homes will handle asset and property management for the venture, and will collect management fees in the process, according to the companies.

Invitation Homes executives rang the New York Stock Exchange opening bell on Feb. 1, 2017, to mark the company's IPO. (The Associated Press)

Real estate investors have poured billions into the rental home industry in recent months, betting that more Americans will flee dense city living for the suburbs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s Boston-based Rockpoint’s first move into rental homes.

Rockpoint co-founder Keith Gelb said the firm is “thrilled to be investing alongside Invitation Homes and to be part of the housing solution in America by expanding quality of choice for those seeking homes for lease in

Adds comments, details on EV market and background

TOKYO, Oct 6 (Reuters)A joint battery venture of Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T and Panasonic Corp 6752.T on Tuesday said it will produce lithium-ion batteries for hybrid cars at a plant in Western Japan from 2022 to meet growing demand for electric vehicles (EV).

The production line at a Panasonic factory in Tokushima prefecture will have enough capacity to build batteries for around 500,000 vehicles a year, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Inc said in a statement.

“The global electric vehicle market is expected to continue growing rapidly,” the company said.

Established in April, Prime Planet Energy is 51% owned by Toyota Motor with Panasonic holding the remaining stake. The venture reflects the drive of both companies to become bigger global players in an industry vital for the development of affordable EVs.

Panasonic, one of the world’s biggest EV battery makers, faces intense competition as a battery supplier to global automakers, including Tesla Inc <TSLA.O>. The other leading players are South Korean and Chinese makers such as Samsung SDI Co 006400.KS, LG Chem 051910.KS and CATL 300750.SZ.

Toyota, Japan’s biggest carmaker, last month said it expects annual sales of EV vehicles to reach 5.5 million in 2025, five years earlier than initially planned.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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Tough news today as PMRC, the recently announced joint venture between Deadline parent company PMC and MRC, will lay off around 50 of the 250 employees who are coming over from Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and Vibe. I got from a THR source a copy of an internal email sent out this morning by MRC co-CEOs Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu (read below). Editorial is not expected to be among those laid off. As often happens in a joint venture like this, layoffs will fall in the area of brand support employees, where there are shared positions in the back offices of PMC and MRC. Those impacted are being told this morning and the memo discloses that there will be exit packages and up to six months of COBRA insurance, and job placement assistance offered. There will be approximately 40 layoffs today, while the rest will stay temporarily in a transitioning process. Deadline is not directly part of the PMRC configuration, but after reporting all the painful consolidation at agencies and studios in the past six months, we certainly feel for those impacted by this morning’s action. Here is the memo from Wiczyk and Satchu just sent out.

Colleagues –

With the news of Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and VIBE moving into PMRC, our joint venture with Penske Media (PMC), many questions about the path forward have begun to circulate. As you can imagine, there are various elements to the strategy for a stable and long-term future for these iconic brands and not everything can possibly be covered in one letter. We will gather on Friday, and will discuss more in the coming weeks.

For now, our first and most painful step has implications on our workforce. Unfortunately, we will be saying goodbye to some of our colleagues today. It’s