Arturo’s emergence was a bit atypical in terms of how the birth of an InsurTech has typically gone.
Rather than beginning life as a pure play standalone startup, Arturo spun out of American Family Insurance in May 2019, when the company announced seed financing from the insurer, its “lead investor and Arturo co-developer.” American Family’s three-plus years of research on the application of artificial intelligence and deep learning to satellite, aerial, drone and ground-level imagery for the benefit of property assessments fueled Arturo’s creation.
Earlier in July, Arturo also disclosed a partnership with Hippo Insurance, a California-based MGA and InsurTech that sells quick and easy homeowners policies online, and the company is now actively seeking venture financing.
American Family said developing and testing the company’s technology in-house before its formal spin-out was an effective way to go.
“We believe there is enormous value in what we’ve created, and that value is enhanced through a larger set of customers and investors,” Peter Gunder, American Family’s chief business development officer, said in prepared remarks. “American Family Insurance has a large trove of data around the attributes of property which made it a great environment to apply the most modern computational techniques to accurately assess physical property characteristics for residential and commercial properties.”
Arturo’s CEO is John-Isaac Clark, who joined the company in 2018 after serving as the former Head of Commercial Product at DigitalGlobe, an operator of high-resolution commercial earth imaging satellites. He brings to the table more than 10 years of background in geospatial and location-based analytics, and recently answered a series of questions from Carrier Management Editor Mark Hollmer about the startup, its focus and strategy, and shorter-term fundraising goals. The Q&A is listed below.
Q: When did Arturo begin its gestation? When was it spun out from American Family and when did you become its CEO? Where is it based?
Clark: Arturo was incubated inside American Family in 2017. In August 2018, I joined as CEO and began the process of formally spinning the product and team out of American Family which concluded in April ’19 [and was announced in May]. The Arturo team is based in downtown Chicago.
Q: Describe in layman’s terms what the company’s technology does.
Clark: Arturo’s deep learning analytics use satellite and aerial images to provide insights regarding the quality, condition, and physical characteristics of residential (and soon commercial) properties.
Q: Where does your company fit within the universe of P/C insurers and related service companies?
Clark: We are a service provider that offers our analytics directly to Insurers, MGAs, and Reinsurers that is used in pricing, underwriting, renewals, and book analysis.
Q: How many employees work for the company?
Clark: The team is 20+ people today.
Q: Beyond Hippo, who are your collaborators and clients?
Clark: Canopius, Kin, and Openly. Of course American Family is a large customer as well.
Q: What do you bring to the table for property/casualty insurance that other InsurTechs focused on generating AI-spawned measurement and predictive data don’t?
Clark: We have access to internal claims and inspection data that we use to develop our models that other AI-based analytics companies do not have access to. This enables us to build highly accurate and differentiated models.
Q: What are your longer term plans for Arturo?
Clark: Scale out the business to service the Residential & Commercial P/C markets.
Q: Do you plan to raise more venture financing? If so, when and how much?
Clark: Yes, we are actively raising our Series A Financing at the moment and are targeting around a $10M round size.
Q: What does Arturo mean?
Clark: Honest, pure, and Courageous
Q: Given that you came out of stealth mode not that long ago, how do you expect to drum up interest in and attention for your company?
Clark: We’ll be attending at ITC [InsurTech Connect 2019 in Los Vegas] this year as a sponsor but we have been very fortunate to have our customers as our biggest fans and have grown rapidly via word of mouth and customer referrals. We’ll be scaling up our sales and marketing post-Series A close.