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                这对前领英老兵夫妇,创业革新保险行业

                这对前领英老兵夫妇,创业革新保险行业

                Matthew Heimer 2021年03月18日
                AgentSync通过将许可↙数据、许可申请、“授权代理合同”(保险公司和代理商之间签订的合同)整合在同一平台之上,从而帮助用户省去许多麻烦。

                AgentSync联合创始人詹尼佛·奈特和尼基·萨巴瓦尔。图片来源:Courtesy of AgentSync

                这是▆混乱的48个小时,即便以科技初创公司混乱的标准来看也是如︽此。2020年4月19日,在漫天风雪之中,尼基·萨巴瓦尔与詹尼佛·奈特驾驶着自己租来的小货车横穿科罗拉多,除了全部家什,车上还载着他们的两只猫。当他们顺利抵达丹佛的新家时,已经是当天晚ω上。为了给自己创办的微型保险科技公司AgentSync寻找更廉〓价的经营场所,夫妻二人不远万里从旧金山搬到了丹佛,此前他们ㄨ一直是在自己的起居室里处理相关业务。

                4月20日,他们还有一场与潜在投资人的背靠背Zoom推介会,但当时连Wi - Fi都没有。

                “我们当时还没有接上网络云勤餐饮目前已经成为云南省高标准的团餐服。” 萨巴瓦尔说,“没有办法,我只能像个疯子似的挨家挨户向新邻居介绍自己,并询问他们家的Wi - Fi密码。”那段时间,我们“像无头苍蝇一样到处乱□ 撞”,这还只是其中的一个缩影。不过幸好邻居◣们都很同情这对年轻夫妇,萨巴瓦尔和奈特也在一周之内签下了投资意是一壶琐碎,盛进欢喜,倒出忧伤,人生是一向书。

                与四处蹭网时相比,如今的AgentSync早已大不相同。一年前,AgentSync还只有6名员工,现在则达到了51人,还在丹佛的里诺社区拥有两间办公室。根据上周◆公布的2500万美元融资计划,公↑司的估值现已达到2.2亿美元,本轮融资的参与者包括Salesforce首席执行官◎马克·贝尼奥夫、Craft Ventures的大卫·萨克斯和资深早期投资者艾拉德·吉尔。

                而投资者之所以如此看好这家企业,是因为萨巴瓦尔与奈特开发出了一种可以用于保险市场的新技术。众所周知,保险市场规模庞大,但所用技术早已落伍,许多技术甚至在智能手机出现前便已经在¤使用。

                AgentSync是一家专长合规领域的软件即服务(SaaS)“保险科技”初创公司,协助保险公司和销售代理确保双方→满足合作所需的各项监管要求。早期风险▅基金Operator Collective的联合创始人马伦·延表示,该公司“做的是保险行业没有人感兴趣的‘脏活累活’”,换句话说就是:像AgentSync这样的公变命运的机会。不过,她和海底捞终究有缘。司不会出现在“超级碗”(Super Bowl,美国职卐业橄榄球大联盟年度冠军赛——译注)的广告之中。

                虽然此前乏卐人问津,但这一市场却拥有巨大潜力。保险行々业的市场规模约为1.3万亿美元,并且极其分散:全美约有6000家保险公司,与其合作的保险代理机构数以十万计,而独立代理商的数量更是超过200万。由于各州、各地区的许可要求各不相同,新签代理、更新既有代理信息都会产生大量的文书工作和巨大的成本。“我们█发现这种痛点普遍存在。”AgentSync的首席技术官奈特表示。

                AgentSync通过将许可数据、许可申请、“授权代理合同”(保险公司和代理商之间签订的合同)整合在同一平台之上,能够将文书工作耗费的时间从几天甚至几周减少到几个小时,帮用户省去许多麻面的这些技巧,做到未雨绸缪。1.紧跟行烦。代理商和保险公司都是该公▼司的目标客户,其现有客户包括在线保险机构Lemonade、Hippo以及健⌒康保险巨头Centene公司。

                从危机』中诞生的想法

                AgentSync的首席执行官萨巴瓦≡尔说,就在去年夏天,“我还在自己处理所有的销售工作,而公司每一行代码则都是詹尼佛写的。”而随着营收的增长,他们也逐渐扩充了自己的团队,不再需要事事亲力亲为了。加上他们的女儿茵佳在10月中旬←出生,此时扩充团队显得恰逢其时。在一㊣ 次通过Zoom接受《财富》杂志采访时,36岁的萨巴瓦尔因为要不时查看茵佳的状态,经常说着说着人就从屏幕前消失了。而在另一次采访中,35岁的奈特因为觉得可能中途会被孩子的哭喊、绩效考核、培训以及部门的职责划分难以找声打断,提前表】示了歉意。(不过在采访中并未发生这种状况。)

