Kabir Syed’s insurtech start-up ennabl recently raised $4 million in seed financing. But that infusion came after he invested about $1.5 million of his own money in the initial development of its central technology: a platform that makes a wide range of data more accessible to brokers without having to rely on different platforms.
Syed (pictured) didn’t hesitate, because “if you believe in something good” then the investment is worth it.
So goes the early days of ennabl’s existence. The Connecticut-based company launched in November 2020 and already employs 32 people. After the seed financing (led by Vine Ventures and other private participants), plans call for expanding ennabl’s platform and hiring more engineers, data experts and insurance technology professionals.
Previously, Syed was the founder and former CEO of RiskMatch, which launched in 2013 centered around a market relationship management and analytical platform. It was acquired by Vertafore in 2017. Syed himself is an industry veteran, having held leadership roles at Marsh, Inc. and elsewhere.
Syed seems particularly excited about his new venture, a platform intended to help insurance brokers source, advise and manage clients. Machine learning is a key component.
“It’s a lot of machine learning that we have created,” Syed said. “Instead of [customers] asking for information, we are giving users more information about their clients.”
For examples, brokers may typically ask for a VIN for car models before a client buys insurance. But with the platform, ennabl can obtain all of that instead, “so you don’t need to go and research and do that.”
The company’s ennablDATA platform is a data-as-a-service (DaaS) product that automatically extracts structure and connects brokers’ data from various systems otherwise unconnected. AI and algorithms help structure that data, and the platform automatically standardizes and eliminates duplication of client and policy information, according to the company. In addition, it helps beef up broker data with industry, behavioral and demographic data sources, among others, There is also ennablDECISIONS - an analytical search engine designed to help brokers and agents find greater meaning from the data they have.
Broker and agent data typically isn’t standardized, and that situation is less than ideal, Syed explained.
“You can pretty much type in anything you want into a system and that creates a lot of problems,” Syed said. “The sources of truth [verified data] that [agents and brokers] have are full of bugs and errors, so they spend a lot of money and resources correcting that.”
The ennabl technology platform addresses this, in part, with standardized lists for different items designed to produce greater consistency.
According to Syed, the platform starts pulling data for clients once it is installed. Installation is also specific to the type of software that a broker uses, such as Epic or AMS 360.
Incorporating ennabl technology
So far, ennabl has seven customers, and it added a broker client recently.
The process of integrating ennabl technology is conducted remotely, starting with a 30-minute call where ennabl asks to access a client’s SQL server (Microsoft’s relational database management system) or host the SQL process itself. At that point, the client gets ennabl software installed and gives ennabl permission to access its data.
The software install replates itself, enabling the extraction of data, and ennabl sets up a separate server for every broker’s data via AWS.
Then, Syed explains, ennabl starts scanning the data for imperfections and fixes them.
“We starting looking for mistakes. Is the policy right? Is the premium right? Is the name right? Is the address right? We do all these authentication checks,” Syed said.
After that, the software notifies the user it has corrected errors, noting any exceptions or problem points.
Next, ennabl gives clients a preview of the dashboard (after an initial week or two) to show what the data looks like, and ask whether data sources need renaming, for standardization purposes.
Data sources are standardized, with carriers mapped in the system as well as the intermediaries used to access carriers, and Lloyd’s syndicates and so on. Syed explained that this is done to give brokers a better sense of their processes.
“A lot of brokers don’t know how the premium tracks,” Syed said. “They may go directly to Travelers, but sometimes they may use a wholesaler or an MGA. We tell them how the premium travels. The reason to know that is the more you use wholesalers or intermediaries, the lower your commission.”
After that, broker customers may make some changes, based on the initial ennabl data list, and they pick points to correct. The company establishes a system to do this process daily.
From signing the contract to implementation, the process can take less than a month to a couple of months, depending on the customer. The reason is some companies have one system and some have multiple ones, and ennabl needs to install its software one system at a time in order to extract data, show the client and point out errors and corrections.
Clients pay a flat fee to have their data augmented and enriched, via the company’s ennablData platform. Those choosing to use ennablDecisions to analyze their data pay a monthly fee.