Press Release

QBE Ventures backs iluminr to grow resilience-tech offering

Australian-based start-up iluminr has raised over $4.2M in a capital raise led by QBE Ventures that will enable the growing SaaS enterprise to transform how organisations build resilience and fund growth into the US market.

The capital raise represents QBE Ventures’ first investment in an early-stage Australian-based tech firm, providing a foundation for QBE’s growing resiliency proposition beyond its traditional insurance offering. The round was also supported by participation from US-based Rebellion Ventures as well as locally based VC firms Investible, Flying Fox and Jelix Ventures.

iluminr CEO and Co-founder Joshua Shields commented that QBE’s investment further underlines that engagement is the key ingredient in building resilience to compounding disasters, be it cyber, natural catastrophes or supply chain. “Our customers had repeatedly told us that until now, there has been no meaningful way to engage their organizations in building resiliency.”

“From day one, the iluminr team focused on building the world’s most engaging resiliency platform, delivering turnkey insight to teams, through scalable gamification. A critical success factor in the raise was that we had a strong strategic alignment with QBE Ventures who were able to take a global view of our opportunity and bring to the table an extensive network of customers and partners.” he said.

“The purpose-led approach of iluminr strongly aligns to QBE’s purpose of enabling a more resilient future, and we are excited to work with the iluminr team and help our customers embed resilience in their business,” said James Orchard, CEO, QBE Ventures.

iluminr was co-founded just over three years ago and has developed an award-winning SaaS platform that helps organisations identify and manage crises and mission-critical threats through a bespoke set of cloud-based simulation, compliance, and response tools.

In addition to gamification, the offering harnesses automation, and data insights to provide 15-minute microsimulations that enable companies to build heightened resiliency against crises such as cyber-attacks, supply chain disruptions, natural disasters, and COVID-related challenges. iluminr’s technology is a key ingredient for organisations to minimise the loss of life and estimated billions of dollars lost annually due to the impacts of these disruptions.

With a growing portfolio of over 50 customers, including Ramsay HealthCare, GPT and University of Sydney, iluminr has set its sights overseas with the US market being seen as a key growth opportunity. The capital raise will allow the firm to accelerate its product roadmap, double the size of its team and open new distribution and sales channels. A major US financial services customer has been secured as a beachhead and the start-up is actively recruiting across sales, marketing and engineering roles.

“We are bullish about the future,” added Joshua. “We believe the US offers significant upside for a business such as ours. And it’s not just the size of the market that is so appealing, it is also the fact that it is dominated by old legacy technology providers and outdated training approaches.”

“Our business model deliberately challenges the status quo and is attracting significant attention. We are confident our platform will help reinvent a category where the current offerings are either broken or simply not delivering value. We have an opportunity to radically improve how organisations engage staff and manage their critical response capabilities.”

iluminr’s Chief Growth Officer and co-founder Marcus Vaughan amplified Joshua’s comments saying “The world changed dramatically during the pandemic. Organisations have undergone significant change and how they prepare for and respond to critical events is now vastly different to what it was say 18-24 months ago,” he said.

“Traditional training in crisis and resilience has not kept pace with today‘s demands, the changing workforce dynamics or the hybrid working environment, resulting in disengaged audiences from executive down. Combine that with growing compliance burdens and compounding threats, and organisations simply can’t keep up with the effects of disruptions and change.”

“Every crisis is different from the last, and new threats are emerging daily. More than ever, organisations need to be equipped with the tools and techniques to deal with fast-emerging risks from floods, political unrest, supply chain shortages, disease outbreaks and ransomware.”

iluminr was formerly known as Catalyst Technologies and was established in 2019 by Joshua and Marcus, both experienced entrepreneurs and business operators. Joshua previously co-founded leading resilience consultancy RiskLogic before exiting three years ago, while Marcus had leadership roles at both RiskLogic and insurance powerhouse Aon.

About QBE Ventures

QBE Ventures is the venture development and investment arm of QBE Insurance Group. QBE Ventures develops and invests in technology solutions that have the potential to transform QBE and the international markets in which the Group operates.

About iluminr

iluminr is an Australian-based technology start-up that has developed a digital platform that provides organisations with the ability to predict emerging threats to their business, communicate with their customers, and successfully overcome disruptive events.

For more information:
Natalie Kitchen
Group Head of External Relations
QBE Australia Pacific

Joshua Shields
Founder and CEO, iluminr