InsurTech Drone Startup Betterview Closes $2.05M Funding Round

The new funding will be used to expand existing artificial intelligence capabilities, accelerate product development, and increase adjusting, engineering and operations staff.

(Image source: Betterview homepage.)

Betterview, a San Francisco-based provider of a technology platform for drone-based building and property inspections, has announced that it has closed a $2.05 million Series Seed round, bringing its total funding to $3.65 million to date. Betterview reports that its latest fundraising round was led by Compound Venture Capital, with participation from Maiden Re , 645 Ventures, Arab Angel, Winklevoss Capital, Chestnut Street Ventures, Pierre Valade, Edward Lando, along with earlier investors Haystack and MetaProp.

David Hirsch, Managing Partner, Compound Venture Capital.

Betterview reports that the new funding will be used to expand existing artificial intelligence capabilities, accelerate product development, and increase adjusting, engineering and operations staff.

Founded in late 2014 by insurance and technology veterans David Lyman and David Tobias, Betterview describes its offering as software and services designed to capture, organize, and analyze data for buildings & properties to unlock valuable insights. The company uses drones to capture what it calls highly detailed imagery, which it then processes and combines with other data sources to enable a more thorough understanding of any given property.

“We’re always searching to partner with early stage technology companies enabling traditional industries,” comments David Hirsch, Managing Partner, Compound Venture Capital. “When we looked at the billion dollar P&C insurance industry, we saw an industry that conducted business the same way for decades until recently. Having been involved in Betterview’s previous fundraising round, we believe drones and artificial intelligence are going to transform how inspectors, underwriters and adjusters do their jobs.”

Betterview reports that it has inspected over 7,400 buildings for more than a hundred businesses, most of which are insurers. Betterview says it supports a more thorough understanding of property through its provision of software and services in three areas: makes every property thoroughly understood by providing software & services in three key areas:

  • Workflow: Streamlined processes from start to finish to ensure quality & consistency: Plan, Capture, and Analyze.
  • Data Management & Compliance: Securely store flight logs and time/geo-stamped photos in case of dispute, litigation or compliance audits.
  • Insights: Non-biased roofing & construction expert analysis & machine learning that automatically tags 87 issue types.

To support its insights capabilities, Betterview says it has developed a highly precise computer vision system for identifying important problems with roofs, such as: hail damage, wind damage, loose wires, water ponding, debris, etc. The vendor says this system has gained its intelligence from a proprietary database of over a million analyzed and tagged images of buildings and properties.

“Maiden Re is very pleased to have participated in Betterview’s latest fundraising round,” comments Colin Fitt, Senior VP Corporate Development, Maiden Re. “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.”

Beneficial from both Claims and Underwriting Standpoint

“We believe the technology that Betterview is developing will be very beneficial to our customers from both a claims and underwriting standpoint,” adds Tom Highet, President, Maiden Re North America. “We are excited to be a part of this developing technology.”

David Lyman, Co-Founder, Betterview.

Betterview is responding to what it sees as an appetite on the part of insurance carriers for more information about buildings and properties. The company says that it is pulling in a variety of data sources, including drone imagery, as well as historical weather information, detailed measurements, assessor’s data and other sources.

“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,” says a statement from David Tobias and David Lyman, Co-Founders of Betterview. “This latest round of financing will help us to capitalize 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.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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