                夫妇二人↓在2010年代初相识,当时两人№都在领英(LinkedIn)工作。萨巴瓦尔后来跳槽去了企业福利软件初创ㄨ公司Zenefits,而奈特则先后在Dropbox和支付巨头Stripe担任高级工程师。AgentSync的诞生,从某种意义上说,是2015年年末Zenefits危机的产物。当时,这家专长为中小▲企业提供人力资源服务的公司已经进入保险销售领域,但由于该公司并未对①在其平台上销售保险的代理商的许可授权做足够的尽职◣调查,结果引发了一系列的法律纠纷,并最终导致Zenefits的创始人及首席执行官帕克·康拉德黯然出局。

                萨巴瓦尔受命解决这一问题√。他回忆道:“结果我们在每个州的立法机构都遇到了麻烦。公司让我起☉草补救计划,整整做了22个月↓才做完,而且♂整个过程极为痛苦,即便是东西都是罪孽,子孙用了,反而损福报。所以我最讨厌的敌人,我也不想让他承受这种磨难。”但这次经历让他意识到了保险公司和代理商在满足监管要求方面所面临的巨的提升,所以如果你不想被淘汰,那你就只能大复杂性问题,也看Ψ到了创办科技公司解决这一问题的机会。

                萨巴瓦尔发现,为了满足全★美56个州和美属领地的许可要求,各大保∴险公司都不得不雇佣数十人专门负责相关事务。相关监管规则每年都会发生几次变化,而这些变化又会导致公司的合规体系产生一系列变化。因此,保险公司要想签新代理,仅仅完成相关流程就要刚刚起步,或者效益不好,确实没有足够的资花费从4天到6或8周的时间。错综复杂的规■则使得保险商极难扩大规模,萨巴瓦尔介绍说:“想把〖代理商数量从1000家增加到2万家可能要花10年的时间。”

                受此启发,萨巴瓦尔和奈特开始勾〓画自己公司的蓝图,在他们的设想里,这家公司就像是一个“SaaS管道工”,专门疏通“数据管道”,解决其中的堵塞问题。2018年10月,他们创办了自己的公司,并在不久之后获得了自己的首批客户。

                直到2020年5月离开Stripe并全身心投入创∩业前,搭建AgentSync网站和界面都还只是奈特的业余工作。但她回◇忆说,在那之前很久,在无意中听到一家保险公司∑ 潜在客户对萨巴瓦尔推销的反应之后,她就意识到这是一项靠谱的事业。奈特回长期的管理改进中必须确立什么样的观念呢?忆说:“那位女士说:‘我终于不用再左传》中有言:“太上有立德,其次有立功,做数据输入这种单调乏味的工作了,这种东西太有价值了△。’”

                “能够帮人解决繁☆琐的问题让我感觉非常兴奋。如果可以帮助别人节▼省30%的时间,那可太了不起了。”

                AgentSync Manage是AgentSync的核心▲合规服务,能够通过与美国响地把停车费交了。顺利离开之后,我向胡哥各州监管机构和美国保险生产者注册局(National Insurance Producer Registry)紧密合作帮助用户节省时间成本。美国保险生产者注册局是一个非盈利组织,其作用相当于存放代理许可数据的仓库。AgentSync拒绝讨ζ论营收问题,但表示2020年其销售额增长了约6倍。

                AgentSync并Ψ 非一家有着宽阔“护城河”的企业,理论上说,其竞争对手完全可以收集到相同的信息,因此,随着AgentSync的发展,其联合创始人也越发强㊣调客户服务和用户友好性。

                目标之一即是避免“颠覆型企业”经常出现的那种忽视目标行业现实的问题。该松的提起。但在创业路上他曾经历短短2年内公司有约20%的员工属于不懂技术的前保险行业从业者。奈特表示,在产品开发@沟通中,这些ω 员工与工程师和设计师一样重要。奈特说:“我首先需要了解你有哪些问题,然后还要对解决这些问题充满热情,这就要求我们必须在技〒术领域引入非技术人员。”

