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June 18, 2019

Interview: David Tobias, Betterview

Co-Founder and COO

Key Takeaway
Insurtechs sometimes need the courage to pivot from their original value proposition.

Oliver Wyman's Paul Ricard connects with David Tobias of Betterview on what it takes to make an insurtech successful.  

Betterview launched in 2014, as a drone-based property inspection platform and service. “Our technology had the ability to take drone imagery and analyze it for insurance carriers,” says David Tobias, Co-founder and COO.

By 2018, the company decided to pivot from its original value proposition—something insutechs sometimes need to have the courage to do.

David says the company built a new risk management platform that leverages machine learning, computer vision and geospatial data on commercial and residential properties throughout the United States.

“The platform we developed was less expensive, much faster and provides 85-90% of the same data as sending the drone out,” David says. “We are seeing a ton of demand in the market, with people really pulling on us for this type of data.”

David says it takes into account all parts of the policy process from quoting, underwriting, claims and catastrophe management.

“The opportunity is now, and we wanted to be properly capitalized to go after it,” David says. “It’s a really exciting spot to be in.” Part of the way Betterview is achieving that is through building successful partnerships. The company has secured investments with Nationwide, Munich Re and Maiden Re, and recently announced the close of a fruitful $4.5 million Series A, that brings total funding to $10 million.

“In insurtech, you need the combination of a partnership and investor to get entrenched in the space,” David says. “It’s been hugely valuable—getting access to people in the space we wouldn’t have access to, running product ideas and finding out what they care about.”

As for what’s next. “Our goal is to build the FICO score for buildings and properties. It presents a huge opportunity in the next two years.” David says. “There’s a ton of areas where there’s opportunity not just for disruption but for process improvement.”

“And there’s better data out there—today there’s more geospatial data than there’s ever been,” he says. “Now there’s AI and machine learning that can help structure that unstructured data.”

“All these things are coming together and presents a very exciting next few years.”   

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