Hartford Insurtech Hub Gives 10 Startups Shots at Partnerships with Insurers

May 7, 2018

Emerging from a 10-week accelerator program, 10 technology-powered insurance startups presented ideas for enhanced customer engagement, cyber security, digital health, smart home products and supply chain management at the first annual Demo Day sponsored by Hartford InsurTech Hub in mid-April.

The startups, which were chosen from more than 1,000 applicants worldwide, completed a 10-week program during which they worked with insurance and technology experts to develop their ideas. They were rewarded with $25,000 each, along with mentorship, partnership and pilot opportunities with leading insurance carriers within the Hartford community.

Several of the startups have decided to establish offices in Hartford.

This was the Hartford insurance community’s first accelerator. “Hartford was the insurance capital of the world for a long time. We are about bringing the next generation of risk takers to Hartford for the next gen center of insurtech innovation in the country and world going forward,” remarked Mayor Luke Bronin as he shared his vision for the city’s new insurtech ecosystem.

Travelers is among the carriers active in the program. “Innovation is critical to remaining competitive and relevant, and the insurtech accelerator in Hartford is an exciting endeavor. It’s already infused new ideas into our industry that we believe will, ultimately, benefit insurance consumers,” said Beth Maerz, vice president of Customer Experience and Innovation for Personal Insurance at Travelers.

Maerz said Travelers has been experimenting with a number of startups in this process.

A recent analysis of insurtech locations by Carrier Management and Venture Scanner found that Hartford has work to do to reclaim the title as insurance capital. With insurance technology companies launching in the U.S. in places like Silicon Valley, New York and Chicago, and abroad in London, Singapore and Shanghai, it’s not clear that any one city can claim the honor.

Venture Scanner’s data shows London, New York and San Francisco have the highest number of insurtechs. Based on concentrations of funding dollars, London sinks to 12th place, with Palo Alto and San Francisco, Calif., commanding the two top spots — each with over $2 billion. Hartford is not among the leaders in the number of insurtechs or in the amount of funding.

While Hartford and the state of Connecticut may not be insurtech leaders, a 2017 report by PwC and the Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services Initiative (2017 Connecticut Insurance Market Brief: Ready Set Innovate) describes a history of insurance for startups’ consideration. For example, Connecticut ranked third in the U.S. in direct written premiums in 2016, with 1,449 insurance companies, and the state ranks first nationally in insurance carrier employment as a percentage of total employment (2.6 percent). Connecticut also has the highest concentration of actuaries in the U.S.

Hartord’s Newest 10

The 10 startups that emerged from the first Hartford accelerator — all of which are looking for additional funding and partnerships with insurers — are:

Aureus Analytics

Country of Origin: India

Founders: Anurag Shah, CEO; Ashish Tanna, COO; Nitin Purohit, CTO

Established: 2013

Description: Aureus is a customer intelligence and experience company. It uses predictive analytics and machine learning to deliver insights at the point of decision. It works to improve conversations by analyzing and visualizing the journey of every customer to measure sentiment, understand them better, predict behavior and deliver decisions. Aureus Analytics announced a pilot with Travelers and a second large insurer and is establishing an office in Hartford.

Boundlss

Country of Origin: Australia

Founders: Mike Kruger, CEO; Jonah Cacioppe, Director

Established: 2016

Description: Boundlss accelerates insurance company transformation from payers to long-term preventative health partners. The artificial intelligence (AI) health and conversation platform uses biosensor data and AI to deliver scalable fitness and wellness programs through a blended AI-human conversational experience. Its AI health assistant and conversational platform helps insurers deliver scalable preventative health, sales and claims conversations. Boundlss developed virtual health coach, Cleo, while in Hartford to aid in workers’ compensation by speeding up the claims process and getting workers back to work faster through daily interaction and personal coaching. Boundlss launched its first pilot with Travelers and is hiring in Hartford.

