Discovery cashes in big on its DriveWell tech platform
Products that reward good behaviour – whether exercising or driving safely – are poised for big things
Discovery will earn a nifty R780m from a deal involving Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank.
The SoftBank Vision Fund has invested $500m (R7bn) in Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), which provides technology that tracks driving behaviour. Discovery has a stake in CMT, a strategic partner of Discovery Insure since 2014. CMT’s DriveWell platform is a behavioural analytics product that measures driving quality using smartphones and sensors.
While the deal reduces Discovery’s shareholding in CMT to 10%, it will generate a healthy profit for the group in the year to end-June, a portion of which will be settled in cash.
Discovery Insure will keep its partnership with CMT, the company said on Thursday. The SoftBank investment “will accelerate the adoption of CMT's DriveWell platform, fuelling product and market expansion across insurer and safety solutions”, Discovery said.
Besides the profit from the deal, forging closer ties to SoftBank seems to be positive for Discovery. The Tokyo-headquartered conglomerate has a market value of R1.4-trillion, making it slightly larger than Naspers, Africa’s largest public company.
In 2016, Discovery partnered with SoftBank and Sumitomo Life Insurance to develop products for the Japanese market.
Meanwhile, the CMT deal also suggests that products and companies which reward good behaviour – whether that includes exercising, eating healthily or driving safely – are poised for big things.
Thanks to its Vitality programme, which rewards members for doing things that keep them healthy, Discovery is undoubtedly a pioneer in that arena.
Discovery is now launching its own behavioural bank, a world first. There is no doubt that this will shake up the banking industry.