Bitesize Impact 25: Kryon
October 19, 2018 Greg Brown
Kryon – previously known as Kryon Systems – provides a robotic process automation (RPA) platform using patented AI technologies to enable insurers to automate repetitive manual processes.
Insurance accounts for 75% of its business, which also includes banking and other financial services.
Kryon was founded in 2008 and has received total funding of $20m, including a $12m Series B financing round in September 2017 led by Aquiline Technology Growth (ATG) and Vertex Ventures. The funding has helped it expand its global presence and it now has offices in London, Germany, The Netherlands, Israel, India, Singapore and the US (New York and Atlanta).
New developments this year include an RPA Platform as a Service (PaaS) and an Automated Process Discovery tool. The latter is an AI-powered analytics engine which identifies processes that can (and can’t) be automated. A tier one insurance company in the US is currently implementing this tool.
Kryon has three main robotic offerings:
- Unattended robots: Where a repetitive manual process is automated without the need for further human input
- Attended robots: Which employees can access from their desktop to execute tasks on demand
- Hybrid: Where an employee can ‘work together’ with a robot. For example a claims handler might interact with a robot during a customer call to source or validate certain information.
Public insurance customers include Allianz Singapore and AIG in Israel. Overall it has 22 insurance company customers (41 in total).
Allianz Singapore has automated premium payment processing, reconciling Excel files of customers’ premiums payments with bank statements. It then enters payments into the ERP system. This process took between 90 and 120 minutes per customer for a human; using RPA each transaction is processed in 20 minutes.
AIG Israel is applying RPA to its back-office claims, service, IT and finance functions. One application includes the review of previous motor claims history, which has dropped from 45 minutes per customer to 1.5 minutes and removed all human error. AIG has not made any employees redundant as part of the robotic deployment but offloaded lots of mundane tasks to allow them to focus on more productive work.
Kryon’s system can work with insurers’ legacy systems as the use of AI enables it to grab data from older systems without the need for integrations. No programming or coding is required and the systems use a drag and drop interface.
Kryon has over 100 FTEs but has not released any revenue data.
The Oxbow Partners view
Kryon is making great progress in an increasingly crowded market dominated by one firm, Blue Prism. Some argue that RPA is a solution to a problem that will be make redundant through replatforming from legacy systems. However, we think it is more realistic to argue that these technology migrations will take long enough to give companies like Kryon a long window to succeed.
RPA presents implementation challenges similar to any other work transfer project (e.g. offshoring or outshoring). First, the processes being transferred need to be clearly understood and detailed. Second, the transfer needs to be assessed against the value created: RPA robots come with frictional costs so the return needs to warrant the cost (more on this below). Finally, RPA projects tend to work best when done using agile methodology, for example building and launching robots on a regular cadence. The result is that IT and change functions need to be set up to work in this way – typically not their preferred operating rhythm.
It is interesting to note that the impact of RPA implementations is rarely headcount reductions – as such they rarely support opex business cases. Instead, they help insurers re-deploy their employees on higher-value tasks – the benefit of which might be obvious, but is often hard to quantify.