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Bitesize InsurTech: Planck

Planck Resolution (‘Planck’) provides underwriting data for SME insurance.

The data and analytics company, which has offices in New York and Tel Aviv, interrogates a wide range of data sources from social media to public records, synthesises it using AI and provides insight to underwriters. Planck’s data insights address multiple product lines (including business insurance,employers’ liabilityand public liability) and cover multiple SME segments (including contractors, restaurants, retail, landscapers, medical services and hospitality).

The company was founded in 2015 by seasoned technology professionals Amir Cohen, Elad Tsur (founders of data-mining business BlueTail, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2012) and David Schapiro (CEO of analytics business Earnix). Insurance experience is provided by Leandro Dallemule, the former Chief Data Officer & Head of Information Management at AIG. To date, the business has raised $12m in funding.

Planck (previously, somewhat confusingly, called Planck Re) provides underwriters with three main benefits:

  1. The platform auto-populates underwriting forms: This expedites the underwriting process and reduces the chance of human error
  2. The platform continuously monitors its data sources and flags any changes to policyholder circumstances: This allows insurers to monitor risks on an ongoing basis
  3. The platform analyses historical underwriter data to refine existing underwriting models and introduce new criteria: This allows insurers to improve the accuracy of underwriting

The end result is an underwriting process without lengthy client proposal forms and with greater insurer visibility into risk factors – critical for many insurers as they expand their digital distribution.

The Oxbow Partners view

Heard it all before? To some extent, Planck is emblematic of the current phase of InsurTech. There are fewer original ideas, and the race is now to execute better than others. The differences between companies will become harder to spot from the outside.

Dynamic pricing data has been a theme in InsurTech for some time. Last year we included Cytora and Carpe Data (see bitesize profiles here and here) in our 2018 InsurTech Impact 25 (link), which provide similar propositions. (Look out for the 2019 edition, due to be published in a few weeks. Sign up to our distribution list to receive it first.)

The challenge for companies in this space is twofold: first, to demonstrate that insight is more predictive than existing approaches and second, to prove that the methodology can be applied more broadly than early use cases. It is striking how many data & analytics companies have started with restaurants – but unsurprising given the amount of data in this segment is large given the existence of listing and review sites, for example.

With a substantial Series A investment under its belt and a team of proven entrepreneurs, Planck has the firepower to make progress.

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George Hanks

George Hanks is a Consultant at Oxbow Partners. You can reach him at ghanks@oxbowpartners.com.

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