Robotic process automation (RPA) has been a buzzword for a while now, but most of the 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 COO 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 10 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 and 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.”