The company

Based in London and Singapore, Aviva Ventures is the corporate venturing arm of Aviva plc, which provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers. The Ventures team planned to set up a fund that will deploy £100 million over five years as part of Aviva's broader strategy to tackle innovation in the industry and deliver Aviva's Digital First agenda. Aviva Ventures is industry agnostic, focusing on technology and trends which the team believes are likely to be disruptive to the traditional insurance business model. Its investments do follow certain themes: (1) Internet of Things; (2) data and analytics; (3) innovative propositions; and (4) disruptive distribution.

The solution

The fund was set up to deliver a long-term financial return alongside strategic benefits, as Aviva Ventures looks to partner with its portfolio companies in meaningful ways. Working with their portfolio varies but may include, sharing data to helping the startup develop its go to market strategy. It has already made a number of investments in the UK and abroad into early-stage businesses with high growth potential, with the aim of bringing new opportunities, ideas and insight into Aviva.

How we work with DLA Piper

DLA Piper was involved in the early process of setting up Aviva Ventures with its legal needs. The firm helped guide Aviva's thinking around the legal process of making investments and assisted in creating their standardized documentation in order to invest in companies throughout the corporate lifecycle. This required understanding the nuances which differentiate investing in a seed stage company versus when investing in a more mature company.

Subsequently, DLA Piper has assisted Aviva in its investments into a number of early stage tech companies, among them Cocoon, Wealthify, Opun and Founders Factory.