Just in time for the holidays, Openly launched on Tuesday, equipped with $7.6 million from its seed round of funding. The tech-enabled home insurance provider likely has Gradient Ventures on its list of things to be thankful for, as Google’s AI-focused venture fund led the funding round.
According to Openly, the company aims to empower agents and simplify the home insurance buying process. Rather than using technology to remove agents from the process, Openly sells its up-market home insurance exclusively through independent insurance agents.
“Some people in the tech world think that the term ‘insurance agent’ refers to a relic of the past, but they’re wrong,” said Ty Harris, CEO and co-founder of Openly. “At Openly, we know agents add value by delivering objective advice and options to their clients.”
“Our goal is to help agents as they work to modernize their businesses,” he said. “We let them offer their customers better, faster and more economical products with comprehensive insurance protection for a wide range of needs. We’re pleased to have the support of such heavyweight investors and reinsurers to fuel our rapid growth into 2020 and beyond.”
Openly’s first product is a premium homeowner’s insurance product. According to the company’s announcement, homeowners using Openly can receive a bindable quote on a highly-valued home after answering only three questions.
“The Openly product contains many uncommon features like guaranteed replacement cost on the home up to $5 million, endorsements to cover home-sharing, optional coverage to insure losses arising from cyberbullying, and true coverage customization that isn’t available in most contracts,” the release stated. “The company is also adding flood and umbrella liability coverages as endorsements on its home policies.”
The company has currently launched in Illinois and Arizona, and said it plans to expand Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Tennessee in the next few months. In addition to launching in new markets, company said it will also launch complementary product lines, such as automobile insurance, with a focus on simplifying and modernizing the process for consumers.