relayr acquired by Munich Re for US$300mn ‘to advance its IoT strategy’

Knud Lasse Lueth of IoT Analytics

Through its subsidiary Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB), Munich Re has acquired 100% of relayr, a provider of industrial internet of things (IIoT) solutions, at a valuation of US$300 million (€257.80 million). The companies will actively shape opportunities in the fast-growing IoT market.

While becoming part of Munich Re, relayr will continue to operate independently to maintain its distinct company culture, drive innovation and attract IoT talent. As part of the Munich Re/HSB network, relayr will benefit from the group’s stability and financial strength, access to new prospects through the group’s large client base and financial engineering expertise that will help create new solutions.

“IoT is already significantly changing our world and has the potential to disrupt the traditional insurance and reinsurance industry through new business models, services and competitors,” said Torsten Jeworrek, member of Munich Re’s board of management.

“I am truly happy to announce this acquisition, as it supports our strategy to combine our knowledge of risk, data analysis skills and financial strength with the technological expertise of relayr. This is our basis to develop new ideas for tomorrow’s commercial and industrial worlds.”

Relayr has partnered with HSB and Munich Re since 2016. With the acquisition, relayr will further strengthen its financial and insurance offerings while expanding through the group’s large client base and leveraging its domain expertise to further grow its business.

Greg Barats, president and CEO of HSB, and responsible for Munich Re’s IoT strategy: “HSB has always focused on insurance and technology. Back in 2016, HSB invested in relayr in an effort to harness the strategically significant business potential offered by IoT.”

“relayr’s end-to-end IoT solutions for the industrial and commercial sectors are an ideal addition to our Group’s capabilities. relayr will help us to rapidly implement our global strategy to develop new IoT solutions for our clients. Digital transformation in the industrial and commercial sectors offers opportunities for new services and financial applications.”

From an initial consultation on the right technology through to overseeing implementation and supporting operations, relayr offers industrial companies seeking to digitalise their business a comprehensive range of services.

By way of example, relayr has developed a platform which can be used by companies to connect new and legacy hardware and software to extract and analyse data from physical objects such as machines and equipment.

This makes it possible to determine when a machine is likely to fail, for example, and conduct maintenance to ensure that this does not happen. With relayr’s IoT solutions, companies can obtain critical business data which can be used to improve processes and thus profitability.

Costs can be cut, energy efficiency increased, and product quality improved, to name just a few. Since it began to cooperate with HSB in 2016, relayr’s offering has been supplemented by financial and insurance-related components.

The acquisition will put relayr in the position to evolve its innovative value stack, enabling new revenue models, cost reducion, and increased effectiveness across industries. Relayr will maintain its current focus on providing first-class IIoT technology solutions to deliver business outcomes to a growing customer base. Furthermore, the acquistion will also underpin relayr’s position as a long-term business partner.

“We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with Munich Re/HSB to push digitalisation in commercial and industrial markets and strive for our mission to help commercial and industrial businesses stay relevant,” said Josef Brunner, CEO of relayr.

“The unique combination of the companies demonstrates the importance to deliver business outcomes to customers and the need to combine first-class technology and its delivery with powerful financial and insurance offerings. This transaction is a great opportunity to build a global category leader.”

On the acquisition, Knud Lasse Lueth, CEO of IoT Analytics, says: “Yet another acquisition of a successful German IoT platform. To me, US$300 million (€257.80 million) seems like a quite hefty price tag that Munich Re Group paid for relayr.”

“But there is a pattern: Larger enterprises seem to be on the hunt for upcoming IoT Platforms. Especially in Germany, with several notable acquisitions in the last 18 months (for example, Cumulocity by Software AG, Device Insight GmbH by KUKA AG, and connyun GmbH by Koerber Digital.”

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