We’re excited to continue our series, “Startup Bites: Meet the Young Chefs”, where Co-Founder Sven Roehl sits down with founders of InsurTech startups to chat about their exciting solutions and how they’re on track to make big waves in the insurance world.
In today’s blog, Sven sat down with Paul Greenhalgh, Director of The Americas at EasySend. Check out the full interview below!
Hi Paul, it’s great to see you! We met EasySend through some innovation activities in Israel, and what EasySend can provide to the insurance industry is very exciting. We’re happy to get more insight into the startup and the story behind it, so tell us about yourself and about EasySend!
I’ve been in the insurance industry for about 9 years and spent 4 years working at SAP. I also spent a couple of years in the payment processing space at One Inc., a year at Good Technology (which became Blackberry), and a year at iPipeline, which is an eForms firm and is now owned by Roper Technologies, an SAP company — so it’s all come full circle!
EasySend is the no-code, full-front office onboarding and claims settlement solution for insurance that was needed years ago, and now it exists. We’re now taking things that used to take days or weeks and doing them in minutes and hours with digitization of forms and all office activities across the board.
Thank you for sharing that! About EasySend — it was clearly born out of a process that was very time-consuming and not-so-easy, but what was the idea behind it and what motivated you to launch it?
EasySend was founded 4 years ago by two brothers, Omer and Eran Shirazi, and Tal Daskal, and all three Co-Founders are still with the company. They served in the Israeli military, and when they got out, they had this great idea. They put it down on paper for one customer originally and bootstrapped the company for over 2 years before we took any investments. We took on a $5 million USD investment at the end of 2018 from Vortex Ventures, who previously invested in the Waze app. Over the past few weeks, we have now secured $11 million USD in funding from Hanaco and Intel Capital.
That’s really great news, especially in these challenging times. When we think about growing the company, let’s talk about how big the company is, where you currently do business, and what challenges EasySend overcame along the way.
The biggest challenge we had was making a footprint in the market. We had sold to all of the major insurance companies and banks in Israel, so we launched in Europe nearly 2 years ago, and the U.S., Canada, and South America last year. Getting those initial customers is definitely a challenge, especially the ones that are well-known. I reached out to my contacts at Tier 1 and 2 insurance companies, brokerages, and agencies, and really focused on bigger names. They are not the easiest to sign, but we managed to sign some of them. Having references and case studies has made it easier for people to know who we are and what we do.
Could you give us an example of how EasySend helped streamline an insurance company’s processes?
You may have heard that the pet insurance industry is really growing. All the major Tier 1 and 2 firms are looking into it and some have already launched offerings, including groups like Nationwide. We went in and signed the #1 provider in pet insurance, called Petplan. They are now settling 30,000 to 40,000 claims per month with EasySend, and have cut their cost of settling claims by 15 to 20% by taking what was originally a manual process and going fully digital with our claims settlement solution.
And what about an example outside the insurance industry?
We’ve also signed up PSCU, a large facilitator in St. Petersburg that represents 1500 credit unions around the United States. They are also using EasySend for onboarding.
What would you say is the unique selling point in your solution?
Particularly with what’s going on in the world today, folks need to find processes and technologies that enable them to do things without having to physically meet people. Now, you can complete a full process, such as onboarding, cross-selling life insurance to existing P&C customers, settling claims in pet insurance, or reporting first notice of loss within auto insurance. Interestingly enough, we are now breaking into the e-signature marketing, and we’ve actually displaced DocuSign in a couple of accounts. We’re definitely being seen as a direct competitor of DocuSign and Adobe. This opens a whole new market for us — we do it faster, cheaper, and more nimbly with the insurance, finance, banking, and credit union expertise.
I’ve seen your solution in action, and it is definitely very easy to use and implement!
What we’re providing is essentially a TurboTax and Amazon-like experience for insurance, where we’re creating digital documents (as one carrier called them) and creating a full digital process for people to fill out documents on their own, either with a co-browsing session with an agent or own their own as a self-service function. It automatically populates the PDF, provides a signature, and it becomes a legally bound document that both the customer and brokerage or agency get a copy of. The carrier, agency, or broker retains the digital auto trail, signatures, and time stamps.
With the next funding just recently secured, it sounds like you’re growing quickly now. Where do you see EasySend in the next 2 or 3 years?
I think we can reasonably grow revenue by 3 to 5 times. We’d like to see the 40 to 50 client mark in the U.S., Canada, and South America within the next few years. That represents the growth and exposure that makes us attractive for Series B, which I’m sure is down the road.
When we talk to startups, we often hear about challenges arising in partnerships between the insurance organization and the agile, lean startup. How do you see this collaboration and what advice would you offer startups trying to enter this market?
A lot of the older insurance companies have employees that have been with them for 30 to 40 years. They do things a certain way, operate in silos, and use legacy systems. The agile and lean way of thinking is something that takes getting used to, but in our generation, it’s something we know and practice. Going from the waterfall to agile philosophy in terms of project management and doing things in general has created a lot of opportunities in insurance that they may not have thought was possible. We always start with the folks that are in Innovation and Digital Strategies, because they are usually involved in some level, in addition to IT.
Last question — where do you see the industry headed in the next 5 years, especially with the recent COVID-19 impact?
I see digital transformation continuing to evolve. Providing an offering that can encompass as many things as possible on the front end is really important. From an onboarding perspective, we do everything we can, from grabbing onto the initial requirements all the way to the e-signature and facilitating payment. We recently signed a partnership with Stripe, and we can work with any payment processor because as a facilitator, we don’t process payments. Underwriting is also becoming more automatic through algorithms for certain types of policies, so we can certainly get involved with that.
Thank you, Paul, for sharing your insights about EasySend! It was great to hear your story and about what you’re providing. Congratulations on the recent investment, and we wish you all the best going forward!