Robotic process automation (RPA) has been a buzzword for a while now, but most of these tools that try to help businesses automate their workflows tend to be generalists. Quandri, a Vancouver, Canada-based startup, is taking a very different approach with its digital workers for the insurance industry. The company today announced that it has raised an $8.5 million Series A round led by FUSE, with participation from Defined Capital and existing investors Aviso Ventures, Rebellion Ventures, N49P and Good News Ventures. In total, the company has now raised $10 million.
The company was co-founded by brothers Jackson (CEO) and Jamieson Fregeau (president). Jackson was previously the CTO of Revenue Accelerator while Jamieson worked at a number of hardware-centric companies, including Open Ocean Robotics. Jackson noted that while he was at Revenue Accelerator, he ended up building a number of bots to automate repetitive data entry tasks. So when the brothers were thinking about what product to build, they decided on putting a different spin on RPA.
“Nobody was really talking about a bot for a customer specifically. It was like: you’d give this capability to a customer. And then they would need to go and configure and build all this stuff themselves in a really rigid way. And that prevented a huge slew of companies from accessing this kind of technology because they don’t have the technical resources — or if they have the technical resources, they’re applied to their very specific core products but not on operational automation.”
What Quandri is building is more akin to ‘robot-as-a-service’ than traditional RPA. Instead of having to build automation themselves, Quandri essentially pre-builds these bots for their customers, which also means that the team has to focus on a very specific niche. After working with a couple of potential customers in the insurance space, Jackson told me, the team realized that this was a vertical where brokers and agencies were still doing a lot of repetitive manual work and where a lot of data was sitting in silos (even as the consumer-side of the industry has quickly modernized).
“There hasn’t been a lot of net new tooling built for brokerages over the last then years,” he said. “It’s been somewhat overlooked by a large wave of innovation that has happened in a lot of other industries.”
Right now, Quandri offers three of these pre-built robots: Renewal Reviewer to help agents compare policies upon renewal, a tool that helps users ensure that files are named correctly and contextually (and not “1847AHDKS812 BROKER”), and Download Director, a service that matches unmatched policies and eDocs to the correct accounts and then matches claims verifies producer commission amounts as needed.
Jackson tells me that the company is currently 100% focused on the insurance industry and specifically on North American brokerages. In the long run, the team may branch out and apply its technology to other verticals.
“Bots are a total game changer for our agency,” said Angela Trimble, President, Trustpoint Services. “I told my Agency Manager we are now at a place where we don’t have to be worried about hiring additional employees when it comes to the tasks involving tedious paperwork because we have bots in place.”