(Image source: Skan website.)
Skan, a San Jose, Calif.-based startup offering AI-enabled process discovery and operational intelligence solutions for insurance and other industries, has announced the close of a $14 million Series A funding round to strengthen its product platform and scale operations. Global venture capital firm Cathay Innovation led the new investment. Other investors participating in the round include Citi Ventures and existing investors, Zetta Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Plug and Play Ventures, and Firebolt Ventures. Simon Wu of Cathay Innovation will join the board of directors. Skan says the new investment will fund commercial expansion of its AI-driven process discovery and monitoring solution and expand its product, sales, and customer success teams.
Skan, co-founded by serial entrepreneurs and digital transformation veterans Avinash Misra and Manish Garg, pitches itself as the leading enterprise process discovery and monitoring platform for enterprises. Skan’s Operational Intelligence Platform provides cognitive process discovery and real-time process insights that the world’s leading financial services, healthcare, and media organizations need to understand, map, and plan their digital transformation and automation efforts, according to a company statement.
Combining what it characterizes as state-of-the-art process data science and computer vision, Skan says it synthesizes the digital traces of all human and screen interactions to uncover how work and processes such as underwriting, sales, customer onboarding, servicing, claims, invoicing, and fulfillment get done in an organization.
Skan reports that its customers are large enterprises collectively investing billions of dollars in digital transformation endeavors with limited ROI. It describes its AI-powered platform as providing visibility and transparency into processes and operations and functions as a foundation for digitalization.
“According to McKinsey & Company’s latest analysis, over 80 percent of digital transformation projects fail to realize their full potential,” comments Misra, Co-Founder, CEO of Skan. “From our experience, one of the root causes is the gap between how we think work gets done in the enterprise vs. how it works in practice. We realized that without understanding processes, their variants, and the resulting operational intelligence, any intervention such as digitalization, automation, and optimization are futile. We are grateful for Cathay Innovation, Citi Ventures, and our existing investors for their support in our mission.”
“Skan is filling a significant gap in the market as the launchpad for digital transformation,” comments Simon Wu, Investment Director, Cathay Innovation (San Francisco). “Skan’s technology not only utilizes computer vision to provide a holistic view of how work is done, but it does so in a secure manner that enterprises trust with their mission-critical data. We’re looking forward to joining the mission to revolutionize work within the enterprise and enable operational leaders to optimize processes.”
Opportunity in Insurance and Financial Services
Since launching in 2018, Skan has successfully become a foundational solution for global firms to assess, prioritize, and monitor their business processes and embark on digitalization initiatives. The firm sees a particular opportunity in the insurance industry.
“The insurance industry is in the throes of rapid digital transformation because of rising customer expectations as well as competition from emerging InsurTechs,” comments Manish Garg, Co-founder, and Chief Product Officer, Skan. “While transformation is a worthy endeavor, it is fraught with challenges due to legacy systems, complication processes, and burdensome regulations. A foundational technology such as Skan is providing insurers visibility and transparency into processes and allowing them to rapidly optimize and transform.”
The company is seeing strong demand from insurers across the sectors of property/casualty, group benefits, life and annuity, and health, according to co-founder Misra. “Our insurance clients are using Skan across core processes like new business underwriting, policy administration, and claims—wherever there are multiple systems, variability in approaches, and high volume,” he says.
During 2020, the financial services sector more broadly has seen a notable acceleration of the digital transformation of large enterprises during, while simultaneously placing a greater focus on improving productivity, according to Matt Carbonara, Managing Director, Citi Ventures. “Skan’s innovative process discovery and operational intelligence platform is uniquely positioned to serve the future of the financial services sector, and Citi Ventures is excited to support their growth story.”
Skan describes its work to power the digital transformation of large and complex firms as driven by the following core capabilities, as described by the vendor:
- Unobtrusive Observation and Discovery: Skan observes and captures every human and screen interaction to learn business processes with zero disruption in work and zero integration with business applications or any need for process logs.
- Digital Process Twins for Process Analysis: Skan creates a holistic Digital Twin of end-to-end value streams. These process twins allow organizations to perform data-driven process analysis and modeling.
- Privacy and Information Security Safeguards: Skan is an enterprise native and uses a hybrid cloud deployment to ensure that business data always remains within the enterprise firewalls. Skan’s Privacy and Information Security Machine (PRISM) uses patented mechanisms to guarantee data security and end-user privacy in business process discovery.
- Continuous Operational Intelligence: Continuous monitoring and analysis of processes help organizations understand process drift and alerts of potential process conformance issues.