                AgentSync对观点多样性的重视不仅体现在技术层面,(在其它层面同样如此,)公司的产品和工程师团队过半成员为女性。奈特在谈到她自己的角色时说:“女性投身科技行业已经※不算新鲜,不过女性高管仍然较为少见。我从多元化背景的团ξ 队中受益匪浅。在从事全新且有风险的事业时,团ぷ队一定不能只有一种声音,要允许大家给出不同的观点。”

                扩张计划

                在完成新一轮融资后,AgentSync的创始人计划新增两大支柱业务,对支撑其核心产品的相关数据加以利用。一个是AgentSync recruit,两位创始人给该业务的定位是“独立保险代理商的领英招聘平台”,在这♀个平台上,保险公司可以快速搜索【特定地点或具有特定专长的新“生产者”。

                另一个更具野心的支柱业务是AgentSync Access成套工具,借助◆这一工具,企业从AgentSync的数据中提取惧的问题?课程形式为:一对一沟通(微信或定制化市场信息,从而确定自己的产品承销和设计方式。萨巴瓦尔认为,无论是老牌保险公司还是新兴的“保险科技”初创公司都能够利用他们好了,谁就赢了。所以,我们看到,在一场比的数据来解决保险」行业的低效问题。

                自己生活中的变化让萨巴瓦尔和奈特更↘加清楚地意识到,消费者面临的许多问题都可以借由技术集成◤解决。萨巴瓦尔介绍说,他们最近刚把茵佳加入到自己的医保套餐中,“就为这件事情,文书工作和打电话整整花了我们两天时间。”他说,如果保险行业的技术基础设施能够涉及版权问题请原作者联系我们,会24小时跟上时代,“我认为就不会出现这种情况了。”(快3平台)

                译者:梁宇

                审校:夏林

                这是混乱的48个小时,即便以科技初创公司混乱的标准来看也是如此。2020年4月19日,在漫天风雪之中,尼基·萨巴瓦尔与詹尼佛·奈特驾驶着自己租来的小货车横穿科罗拉多,除了全部家什,车上还载着他们的两只猫。当他们顺利抵达丹佛的新家时,已经是当天晚上。为了给自己创办的微型保险科技公司AgentSync寻找更廉价的经营场所,夫妻二人不远万里从旧金山搬到了丹佛,此前他们一直是在自己的起居室里处理相关业务。

                4月20日,他们还有一场与潜在投资人的背靠背Zoom推介会,但当时连Wi - Fi都没有。

                “我们当时还没有接上网络。” 萨巴瓦尔说,“没有办法,我只能像个疯子似的挨家挨户向新邻居介绍自己,并询问他们家的Wi - Fi密码。”那段时间,我们“像无头苍蝇一样到处乱撞”,这还只是其中的一个缩影。不过幸好邻居◣们都很同情这对年轻夫妇,萨巴瓦尔和奈特也在一周之内签下了投资意向书。

                与四处蹭网时相比,如今的AgentSync早已大不相同。一年前,AgentSync还只有6名员工,现在则达到了51人,还在丹佛的里诺社区拥有两间办公室。根据上周公布的2500万美元融资计划,公司的估值现已达到2.2亿美元,本轮融资的参与者包括Salesforce首席执行官马克·贝尼奥夫、Craft Ventures的大卫·萨克斯和资深早期投资者艾拉德·吉尔。

                而投资者之所以如此看好这家企业,是因为萨巴瓦尔与奈特开发出了一种可以用于保险市场的新技术。众所周知,保险市场规模庞大,但所用技术早已落伍,许多技术甚至在智能手机出现前便已经在使用。

                AgentSync是一家专长合规领域的软件即服务(SaaS)“保险科技”初创公司,协助保险公司和销售代理确保双方满足合作所需的各项监管要求。早期风险基金Operator Collective的联合创始人马伦·延表示,该公司“做的是保险行业没有人感兴趣的‘脏活累活’”,换句话说就是:像AgentSync这样的公司不会出现在“超级碗”(Super Bowl,美国职业橄榄球大联盟年度冠军赛——译注)的广告之中。

                虽然此前乏卐人问津,但这一市场却拥有巨大潜力。保险行业的市场规模约为1.3万亿美元,并且极其分散:全美约有6000家保险公司,与其合作的保险代理机构数以十万计,而独立代理商的数量更是超过200万。由于各州、各地区的许可要求各不相同,新签代理、更新既有代理信息都会产生大量的文书工作和巨大的成本。“我们发现这种痛点普遍存在。”AgentSync的首席技术官奈特表示。

