French start-up Shift Technology valued $1 billion in $220 million round

© Reuters.

By Mathieu Rosemain and Anna Irrera

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – French start-up Shift Technology, a developer of software to help insurers detect fraudsters, has closed a $220 million fundraising that brings its valuation to over $1 billion, it said on Thursday.

The company, whose clients include France’s AXA, Japan’s MS&AD and Hong Kong-based FWD Group, said it will use the funding to develop new products and add functionality to existing ones.

“This includes products specifically designed for the health insurance market to help avoid improper payments,” said Jeremy Jawish, Shift Technology’s CEO and co-founder. “We’ll also use the funding to support staffing with a particular focus on building out our team of data scientists.”

Shift Technology’s software analyses insurance claims and can help insurers to identify when a bad actor may be using a policy to commit crimes, such as money laundering.

Insurance companies and other large financial services firms, such as banks, have been ramping up their investment in technology that allows them to automate some of their more labour intensive and time consuming processes, such as fraud and money laundering checks.

The fundraising brings total investments made in Shift Technology to $320 million and increases the value of the company to $1 billion, the firm said.

Digital health insurer Alan, online real estate firm iad and online clothing resale platform Vestiaire Collective are among the French start-ups that have enjoyed funding rounds of 150 million euros ($180 million) or more.

Shift Technology’s latest fundraising was led by private equity firm Advent International. Avenir and previous investors Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst and Iris Capital also took part.

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The company, which employs 350 people, said it will seek to enter the property and casualty insurance market and expand in the health insurance sector.

($1 = 0.8338 euros)

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