AI-powered InsurTech, Zesty.ai Closes $13M Series A Funding Round

Zesty.ai uses machine learning to more accurately model multi-peril catastrophic loss events at the property level. 

(Image source: Zesty.ai homepage.)

Zesty.ai, an Oakland, Calif.-based artificial intelligence (AI) InsurTech startup, has announced today the closure of its Series A financing round of US$ 13 million led by Luxembourg-based private investment fund, Blamar. Plug & Play Ventures and existing investors also participated in the round.

Attila Toth, CEO, Zesty.ai.

Zesty.ai uses AI to help property/casualty insurance carriers, reinsurers, MGA and InsurTechs better assess risk. The company has developed computer vision technology leveraging satellite and aerial imagery combined with structured data sources to capture billions of data points on buildings and their surroundings without ever setting foot on the premises. Zesty.ai uses machine learning to more accurately model multi-peril catastrophic loss events (e.g., hurricane, wildfire, flood etc.) at the property level. Zesty.ai was founded by Kumar Dhuvur, Head of Product and Attila Toth, CEO.

Zesty.ai says its insurance customers benefit from:

  • Decreased loss ratios driven by more accurate underwriting,
  • Tighter customer and agent relationships given a delightful, digital purchasing experience,
  • Decreased expense ratios due to lesser need for physical inspections.

Kumar Dhuvur, Head of Product, Zesty.ai.

Zesty.ai pitches the utility of its AI-driven solution by referring to losses in California wildfires, whose magnitude has blindsided the insurance industry, according to the startup, amounting to US$ 16 billion in 2017 and up to US$ 19 billion to date in 2018. A Zesty.ai statement says insurers rely on outdated Fire Hazard Severity Zone maps to assess wildfire risk that missed the mark in ~85% of the cases during the 2017 wildfire in Santa Rosa, CA.  Zesty.ai has released its wildfire model that it says integrates high fidelity property level features about vegetation, building materials, neighborhood characteristics, topography, weather patterns and more. The company uses machine learning to combine these unique risk modifiers, most of which it says have never been accurately captured before, with actual loss data from the various wildfire events into a predictive risk score that dramatically impacts underwriting decisions and risk mitigation strategies.

“We are honored that zesty.ai has chosen Blamar as their capital partner,” comments Laszlo Bots, CEO of Blamar. “Our long-term investment philosophy aligns closely with the momentous opportunity in front of the company. We know Attila and Kumar well and have the utmost confidence in their execution capabilities.”

Partner insurance executives of Plug & Play, a leading Insurtech ecosystem of over 80 global insurance companies voted zesty.ai the Most Innovative Insurtech Startup in August 2018.

Ali Safavi, Global Head of Plug and Play InsurTech.

“Many of our members are excited to partner with zesty.ai and the feedback on the product has been overwhelmingly positive,” comments Ali Safavi, Partner, Plug & Play Ventures.  “This is the reason why we decided to invest in this financing round.”

At the Forefront of Change

“Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize the traditionally data-driven insurance industry and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of this massive change,” comments Attila Toth, CEO and Co-Founder of zesty.ai. “We are immensely thankful to our customers, employees, investors and partners for enabling us to become a leader in this space!”

The company says it will use the Series A capital to expand its data science, engineering and customer success teams and ingest additional proprietary data into its platform.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, 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 [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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