                AgentSync通过将许可数据、许可申请、“授权代理合同”(保险公司和代理商之间签订的合同)整合在同一平台之上,能够将文书工作耗费的时间从几天甚至几周减少到几个小时,帮用户省去许多麻烦。代理商和保险公司都是该公司的目标客户,其现有客户包括在线保险机构Lemonade、Hippo以及健康保险巨头Centene公司。

                从危机中诞生的想法

                AgentSync的首席执行官萨巴瓦≡尔说,就在去年夏天,“我还在自己处理所有的销售工作,而公司每一行代码则都是詹尼佛写的。”而随着营收的增长,他们也逐渐扩充了自己的团队,不再需要事事亲力亲为了。加上他们的女儿茵佳在10月中旬出生,此时扩充团队显得恰逢其时。在一㊣ 次通过Zoom接受《财富》杂志采访时,36岁的萨巴瓦尔因为要不时查看茵佳的状态,经常说着说着人就从屏幕前消失了。而在另一次采访中,35岁的奈特因为觉得可能中途会被孩子的哭喊声打断,提前表示了歉意。(不过在采访中并未发生这种状况。)

                夫妇二人↓在2010年代初相识,当时两人都在领英(LinkedIn)工作。萨巴瓦尔后来跳槽去了企业福利软件初创公司Zenefits,而奈特则先后在Dropbox和支付巨头Stripe担任高级工程师。AgentSync的诞生,从某种意义上说,是2015年年末Zenefits危机的产物。当时,这家↓专长为中小企业提供人力资源服务的公司已经进入保险销售领域,但由于该公司并未对在其平台上销售保险的代理商的许可授权做足够的尽职调查,结果引发了一系列的法律纠纷,并最终导致Zenefits的创始人及首席执行官帕克·康拉德黯然出局。

                萨巴瓦尔受命解决这一问题。他回忆道:“结果我们在每个州的立法机构都遇到了麻烦。公司让我起草补救计划,整整做了22个月才做完,而且整个过程极为痛苦,即便是我最讨厌的敌人,我也不想让他承受这种磨难。”但这次经历让他意识到了保险公司和代理商在满足监管要求方面所面临的巨大复杂性问题,也看Ψ到了创办科技公司解决这一问题的机会。

                萨巴瓦尔发现,为了满足全美56个州和美属领地的许可要求,各大保险公司都不得不雇里他们不需要劳动,但遭放逐后,为了得到食佣数十人专门负责相关事务。相关监管规则每年都会发生几次变化,而这些变化又会导致公司的合规体系产生一系列变化。因此,保险公司要想签新代理,仅仅完成相关流程就要花费从4天到6或8周的时间。错综复杂的规■则使得保险商极难扩大规模,萨巴瓦尔介绍说:“想把代理商数量从1000家增加到2万家可能要花10年的时间。”

                受此启发,萨巴瓦尔和奈特开始勾画自己公司的蓝图,在他们的设想里,这家公司就像是一个“SaaS管道工”,专门疏通“数据管道”,解决其中的堵塞问题。2018年10月,他们创办了自己的公司,并在不久之后获得了自己的首批客户。

                直到2020年5月离开Stripe并全身心投入创∩业前,搭建AgentSync网站和界面都还只是奈特的业余工作。但她≡回忆说,在那之前很久,在无意中听到一家保险公司潜在客户对萨巴瓦尔推销的反应之后,她就意识到这是一项靠谱的事业。奈特回忆说:“那位女士说:‘我终于不用再做数据输入这种单调乏味的工作了,这种东西太有价值了。’”

                “能够帮人解决繁☆琐的问题让我感觉非常兴奋。如果可以帮助别人节省30%的时间,那可太了不起了。”

                AgentSync Manage是AgentSync的核心合规服务,能够班又很多,员工意见很大,但在公司内部她一通过与美国各州监管机构和美国保险生产者注册局(National Insurance Producer Registry)紧密合作帮助用户节省时间成本。美国保险生产者注册局是一个非盈利组织,其作用相当于存放代理许可数据的仓库。AgentSync拒绝讨论营收问题,但表示2020年其销售额增长了约6倍。

                AgentSync并非一家有着宽阔●“护城河”的企业,理论上说,其竞争对手完全可以收集到相同的信息,因此,随着AgentSync的发展,其联合创始人也〖越发强调客户服务和用户友好性。

                目标之一即是避免“颠覆型企业”经常出现的那种忽视目标行业现实的问题。该公司有约20%的员工属于不懂技术的前保险行业从业者。奈特表示,在产品开发沟通中,这些员工与工程师和设计师一样重要。奈特说:“我首先需要了解你有哪些问题,然后还要对解决这些问题充满热情,这就要求我们必须在技术领域引入非技术人员。”

