(Image source: CLARA analytics homepage.)
CLARA analytics (Santa Clara, Calif.), a provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the commercial insurance industry, has named Gary Hagmueller chief executive officer, as company founder Jayant Lakshmikanthan transitions to the role of chief product officer. The company describes Hagmueller as a proven leader with deep experience scaling companies in high-growth markets with a product visionary, passionate about reducing claims costs while improving the claimant experience. The addition of Hagmueller comes on the heels of a number of key executive hires as CLARA enters a new stage of growth.
Hagmueller has more than 20 years’ experience in the technology industry, with a focus on building AI and machine learning applications for the enterprise market. Over the span of his career, he has created over $7.5B in enterprise value through multiple exits, according to CLARA’s announcement of his appointment.
Hagmueller comes to CLARA from Ayasdi, an enterprise AI solutions provider, where he most recently served as COO. During his tenure at Ayasdi, he led efforts to turn the firm into a vertically focused AI application developer and built the financial services and healthcare teams that ultimately resulted in the company’s successful sale to SymphonyAI Group.
Massive Market Ripe for Disruption
“Throughout my career, I have sought out companies that use innovative technology to fundamentally transform key markets,” comments Hagmueller. “In CLARA, I see a rapidly growing firm that is transforming claims operations from an ineffective and expensive process into a highly effective function that significantly reduces costs while substantially improving the experience for both customers and employees,” said Hagmueller. “Given that $330B is spent annually on claims operations and settlements, this is a massive market ripe for disruption.
“AI and machine learning are transformative technologies but only when applied strategically to solve real problems. The CLARA team understands the fundamental issues in the commercial insurance industry at a very deep level and has developed a suite of elegant solutions to address these sticking points. Adoption and enthusiasm for CLARA’s products thus far has been amazing, and we’ve only just begun to commercialize our applications.”
Prior to his tenure at Ayasdi, Hagmueller was CFO of Zuora, Inc., the leading cloud-based subscription management platform provider. He has also served as CFO of KnowNow, COO of Vinfolio (acquired by Revolution Capital), and senior director at RouteScience Technologies (acquired by Avaya). Earlier in his career, Hagmueller was director of corporate development for NorthPoint Communications, where he helped drive its IPO. He came to NorthPoint from Verizon, where he led a business development team in the enterprise offerings group.
Bold Steps Forward
“Gary is the ideal CEO for CLARA as the company takes bold steps forward,” comments Lakshmikanthan. “Adoption and demand have increased so quickly that the company needs a leader with deep experience in all facets of scaling an enterprise-focused, AI-based SaaS company. I am thrilled to be shifting my attention back to my passion in developing and evangelizing our products as CLARA is poised to become the dominant provider of AI tools for claims operations in insurance worldwide. I look forward to partnering closely with Gary and all that we will accomplish together.”
Hagmueller joins CLARA as the company builds on its momentum by signing a contract with global professional services firm Aon to deliver a jointly developed AI solution that helps risk managers understand their underlying legal costs and prevent litigation from entering the workers’ compensation claims process. CLARA reports that it has doubled its customer base during the last year, while strengthening its executive team. Earlier this summer, CLARA added Pramod Akkarachittor as VP of products; in September 2018, CLARA announced that MSA veteran Kim Wiswell joined the company as VP of managed care operations. CLARA recently named Tom Ash senior VP of sales and business development, and Ruth Estrich as a member of the company’s advisory board.