Don’t let the name fool you. Tampa-based iink Payments is on a mission to eliminate the extra “ink” associated with the insurance industry.
The problem stems around collecting signatures on physical checks. “When you get a check from the insurance company, they can oftentimes have as many as seven signers on it,” CEO Tom McGrath told Hypepotamus. “It could say: pay to the order of homeowner one, homeowner two, a property attorney, a mortgage company, and public adjuster.”
Typically one person would have to drive around and collect those signatures. And since these are often large checks after some sort of serious property damage, mobile banking at a traditional bank just isn’t an option at the end of the process.
iink Payments looks to streamline and standardize the insurance claims process overall. McGrath describes it as a “Turbo Tax-like experience” and platform for homeowners and contractors to submit checks and documentation associated with a claim.
The team has processed upwards of $60 million in claims to date since launching the digital platform a year and a half ago.
The team is also growing, thanks to a $2.8 million seed round from Motivate Venture Capital, IU Ventures, Green Egg Ventures, Carolina FinTech Ventures, and a handful of what McGrath described as “industry guys” in their customer base.
InsurTech startups globally raised $15.4 billion in VC capital in 2021. And Southeast startups are becoming bigger players in the space.
In Atlanta, Layr announced this week the close of its $10 million Series A, led by HSCM Ventures. MGV, Sandbox Industries, Flyover Capital, Hannover Digital Investments, and an “experienced group of insurance brokerages and professionals” also joined the round.
Layr, now with over 50 employees, is trying to fix the major pain points insurance brokers and agents face when working with smaller companies. Traditionally, Naples said the process is manual and disconnected, while small businesses have to deal with “rising salary requirements and complex regulatory environment.”
Layr is one of several InsurTech ventures that have popped up in Atlanta over the last few years. Others include PlanGap, a FinTech and InsurTech company looking at social security protection, pay-per-mile car insurance platform Mile Auto, and Tech Square Ventures and Cofounders Capital-backed Slope Software.
Philip Naples, founder and CEO at Layr, sees the InsurTech scene growing out of the city’s previous FinTech and engineering success.
“While NYC and London might be the insurance capitals of the world, Atlanta will become the insurtech capital of the world,” Naples told Hypepotamus. “We have universities focusing on Risk Management and Insurance, universities producing great engineering talent, it is a hub for every major insurance company, brokerage, and wholesale, and we have an airport that connects directly to every major financial center in the world. We have everything we need in Atlanta to create the best and most innovative InsurTech business in the world.”
Tampa’s growing InsurTech scene also enticed San Francisco-based TrustLayer to relocate its headquarters last year following a new funding round. Other startups in the space include Slide and Homee.
So what exactly makes the InsurTech space so interesting right now in the Southeast? For iink’s McGrath, it is about solving problems close to home.
Co-founders Ken Lollar Ryan Holliday “come from the world of restoration,” said McGrath. “They knew this was a problem Silicon Valley would have never seen. Unless you’re up on that roof fixing it, you’re never going to think about these problems.”
Featuerd Photo by Vlad Deep on Unsplash