Bitesize Impact 25: Bdeo
June 14, 2019 Chris Sandilands
Bdeo provides visual intelligence to insurers to expedite and simplify the underwriting and claims processes.
Bdeo’s platform allows insurers to collect verified information from applicants and claimants. For motor insurance, this information includes images of vehicles at the point of underwriting. Metadata such as geolocation allows the image to be validated, and AI reviews the image to understand the condition of the car. A similar approach is taken for claims (e.g. FNOL).
The use case centres on both operational costs and fraud control. Bdeo, which is based in Spain, is targeting the Iberian and Latin American markets, where many insurers still conduct physical, visual inspections of vehicles at the point of underwriting. Founder and CEO Julio Pernía notes that even in Spain much of the underwriting process still relies on manual intervention, whilst little sophisticated technology is used in South America. As these examples suggest, initially, the company was focused on motor insurance but Bdeo is also expanding into home insurance.
Bdeo offers its technology via an API or white label solution. For example, during FNOL, Bdeo can send a text message to customers after they contact the insurer. This contains a link to a mobile website, where the insurer can collect structured information.
Clients include Zurich in Mexico and Spain, Fidelidade in Portugal, and Ana Seguros in Mexico.
Bdeo featured in the Oxbow Partners InsurTech Impact 25 2019, and have since closed a €1 million funding round. For 2019, they aim to expand their internal operations, with a goal of 27 employees by the end of the year.
The Oxbow Partners View
Visual intelligence is a competitive area of InsurTech. Other Impact 25 companies active in this area are Snapsheet and Tractable. More broadly, claims is an area moving into focus for many insurers.
The challenge for InsurTechs with narrow solutions such as Bdeo is that the specific ‘pain’ needs to be sufficiently substantial for it to be worthwhile for an insurer to implement the solution. Any partnership ultimately needs to rank against all of the other priorities on any insurer’s project backlog. In our experience, there are few economies of scale in implementing multiple narrow solutions, unless the insurer has undertaken considerable ‘foundational’ work on core systems (such as AXA’s Insurance-as-a-Service proposition in Singapore).
In that respect, Bdeo’s strategy of focusing on emerging markets where visual inspections are still an integral part of both the underwriting and claims process is smart.
As a general trend we therefore expect to see InsurTechs broadening their proposition so that they can have a greater impact on their clients. This might mean that they have wider but thinner capability. Snapsheet extending their system to be an end-to-end claims workflow platform is an example.
But as InsurTechs broaden, so too do the implementation challenges for business leaders. InsurTechs quickly start to look like ‘traditional’ technology vendors, and so IT teams seek to own the implementation. At that point claims executives need to step in and protect the project and ensure that it remains a technology-enabled business transformation, rather than becoming a tech replatforming. Our experience working with clients around Europe suggests that this is easier said than done.