Liberty Mutual has launched a $150 million venture capital fund to invest in companies "focused on the intersection of innovative technology and services and the insurance industry," the company announced today.

Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures' first investment is in Aucust Home, a provider of smart locks. August Home products allow users to create virtual, remote-managed keys for their home for temporary use by guests or domestic service providers.

The fund is part of Liberty Mutual Global Consumer Markets' "overall innovation strategy centered on the Connected Home, Next-Generation Vehicle and Sharing Economy," Liberty Mutual says.

"As society changes, so does the need to provide insurance solutions to customers for needs that may not have existed before," said Tim Sweeney, President, Global Consumer Markets at Liberty Mutual Insurance. "We are excited to support a company like August Home that is on the leading edge of innovation in our industry, and we're putting the investment behind it to further these types of innovative solutions for our customers."

The strategy also includes a dedicated team that "constantly evaluates key trends and technologies that could have future impact on the insurance industry and its customers," the company says.

Liberty Mutual already has a discount program for customers who use smart home devices. Other insurers running their own venture capital funds include American Family, USAA, MassMutual and XL.

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