ProNavigator capitalises on strong growth to close CAD 5.6m funding round

AI-powered insurance assistant ProNavigator has seen adoption of its technology accelerate during the pandemic, helping it to close a CAD 5.6m ($4.2m) round.

The fresh investment was co-led by new backer Luge Capital and existing investors GreenSky Capital and MaRS IAF. iNovia Capital, BDC and CIBC Innovation Banking also contributed to the funding round.

Proceeds from the round will be used to support its continued expansion across the US and Canada, as well as the launch of new products. The InsurTech currently supports personal lines within home and auto insurance, but is hoping to launch commercial support in the future.

The coronavirus has been a different story for many businesses, with many struggling while others prosper. This funding round comes after ProNavigator has witnessed strong growth, culminating in it growing by nearly 300%, it said.

ProNavigator founder and CEO Joseph D’Souza (pictured) said, “In the last few months, as the world has transitioned to work from home, insurance organizations have had to scramble and adapt quickly to supporting their teams as they get productive working from their home offices. Technology and ensuring staff has the information and tools they need has become mission-critical to every department.

“And for this, we have found our platform to be very useful – enabling employees to be more productive.”

Raising capital is tough enough under normal conditions, but during a pandemic is a whole new bag of worms. However, D’Souza stated that the company did not struggle when trying to raise this fresh batch of capital and was even able to close the round relatively quickly.

“Our current investors have been great supporters and believers in the opportunity and ability to deliver, and they’ve continued to co-lead and participate in this round,” he said. “Some of our new investors we’ve known for a while, and they’ve been tracking our progress. So while there are certainly challenges in raising capital during COVID we were able to move reasonably quickly to complete this round.”

Founded in 2016, the Canada-based company helps insurance agencies and carriers to improve their customer experience, increase sales, retention and productivity through its AI technology. The platform utilises insurance domain expertise and natural language processing technology to automate or partially automate underwriting, claims, service and sales related inquiries through either voice or chat.

Its clients include HUB International, Wawanesa and TD Insurance, which are using the platform to improve customer experiences and increase revenue.

Luge Capital general partner David Nault said, “No one likes to wait for answers and ProNavigator addresses this industry-wide and costly problem, especially as it relates to enabling sales and broker channel customer service.

“Strong customer demand, a solid value proposition and their proven growth strategy caught our attention. We’re looking forward to fueling their growth with our network, experience and capital to help solve the insurance industry’s information flow challenges.”

D’Souza believes that underwriting teams, claims staff and brokers spend too many of their working hours just searching for information and constantly answering the same questions. In some scenarios, staff might even spend one or two hours trying to find one piece of information.

ProNavigator was created to solve this issue. Its technology can enable a user to ask questions and quickly find information from an entire library of digital resources.

With the close of the round, the company has raised a total of CAD 7.8m ($5.9m) in equity. Its former round was a $2m seed round from MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and GreenSky Capital in 2019.

D’Souza concluded, “There is an opportunity, especially in a time like this, for the industry to embrace a technology-powered future, where we can develop tools and processes to increase the return on our effort. Technology can free us from some of the mundane tasks. I think we’ve seen quicker adoption and implementation of technology during COVID.”

Last year, Luge Capital closed its latest investment fund on $85m to help Canadian FinTechs thrive. The firm’s co-founder Karim Gillani spoke with FinTech Global to explain why the Canadian market is their focus.

Copyright © 2020 FinTech Global

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