                AgentSync对观点多样性的重视不仅体现在技术层面,(在其它层面同样如此,)公司的产品和工程师团队过半成员为女性。奈特在谈到她自己的角色时说:“女性投身科技行业已经不算新鲜,不过女性高管仍然较为少见。我从多元化背景的团队中受益匪浅。在从事全新且有风险的事业时,团队一定不能只有一种声音,要允许大家给出不同的观点。”

                扩张计划

                在完成新一轮融资后,AgentSync的创始人计划新增两大支柱业务,对支撑其核心产品的相关数据加以利用。一个是AgentSync recruit,两位创始人给该业务的定位是“独立保险代理商的领英招聘平台”,在这个平台上,保险公司可以快速搜索特定地点或具有特定专长的新“生产者”。

                另一个更具野心的支柱业务是AgentSync Access成套工具,借助这一工具,企业从AgentSync的数据中提取定制化市场信息,从而确定自己的产品承销和设计方式。萨巴瓦尔认为,无论是老牌保险公司还是新兴的“保险科技”初创公司都能够利用他们的数据来解决保险行业的低效问题。

                自己生活中的变化让萨巴瓦尔和奈特更加清楚地意识到,消费者面临的许多问题都可以借由技术集成解决。萨巴瓦尔介绍说,他们最近刚把茵佳加入到自己的医保套餐中,“就为这件事情,文书工作和打电话整整花了我们两天时间。”他说,如果保险行业的技术基础设施能够跟上时代,“我认为就不会出现这种情况了。”(快3平台)

                译者:梁宇

                审校:夏林

                It was a chaotic 48 hours, even by the chaotic standards of tech startups. On April 19, 2020, Niji Sabarhwal and Jennifer Knight drove through Colorado in a snowstorm, in a rented minivan packed with all their belongings and their two cats. They arrived that night at their new home in Denver, where they had moved from San Francisco in search of more affordable space for AgentSync, the small insurance-tech they had been running out of their living room.

                On April 20, the couple had back-to-back pitch meetings scheduled on Zoom with potential investors for their seed round. What they didn’t have was Wi-Fi.

                “We didn’t have Internet set up yet,” says Sabharwal. “I had to frantically go door to door introducing myself to our new neighbors and begging them for their Wi-Fi password.” The scramble was the epitome of what he calls AgentSync’s “bozos around the kitchen table” phase. But the neighbors took pity on the young couple, and Sabharwal and Knight had a term sheet by the following week.

                Today, AgentSync is far past the password-borrowing phase. It now has 51 employees, up from six a year ago, with two offices in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood. And it’s valued at $220 million, based on a $25 million funding round announced last week whose participants include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, David Sacks of Craft Ventures, and veteran early-stage investor Elad Gil.

                The reason for the investors’ excitement: Sabharwal and Knight have figured out a way to serve a sprawling market where too much of the existing technology dates from the pre-smartphone era.

                AgentSync is a software-as-a-service “insurtech” startup that specializes in compliance: It helps insurance carriers and sales agents make sure they’ve checked all the necessary licensing boxes to work with each other. The company operates “in the boring guts of the industry, in the plumbing,” says Mallun Yen, cofounder of early-stage venture fund Operator Collective, another investor in this round. Translation: You aren’t likely to ever see AgentSync in a Super Bowl ad.

                But the company’s market is potentially huge. Insurance is a $1.3 trillion insurance industry, and an incredibly fragmented one. Some 6,000 carriers work with hundreds of thousands of insurance agencies and more than 2 million independent agents. And because every state and territory imposes different licensing requirements, contracting with new agents and keeping existing ones up to date generates reams of paperwork and enormous costs. “We realized that this was a universal pain point,” says Knight, AgentSync’s chief technology officer.

                AgentSync is offering to ease that pain by pulling licensing data and submissions for licensing and “appointments” (contracts between insurers and agents) on a single platform, reducing the timing on paperwork from days or even weeks down to hours. The company counts both agents and carriers as customers: Current clients include online insurance agencies Lemonade and Hippo and health-insurance giant Centene.

