Startups: solid initial achievements for C. Entrepreneurs venture capital fund created to drive innovation, by BNP Paribas Cardif with Cathay Innovation - news - Corporate
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Startups: solid initial achievements for C. Entrepreneurs venture capital fund created to drive innovation, by BNP Paribas Cardif with Cathay Innovation

16 February 2018


BNP Paribas Cardif, the insurance subsidiary of BNP Paribas, has announced solid initial achievements for C. Entrepreneurs, its early-stage startup investment fund created a year ago to accelerate the insurer’s transformation.


Owned by BNP Paribas Cardif and managed by Cathay Innovation, a leading global venture capital firm, C. Entrepreneurs supports startups from all countries that develop technologies and services that are inventing the insurance solutions of tomorrow. The five companies already being supported are working on highly innovative services that enhance the client experience, particularly by applying artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain technology and connected cars.


C. Entrepreneurs, a forward-thinking approach to inventing the insurance of tomorrow


BNP Paribas Cardif created C. Entrepreneurs with a bold and innovative model. The insurer supports early-stage startups to help them build solid foundations for growth. C. Entrepreneurs advises and supports startups that are developing concrete solutions within a framework of win-win partnerships, illustrating the BNP Paribas Group’s strategy of engagement with entrepreneurs who are building the world of tomorrow.


The C. Entrepreneurs fund enables BNP Paribas Cardif to leverage synergies between the insurer’s deep industry expertise and innovative solutions proposed by startups, while preserving and respecting their independence.


BNP Paribas Cardif applies an approach adapted to the needs of these startups to encourage their growth by:

  • strengthening their differentiating competitive assets,

  • sharpening their value proposition,

  • supporting their distribution strategy.


Open innovation, a decisive lever to drive the transformation of the company


C. Entrepreneurs plays a key role in BNP Paribas Cardif’s development strategy as one of the levers driving the transformation of the insurer. This investment vehicle reflects the company’s focus on accelerating its innovation capabilities and forging fruitful collaborations with startups.


C. Entrepreneurs fits with the open innovation strategy deployed by BNP Paribas Cardif, in particular through collaboration with its partners, the academic community[1] and startups. BNP Paribas Cardif defined this open innovation strategy to achieve the objectives of its 2020 development plan, which is designed to better meet the expectations of its policyholder clients and distributor partners.


BNP Paribas Cardif is thus helping drive acceleration for the BNP Paribas Group’s open innovation policy, enabling identification, development and deployment of the latest innovations.


Investment fund off a good start


BNP Paribas Cardif has announced very good initial achievements for C. Entrepreneurs. In just a year, C. Entrepreneurs has already invested in five startups, taking advantage of the recognized expertise of Cathay Innovation in venture capital investments, along with the international reach of  BNP Paribas Cardif, with its strong positions in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Startups in the C. Entrepreneurs portfolio include:


  • AnotherBrain (France): Created by Bruno Maisonnier[2], this startup is developing new-generation artificial intelligence with applications in a variety of areas such as connected objects, robotics or autonomous vehicles.


  • DataSine (UK): Winner of the BNP Paribas International Hackathon in 2015, the startup combines machine learning and psychology to build tools that help companies develop personalized customer relationships (communications and custom-tailored offers). DataSine also works with several BNP Paribas Group entities, including BNP Paribas Cardif, French Retail Banking and BNP Paribas Fortis.


  • EngieApp (Israel): A startup which brings transparency to the auto repair market by transforming any vehicle into a connected car, diagnosing objective fault alerts and creating a competitive mechanics marketplace.


  • PayCar (France): An innovative secure payment solution for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) used car transactions. Last June PayCar and Icare[3] introduced a platform ( that checks users’ identities, enables secure payment to the seller and provides a three-month warranty for the vehicle.


  • Stratumn (France): A startup that has developed a technology based on blockchain networks and cryptography to secure processes between enterprise partners, customers and regulators.



“C. Entrepreneurs is a bold initiative that reflects an innovative approach. We are proud of its initial achievements. Thanks to the expertise of Cathay Innovation and of BNP Paribas Cardif teams around the world, C. Entrepreneurs provides startups with guidance and resources to accelerate their growth and bring their initiatives to fruition,” says Thibaut Schlaeppi, Head of Startup relations & investments, BNP Paribas Cardif.


Denis Barrier, Co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation, adds: “We are thrilled at this forward-facing partnership with BNP Paribas Cardif. Thanks to the combination of C. Entrepreneurs and our Cathay Innovation fund, we have a global dimension to cover key areas in the digitization of the insurance industry and the emergence of fintechs, from early-stage funding to acceleration of their growth.”


About BNP Paribas Cardif

No. 1 worldwide in creditor insurance[4], BNP Paribas Cardif plays an essential role in the lives of insured customers, providing them with savings and protection solutions that let them realize their goals while protecting themselves from unforeseen events. In a world shaped by the emergence of new uses and lifestyles, the company, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, has a unique business model anchored in partnerships. It co-creates solutions with almost 500 partners distributors in a variety of sectors (banks and financial institutions, automotive companies, retailers, telecommunications companies, energy companies, Independent Financial Advisors and brokers…) who then market the products to their customers. BNP Paribas Cardif is a recognized global specialist in personal insurance, serving 100 million clients in 35 countries with strong positions in three regions – Europe, Asia and Latin America. BNP Paribas Cardif also plays a major role in providing financing for the economy. With over 10,000 employees[5] worldwide, BNP Paribas Cardif had gross written premiums of €27.1 billion in 2016, 57% of which was generated outside France.


About Cathay Innovation

Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital fund, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital Private Equity.  It was founded around the shared conviction that supporting digital entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform bridging 3 continents – North America, Europe and China – constitutes a particularly powerful value-creation strategy.  As a multi-stage fund, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs, committed to driving change through technology. Cathay Innovation has offices in San Francisco, Paris, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Follow Cathay Innovation on Twitter (@Cathayinnov) and on our website (


Press contacts

Valérie Oberlin – 01 41 42 78 17 – 07 60 13 49 12 –

Caroline Le Roux – 01 41 42 65 61 – 07 62 00 42 74 –


[1] - Chair of excellence in Data Analytics & Models for Insurance with the Institut de Science Financière et d’Assurances at Lyon University

      - BADGE degree in Service Culture and Client Experience client with Grenoble Management School

      - Applied research in customer experience with the MIT Design Lab in Boston – United States

[2] Founder and former CEO of Aldebaran, which was acquired in 2014 by SoftBank Robotics

[3] A subsidiary of BNP Paribas Cardif

[4] Source Finaccord

[5] Headcount of legal entities managed by BNP Paribas Cardif: nearly 8,000 employees