HOVER turns smartphone photos of any home into detailed 3D computer models. The business recently raised $25m in Series B funding led by Google Ventures (bringing total funding to $62m).
HOVER was founded in 2011 by A.J. Altman, a former Intel Engineer and Marine in the US military. Whilst on deployment in Iraq, it occurred to A.J. that the Marines’ job would be easier and safer if they had a 3D map of their patrol areas. His solution was developing an algorithm that could create 3D models from photographic imagery.
After leaving the military, A.J. looked for commercial use cases for this technology. As HOVER’s Marketing Director, Dena Nejad, told us: “We started by providing accurately measured 3D models of buildings to construction companies. Once we’d proven the capability of the technology in construction, carriers were quick to see its potential application within insurance”.
HOVER’s 3D representations of buildings include accurate surface area measurements of all building features (e.g. roofing, windows, doors etc.).
Its current insurance application is to facilitate self-service property claims. At the point of FNOL, claimants are sent a link to download the HOVER app. The claimant is then instructed to take specific photographs of their property. HOVER then provides imagery and a fully-measured 3D model to desk-based loss adjusters, who can either rapidly settle the claim, or send field-based loss adjusters to investigate further. HOVER claims that benefits to insurers are twofold:
- Reduced claims management costs: HOVER claim that insurers can save $500 per claim, simply by removing the need to send out a loss adjuster.
- Improved customer experience: HOVER also makes the 3D property model available to the customer. This helps insurers to differentiate their proposition and improve customer experience.
HOVER tell us that they have reached enterprise agreements or are in evaluation with 8 of the top 10 US property carriers.
The Oxbow Partners View
The ClaimsTech space is getting congested quickly; several businesses have propositions around image collection and/or analysis, for example WeGoLook and 360Globalnet. This part of the business does not feel too differentiated.
What we do, however, really like is HOVER’s base technology. Once you’ve built a model of your house you can play around it: paint the windows, change the roof, redesign the structure. We can see how homeowners would find this both fun and helpful when deciding how to restore their property after a claim.