Pentation Analytics

Country of Origin: India

Founders: Anirban Roy, Director & CEO; Kamal K. Das, Director & COO

Established: 2015

Description: Pentation Analytics is a data analytics company that enables insurers and intermediaries to better engage with policyholders by providing predictive intelligence and process automation tools to address the core insurance use cases of increasing retention, cross-sales and optimizing claims. Pentation provides customer level intelligence for interventions and service. By providing agents and carriers with insights into what is going on within the customer base, staff can better prioritize and interact with policyholders. The startup is currently solidifying two pilots with Connecticut-based carriers and is establishing an office in Hartford.

Rozie AI

Country of Origin: United States

Founders: Dr. Sudha Meghan

Established: 2016

Description: Rozie AI offers an AI platform to design personalized customer engagement and business intelligence services for insurers of all sizes. The product is designed to deliver reasoned responses to customers, automating simple customer questions while simultaneously enabling customer service representatives with contextual knowledge and proactive care and engagement guidance. Conversations are designed with the human brain in mind with a goal of helping insurers build relationships with their customers. Rozie AI has collaborated with both CIGNA and Travelers on special projects and is currently working with Crawford.

SecureHome

Country of Origin: United States

Founders: Khurram Chaudry, CEO; Salim Ajmeri, COO

Established: 2017

Description: SecureHome’s technology provides protection against cyber criminals attacking smart homes and small offices. Using AI and machine learning, the product can pinpoint abnormalities on all devices connected to the network. With SecureHome, insurers can launch personal lines of business for cyber protection, proactively manage their payout risks for property/casualty policies and collect smart home data. Proof of concept is being finalized with three insurance carriers.

StaTwig

Country of Origin: Singapore

Founders: Sid Chakravarthy

Established: 2016

Description: StaTwig employs blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) technology to provide real-time, tamper-proof, end-to-end tracking that identifies problems in any supply chain. With direct access to real time data for shipment tracking, through smart contracts, insurers can trace shipments for proof of losses and offer risk reduction service. Using blockchain, StaTwig envisions a solution for auto insurance as well.

TrueDime

Country of Origin: United States

Founders: Kaushik Tiwari, CEO; Saumik Tewari, CTO

Established: 2016

Description: TrueDime provides a benefits platform for self-employed individuals, including freelancers, sole proprietors and small business owners. The free application’s primary objective is to provide ease in invoicing and accepting payment with the added feature to offer gig-applicable insurance. Gathering analytics on the user enables the insurer to customize the policy offered. TrueDime offers a new channel to reach the “less motivated, scattered market” where the firms says 47 percent of Millennials are now working.

Ubios

Country of Origin: Canada

Founders: Mathieu LachaƮne, CEO; Daniel Landry, Eng. Dir.

Established: n/a

Description: Ubios’ smart solution integrates IoT with AI to automate a building’s water, security and energy usage. Individual smart valves installed at each water main within a multi-unit building control and monitor water usage. Partnerships with insurers are expected to result in improved claims experience and protection for property owners and their tenants. Lloyd’s has recognized the business model.

ViewSpection

Country of Origin: United States

Founders: Jim Gardner, CEO; Liz Murray Carrier & Agency Relations

Established: 2012

Description: ViewSpection is an app and web platform that enables a policyholder to perform his/her own property inspection and delivers a detailed, interior property survey to an agent or carrier within days. ViewSpection also aims to create a deeper connection between the carrier, agent and policyholder. By offering inspections at 20 percent of the cost of traditional inspections, the product hopes to help insurers connect with their policyholders to discuss valuables and property issues. ViewSpection has secured pilots with multiple insurance companies in the area.

Yaxa

Country of Origin: United States

Founders: Kalpesh Sheth, CEO; Ramesh Gupta, CTO

Established: 2012

Description: Yaxa provides a real-time risk monitoring and threat remediation platform for enterprises seeking to detect and block malicious behavior. Yaxa provides protection against user behavior driven threats by understanding the individual user’s normal data access patterns (file activities, login time, data base, ssh, web apps and etc.) and taking automatic action when users deviate from past patterns. Yaxa solution has utility for insurers to understand the client’s cyber risk from inside before underwriting cyber insurance policies. Two program partners are in the pipeline for pilots.

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