Insurance Industry Titans Collaborate to Form COVU, Helping Insurance Agents and Carriers Build Customer-Centric, Growth-Oriented Businesses
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AI Intelligence Company launches with $10 Million in Seed Funding
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
Insurance industry veterans Ali Safavi and Tasos Chatzimichailidis have pooled their talent and networks to bring COVU to market—the only all-in-one AI-enabled digital platform for insurance agencies. Joining them are co-founders, machine learning, AI and data science experts Amir Kargar and Amin Zarshenas.
The founding team has secured $10 million in seed funding, led by ManchesterStory Group and supported by angel and VC investors across the insurance and technology industry, to launch the platform. The funding will be used to build and scale COVU toward its first major milestone, one billion dollars of insurance premium under contract.
COVU’s mission is to help independent insurance agents and carriers better manage risk and make smarter insurance decisions through AI-driven policy recommendations, business services and sales support. As a turnkey offering, COVU takes ownership of front and back-office tasks, giving insurance agents time to focus on strengthening customer relationships, grow their business and embrace digital operations. A combination of technology and services help agents generate higher customer satisfaction rates, boost retention and cross selling and achieve higher profit margins.
Addressing Major Challenges
The majority of independent insurance agencies spend around 40% of total revenue and agents spend 70% of time on back-office and administrative tasks—instead of focusing on growth. Yet, these efforts have not translated into faster or easier journeys for customer insurance transactions. To retain customers and reduce wasted effort, the journey must be improved. COVU delivers this by matching the convenience of mobile self-service with on-demand service from professionals when needed, streamlined to create the ideal customer journey.
“By listening to the market, we discovered that most agencies do not want to be acquired in order to grow their business, but they need professional help modernizing and expanding. What they want is an all-in-one platform and a partner to help them solve inherent challenges such as poor productivity, digitalization of the customer experience and an inability to scale,” said Safavi, chief executive officer, COVU.
The digital end-to-end COVU platform reduces manual operations and day-to-day stress. Agencies are able to offload back-office and front-office processes using COVU’s modern technology infrastructure, and better manage staff resources. Policies and customers continue to be recorded at the carrier under the agency, with all customer communication co-branded with the agent.
“Insurance customer expectations evolve every year, and many independent agencies are worried they don’t have the time and resources to modernize and grow independently,” stated Matt Kinley, founding partner, ManchesterStory Group. “We believe strongly in the COVU business model because the market has indicated that this is how insurance agents want to work and this is the type of support they need.”
About the Team
COVU CEO Safavi previously founded and grew the Insurtech practice at Plug and Play – the largest global Insurtech innovation platform and accelerator. In his time, he managed more than 70 investments across six global locations and handled thousands of interactions among business teams in the insurance space.
Co-founder Chatzimichailidis, chief insurance executive at COVU, previously led insurance operations at the fintech Revolut and at WeFox as CEO, growing that business to over $1B in premium. In his 30 years of experience, he delivered high-growth market share and margins by creating innovative technology, user-centric products and experiences and high performing sales, marketing and distribution teams.
Co-founder Amir Kargar will serve as CTO and brings deep expertise in machine learning and the application of AI for business. Amin Zarshenas, chief product officer, is an experienced data scientist focusing on the use of complex data for business intelligence.
Founded and advised by a well-known team of insurance, finance and tech industry veterans with a passion for transparent and unbiased advice, COVU’s mission is to help both everyday people and growth-oriented insurance professionals reduce risk and insure smarter. COVU helps find and fill coverage gaps by combining the power of AI and human intelligence while managing the business side of insurance operations. COVU works with a broad range of carriers and independent agents. To learn more, go to https://covu.com/ or connect with us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/covuapp/.
David Salkovitz | Padilla