Earnix CEO Udi Ziv predicts his company will pursue more acquisitions in the coming months.
News that the Israel-based software company focused on insurers and banks would seek more M&A targets as part of its growth strategy follows its recent acquisition of California-based Driveway Software Corp., a telematics provider that relies on artificial intelligence. With that, the Israeli-based Earnix is developing an expansion plan that uses Driveway’s consumer telematic s app as a core component within its own Usage-Based Insurance/Behavior-Based Insurance offering.
Ziv and his team did plenty of market research before zeroing in on Driveway. Below, Ziv explains to Carrier Management Editor Mark Hollmer details about that process and what the company expects to be focused on in the weeks and months ahead.
Q: How did you learn about Driveway Software?
Ziv: We conducted extensive market research with the goal of adding the world’s leading best-of-breed telematics capabilities that are critical to any usage-based and behavioral-based insurance solutions to our integrated portfolio of products. Our goal has been to fully operationalize the breadth and depth of telematics, in a seamless way, into the pricing, rating and personalization processes of the carrier. Driveway quickly became our primary focus for its end-to-end smartphone telematics platform and driving risk prediction algorithms.
Q: Did they approach you about a sale or the other way around?
Ziv: The world of UBI is growing rapidly and will revolutionize how insurance companies measure risk, price, distribute and personalize. Earnix decided to augment its UBI offering with a market-leading telematics mobile app, thereby complementing our unique position as a leader in pricing, rating, and personalization with a telematics data solution, and will allow us to offer a superior solution that uniquely offers risk modeling, pricing and personalization for Usage Based Insurance. After an initial review of market participants, we focused on Driveway as the best candidate to help us achieve our goals.
Q: Was the company still functioning when you heard about them or winding down operations?
Ziv: Driveway was still a functioning company and continued to actively serve its global customer base until the time of the acquisition. Since its launch in the market, the Driveway solution was extensively used and tested, and its driving scoring algorithms are based on over 5 billion driven miles. Its existing customer base has joined the Earnix family and will be fully supported moving forward.
Q: Was Driveway expensive or were the assets a bargain?
Ziv: We conducted extensive due diligence throughout the evaluation process. In an anonymous test of several leading applications, a Tier-1 US carrier identified Driveway as the leading technology overall in the market. The focus of this acquisition has been on creating the only end-to-end solution that can effectively operationalize telematics data for risk modeling, pricing and rating, and drive personalization and contextualized engagement. Driveway, with its advanced and robust telematics solution, was uniquely positioned to help us accomplish this and, as such, will help us provide significant value to our customers and the market as a whole.
Q: Do you plan on keeping the Driveway name or any staff?
Ziv: We will sunset the Driveway name and leverage Earnix‘s strong brand to promote the new UBI telematics solution. The Driveway app will be customized and sold under a new name: Drive-It. Drive-It was chosen as it fits perfectly under the theme of similar products being offered by Earnix today: Price-it, Personalize-it and Time-it. The existing Driveway team has joined the Earnix family and has been integrated into our existing organizational structure. In the near future, we plan to hire more people to accelerate the development of the Earnix telematics solution.
Q: Will you pursue other acquisitions this way?
Ziv: Earnix has been continuously innovating for our customers for the last 20 years, enabling them to better serve their consumers and businesses, and thus gain a competitive edge in the market. We are very happy to accelerate this great organic innovation with M&A driven inorganic innovation, bringing exciting capabilities into the integrated Earnix portfolio of products. We are continuously looking for exciting opportunities in the market and I do expect us to continue being acquisitive in order to better serve our customers.
*Photo: Earnix CEO Udi Ziv