Often an InsurTech attracts venture investment from at least one insurer, sometimes two.
For Hover’s recent $60 million Series D round, there were three. Capital contributions came from the insurers Travelers, State Farm and Nationwide, among others. Insurance software company Guidewire software also took part.
It is worth noting that the funding came through during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, something that has created potential challenges for startups and other venture funded companies as they adapt to the current environment. But Hover founder and CEO A.J. Altman said the pandemic has led to an increased interest in his company’s business. Hover has a 3D data platform for home improvement and property insurance professionals, and the product eliminates the need for home visits, Altman noted in an email Q &A with Carrier Management Editor Mark Hollmer.
Hover uses computer vision and machine learning to structure property data, a concept that it said allows for seamless workflows from appraisal and estimation to interactive 3D design and materials ordering. HOVER’s target customers include insurance professionals and contractors, and there’s also a mobile app that lets them measure, design, and estimate projects in one place. Smartphone photos transform into photo-realistic, accurately measured and fully-interactive 3D models of any home, the company explains.
Read more in the full Q&A below, which gives a deeper dive about what Hover is all about, and where Altman hopes to take it in the months ahead.
Q: How many people work for the company now , and how many are you hiring. What kinds of jobs are you filling?
Altman: We have around 200 employees now and expect to approach 400 by the end of 2021.
Q: You’ve raised $147M to date with the new round. Are you profitable? If not yet, when are you projecting profitability or cash flow positive?
Altman: We are focused on responsible investment into our business to support our growth.
Q:You’re within range of some startups that raised a lot of VC before pursuing an IPO. Is an IPO in your future?
Altman: We have a lot of runway to grow. If we’re able to maintain the level of growth that we have today, there will be opportunities to put more capital into the business. We certainly do see a path to taking the company public, but right now, we’re laser-focused on finding talent to grow our team and make us stronger.
Q: Three carriers are investors. Do you expect to be acquired by one?
Altman: We are thrilled that our customers also want to invest in our future. Our focus right now is on building and scaling our business.
Q: Do you plan to be a standalone company or are you pursuing M&A plans?
Altman: We are a standalone company. We have partnerships across the insurance ecosystem and are always looking for new relationships that will help us to improve the policyholder experience.
Q: Has COVID helped/hurt or had neutral effect on your business plans?
Altman: As a product that eliminates the need for on-site home visits, we’ve seen growth and adoption of our technology over the past several months to enable more remote selling and desk adjusting. Specifically, there has been significant adoption of both virtual selling (using our 3D model to engage) and DIY capture (homeowners using HOVER to capture their own property vs. scheduling an on-site visit). That, combined with ladder assist partners, has enabled carriers to significantly increase desk adjusting and improve the overall claims process.
(Top photo: Hover founder and CEO A.J. Altman.)