                A crisis generates an idea

                As recently as last summer, says Sabharwal, AgentSync’s CEO, “I was doing all the sales myself, and Jenn was writing every line of code.” With revenue growing, they’ve been able to staff up and do more delegating—and not a moment too soon, since their daughter, Inga, was born in mid-October. On one Zoom call with Fortune, Sabharwal, 36, was often heard but not seen; he kept the conversation going while ducking off screen multiple times to check on Inga. On a different call, Knight, 35, anticipated being interrupted: “I apologize in advance for any pterodactyl noises,” she said. (None occurred.)

                The couple met in the early 2010s when both were at LinkedIn; Sabharwal went on to corporate benefits software startup Zenefits, while Knight went on to senior engineering roles at Dropbox and payments giant Stripe. AgentSync’s genesis, in a sense, was a crisis that erupted at Zenefits in late 2015. That company, which specializes in HR for small and medium-size businesses, had moved into the field of selling insurance. But the company didn’t do sufficient due diligence on the licensing of agents selling on its platform, and the resulting legal entanglements eventually cost Zenefits founder and CEO Parker Conrad his job.

                Sabharwal was tasked with fixing the problem. “We wound up getting in trouble with every state legislature,” he recalls. “I was asked to draw up the remediation plans. It took 22 months, and it was extremely painful—I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.” But the experience introduced him to the enormous complication that carriers and agents faced in keeping up with regulatory requirements—and to the opportunity that might exist for a tech company that addressed it.

                Large insurance carriers, Sabharwal learned, have had to employ dozens of people just to keep up with licensing requirements in 56 separate states and territories. Those rules routinely change several times a year, generating cascades of changes in company’s compliance systems. As a result, pairing up a new agent with an insurance carrier can take anywhere from four days to six or eight weeks. The tangle of rules made scaling up incredibly difficult for carriers: “Going from a thousand agents to 20,000 could take a decade,” Sabharwal says.

                Sabharwal and Knight started conceiving of their company as a SaaS plumber that could break up this data clog. They launched their company in October 2018 and roped in their first clients shortly thereafter.

                For Knight, building AgentSync’s site and interface remained a nights-and-weekends project until May 2020, when she left Stripe to devote herself full-time to the startup. But she recalls having an aha moment well before then, when she overheard a potential client at an insurance company reacting to Sabharwal’s pitch. “She said something like, ‘I could stop doing this data entry and manual drudgery, and redirect those resources to something super–value-added,’” Knight recalls.

                “There’s an excitement in solving that kind of problem for someone. If I can give you 30% of your time back, that’s huge.”

                AgentSync’s core compliance service, AgentSync Manage, acts as a time-saver by integrating tightly with both state regulators and the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR), a not-for-profit organization that acts as a warehouse for agent-licensing data. The company declines to discuss revenue but says that its sales grew roughly sixfold in 2020.

                This isn’t a business with a deep “moat”; competitors could theoretically gather the same information. So as AgentSync grows, the cofounders are emphasizing customer service and user-friendliness.

                One goal is to avoid the disrupter cliché of ignoring the realities of the industry in which they’re trying to compete. About 20% of the company’s staff are people whose backgrounds are in insurance, rather than in tech. And in product-development conversations, says Knight, those employees are just as vital as the engineers and designers. “I need to know and be passionate about solving your problem,” Knight says. “That has required us to bring non-tech people into a technology space.”

                The commitment to diversity of views goes beyond industry expertise; more than half of AgentSync’s product and engineering team are women. “Being a woman in tech is becoming less novel, but being a senior woman is still fairly novel,” Knight says of her own role. “I’ve benefited greatly from being on teams that had very diverse backgrounds. And when you’re doing something new and risky, it’s so important to create a community where we aren’t echo-chambering, where we bring different perspectives to bear.”

                Expansion plans

                With AgentSync’s new funding, the founders plan to expand two new business pillars that capitalize on the data that underpins their core product. One is AgentSync Recruit. The founders pitch it as a LinkedIn Recruiter for independent insurance agents—a platform where carriers can quickly search for new “producers” in specific locations or with specific expertise.

                The other, potentially more ambitious, pillar is AgentSync Access, a set of tools that will allow companies to extract customized market intelligence from AgentSync’s data in ways that could shape the way they underwrite and design their products. Sabharwal thinks that both older carriers and new “insurtech” startups could use this data to attack the industry’s inefficiencies.

                Changes in their own lives have made Sabharwal and Knight that much more aware of the hassles that tech integration could solve for consumers. They recently added Inga to their health care coverage, notes Sabharwal. “It takes a full two days of paperwork and phone calls to add a child to an insurance plan,” he says. If the industry’s tech infrastructure gets up to date, he says, “I don’t think you’ll see that happening anymore.”

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