Maiden Re backs insurtech drone start-up
Maiden Re has invested in an insurtech drone start-up.
The reinsurer is among a group of investors who have provided $2.05 million of funding to Betterview, a US company that uses software and services, including drones, to capture and analyse date for buildings and properties, which can be used by the property insurance industry.
The news comes as insurance adjusters are increasingly using drones and data captured by drones to assess damage and losses caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas last month.
Founded in 2014, Betterview has a network of more than 4,400 drone operators around the world who have inspected thousands of buildings for insurance, real estate and construction industry customers.
The company uses computer software, including artificial intelligence, to process detailed imagery of properties that can be used to identify problems, assess damage and settle claims.
Colin Fitt, senior vice-president, corporate development at Maiden Re, part of Bermudian-based Maiden Holdings Ltd, said: “Maiden Re is very pleased to have participated in Betterview's latest fundraising round.
“Our ongoing strategic objective is to support emerging technology which provides operational, analytical, and competitive advantages to our clients. We believe that Betterview provides a compelling value proposition for our clients evolving needs,”
Tom Highet, president of Maiden Re North America, an affiliate of Maiden Re, said: “We believe the technology that Betterview is developing will be very beneficial to our customers from both a claims and underwriting standpoint. We are excited to be a part of this developing technology.”
The latest round of funding brings the total for Betterview to $3.65 million. It was founded by insurance and technology veterans David Lyman and David Tobias. The company uses drones and “a highly precise computer vision system” to identify problems with roofs, such as damage caused by hail or winds, loose wries, debris and waterponding. It also uses historical weather information, detailed measurements, assessor's data and other sources to detect and analyse property issues and potential issues.
In a statement, Mr Lyman and Mr Tobais wrote: “As the quality, speed and economics of drones continues to improve, we are seeing more insurers move from concept to real production use with drones.
“This latest round of financing will help us to capitalise on this momentum by expanding our existing artificial intelligence capabilities, accelerate product development and increase our adjusting, engineering & operations staff. We are excited to announce the closing of our latest fundraising round, and couldn't be happier to have Compound Venture Capital, Maiden Re, and our other investors on board.”
It was reported earlier this week that insurance adjusters are using drones in the region of Texas hit by Hurricane Harvey. US-based Travelers Insurance has 65 certified drone pilots and is using the technology to reduce the time it takes to assess damage in the area devastated by the storm.