Groundspeed Analytics unlocks the value in unstructured data.
It is unlikely, given the complexity of that information, that the industry is going to come around to a set of standards soon. So technology has the potential to really bridge that gap in a much faster manner.
We’re seeing lots of very specific demands like that, and we’re also seeing more general, broader interest from our customers, such as: “Could you give us a view on whether this is a higher or lower risk within a comparable cohort, and why do you see that as being a higher or lower risk?” Frequently that kind of insight is something that provides a perspective on a risk that might be different than some of the key features that carriers use to select or rate the client. That’s the kind of insight that I believe we can provide with predictive analytics over time.
We’ve made investments in companies like Clara Analytics that are using artificial intelligence to improve the outcomes of losses and reduce the loss adjustment expense. And I think you’ll continue to see investments from Oak focused on improving the economics of the existing industry participants. Their investment in Groundspeed was very much in that vein. They see the potential for us to apply new technologies for the benefit of improving the performance, the economics and the competitiveness of the incumbent carriers or brokers.
When he shared with me that he was going to create Groundspeed, we stayed in touch. When it came time to raise the Series A, I provided him a lot of help. That was an institutional round, but I invested myself and joined the board at the time. When it came time to raise a Series B, and I was with Oak HC/FT, Oak was very interested in making the investment, and part of the decision around that investment was my involvement in developing the business going forward.
I always knew I wanted to go back into an operating capacity, and I knew that I would want to focus on technology as the next step in my career. This just emerged as the right opportunity, and Groundspeed was really pleased to have Oak as a backer because you have a very well respected, very successful investor, and they put a very sizable chunk of money—a $30 million investment—into the company. This was the largest enterprise solution insurtech investment in the industry for all of 2018. I was very excited to be part of that investment and join to help drive the development of the business with Jeff.
Related to the question earlier about where AI is coming into play, our clients are asking us to apply our data science capabilities toward a range of predictive analytics that can be generated from the information we are harvesting in these documents. We see that as being kind of the next horizon. Fortunately, we already have several clients who are working with us in this capacity.