Doug Russell, MassMutual Ventures
Doug Russell, MassMutual Ventures

MassMutual Ventures, the venture capital arm of MassMutual Life Insurance Company, has announced a second $100 million fund earmarked for startups developing distribution, user experience and cybersecurity technologies.

MMV’s strategy for the new capital is identical to its investment approach when it launched in 2014, according to Managing Director Doug Russell. The business is primarily return-oriented, but is also focused on providing a window for operatives to invest in technologies MassMutual wants to further understand.

“This platform is one of the ways MassMutual can learn about trends happening outside of its organization,” Russell adds.

The extra funding doubles MMV's total capital from MassMutual to $200 million. Additional assets will be used to back 20 to 25 more startups in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel, according to the company.

MMV currently has a portfolio of 20 startups totaling nearly $80 million in investments. The business primarily allocates anywhere between $1 million to $5 million in individual insurtechs, leaving enough capital for follow up contributions.

PolicyGenius, RiskIQ and Insurify are examples of startups MMV has funded since its inception. Partnering startups also receive help growing their business, Russell says, by introducing industry newcomers to all insurance companies interested in working with them, not just MassMutual.

“The intro is made at arm’s length. And we encourage operatives to do demos,” said Russell. “While we have an ongoing role with startups, the ultimate decision [to work together] is made between the two parties.”

Finally, MassMutual also announced the hire of Marybeth Egan as an associate to help oversee its investment portfolio. Egan previously served as an associate at KKR & Co, a global investment firm, and analyst at Prudential Capital Group.

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