FindBob Raises 1.6M to Help Insurance Firms Find Their Next Generation of Talent

Toronto-based FindBob has raised a $1.6 million seed round.

The round was led by Grinnell Mutual, with participation from the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Ames Seed Capital. The Global Insurance Accelerator and Canadian and US-based angels added follow-on investment.

The startup aims to solve a big problem in the insurance and financial services industry: a lack of a succession plan. The average age of the North American independent producer is 59 years old, with over $2.5 trillion in assets under management controlled by producers in their sixties. These producers often don’t have plans for transitioning their book of business to a new partner, leaving it to unexpected events like death, disability, retirement, or loss of license.

“We have an incredible opportunity to make a meaningful impact on one of the industry’s biggest threats, which is the lack of continuity within financial services,” said Chan. “Insurance and financial advice matter, and by aligning the interests of advisors, agents, and their companies through the effective use of digital transition management platforms, we’re helping orchestrate growth and perpetuation like never before.”

findbob

The Findbob platform

Founded in 2015 by Roland Chan — himself a successor to a life insurance MGA — the white-label platform allows users to discover opportunities to buy, sell, merge, partner, or address succession for their businesses. He says that agents and advisors aren’t planning for transitions because the process seems daunting, and there’s no easy way to find a partner. “It’s ironic, considering these individuals spend a lifetime providing advice to families and small businesses on continuity and succession for a living,” he jokes.

Chan stresses that the company is more than a marketplace, as it uses data to match firms with the types of agents that they want to work with. “Our enterprise platform leverages data to identify and develop talent necessary to improve organizational strength. So, while firms focus on today’s business goals, they can rely on us to provide visibility into their producers’ transition needs and offer them tools to support future growth.”

The company already counts HUB Financial, PPI Solutions, and IFB as clients. The company plans to use the funding to invest in sales and marketing, product development, and to expand in the US. It’s currently in negotiations with US carriers, and used its experience at the Des Moines, Iowa-based Global Insurance Accelerator to research whether they were solving an actual problem.”

“The GIA itself, whose fund is 100 percent comprised of 13 US based insurance carriers, did a follow on investment in our company,” said Chan. “We’ve already deployed an experienced, enterprise insurtech sales team on the ground in the US. Lack of perpetuation in the financial services industry isn’t limited to North America either. This is a global problem.”

“There is a large market for transition assistance in many personal services industries,” said Dave Wingert, Grinnell Mutual executive vice president, chief operating officer, and acting president. “Because of an impending generational shift of wealth coming — the largest ever — providing business and transition advice and networking opportunities to those personal service businesses will fill a critical need and help them stay viable. Grinnell Mutual is excited to have the chance to support that kind of initiative in a rapidly expanding market.”

Originally published in BetaKit

By: Jessica Galang

Accelerator Centre Announces 58th and 59th Graduates from the Accelerator Program

Waterloo (Ontario), CANADA, December 19, 2017 – The Accelerator Centre (AC) is pleased to announce its newest graduates of the Accelerator Program. The graduation of Alert Labs and eleven-X marks the 58th and 59th successful graduation from the AC’s world renowned Accelerator Program.

“We are excited to celebrate with Alert Labs and eleven-x today,” says Paul Salvini, CEO of the Accelerator Centre. “Both of these companies have demonstrated the incredible talent, passion and dedication required to grow and scale a successful startup.

Within this graduating class we have mature business executives, seasoned investment professionals, and first time entrepreneurs — all realizing their dream of starting and building a world-class business.

We are incredibly proud to count Alert Labs and eleven-X as our 58th and 59th graduates and look forward to continuing to support them through our post graduate program as they scale globally.”

Alert Labs

Alert Labs is an IoT technology company based in Kitchener, Ontario. Alert Labs builds affordable monitoring solutions for residential and commercial property owners. Alert Labs’ simple-to-deploy sensors can be placed on water meters, sump pumps, near toilets and other appliances to detect water leaks, floods, power issues, abnormal temperatures, and other events. Customers receive real-time alerts and insightful data analytics via SMS, email, and the Alert Labs app. For more information, visit www.alertlabs.ca or visit select Canadian Tire stores.

eleven-X

eleven-X™ is operator of Canada’s first and only coast-to-coast public low power network optimized for the Internet of Things [IoT]. Our public low power IoT network enables the promise of Smart Cities, Smart Buildings and Campuses, and Enterprise IoT applications. Supporting the use of low-cost battery-powered sensors, the network addresses many Internet of Things use cases where requirements include wireless connectivity, devices that require long battery life, no maintenance and a low total cost of ownership.

For further information, please contact:

Tabatha Laverty
Marketing and Community Manager
Accelerator Centre
tlaverty@acceleartorcentre.com

Tabnex Wins $25K at Velocity Fund Finals and Turns Heads with New Recruitment Intelligence Platform

Tabnex is a real-time intelligence platform powered by AI which allows recruitment teams to work smarter and faster. They do this by programmatically integrating insights on candidates who have applied to job opportunities, in seconds, at every stage of the hiring process. Tabnex, which is currently in closed beta, integrates personalized data on candidates into your places of communication like your inbox. The platform is designed to be compatible with any email provider so that recruiters who receive emails and resumes from applicants, can get key information that is normally uncovered during an interview. They enrich information which is automatically organized through an elegant interface in the inbox, thus making their job easier in terms of analyzing data and categorizing types of applicants, jobs, and other data points that can in some cases take hours to organize manually.

The three co-founders, Marwan, Moe, and Muni all attended the University of Waterloo and started developing the software company out of Velocity Garage. What started as a job seeker solution, evolved into a product that instantly interprets, analyzes and collects pools of data that comes along with applying to jobs and selecting top candidates; resumes. The platform currently plugs into the user’s inbox and gathers all data pertaining to a job applicant, then analyzes and categorizes based on a pattern of data. More features that are currently being built will provide further insights, even predictive and personality-based insights, to make analyzing and hiring a seamless process.

The company recently won a $25K prize in the Velocity Fund Finals and received additional suport from support from NVIDIA’s AI Accelerator and raised $50K from Ontario Data Exchange as well as another $50K from IBM Innovation Incubator to put toward software development.

Going into the AC JumpStart has given the team additional funding and support to grow and scale the software. Although the company started less than a few months ago, they have already added a lead developer, data scientist and 2 junior developers to the team. With support from the AC, they have also established 10 beta customers with 2-3 users on preferred pricing, and developed what Muni affectionately describes to as the Customer-Centric Iteration Framework to continue building out the product with their customer in mind.

“Our time with the Accelerator Centre has been invaluable. Although it is an intense development time for the company, when we come up for air, we often reflect on how grateful we are to be in this tech environment, for the funding which has allowed us to hire the right talent and most of all for the mentorship.”

As the team moves forward, they are excited for the future in building out a suite of products and data APIs that integrates intelligence into AI Chatbots, leading recruitment software to sharing their solution on a greater scale to help businesses and recruitment teams who are competing for talent globally. To learn more about the team and the product, check out their recently launched website: http://tabnex.com/

 

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