For the latest instalment of the Sønr spotlight series, we interviewed Davis Hake, co-founder and head of engagement for new cyber insurtech startup, Arceo.
Launched at the beginning of 2019, the startup is looking to bridge the gap between cyber insurance and cybersecurity with the help of advanced risk analytics.
Hi Davis, could you tell us a little about yourself and what Arceo does?
Arceo enables insurance carriers and brokers to grow their cyber insurance line of business by enabling them to manage cyber insurance at scale. We deliver better risk data and a more automated process for policy management. With Arceo, they can quote policy faster, with more accuracy and better understanding of their risk portfolio.
Arceo connects the cybersecurity and insurance worlds with a common framework that allows all stakeholders to understand cyber risks and quantify them with metrics that enable:
● Brokers and insurance carriers to deliver profitable cyber policies at scale,
● Cyber underwriters to accurately model and balance the risks they underwrite across their portfolio,
● Insureds to better understand the benefits of cyber insurance and get access to actionable risk data and guidance to become more cyber resilient.
Where did the idea for the startup come from and what makes it unique?
Our CEO, Raj Shah and CTO, Vishaal Hariprasad founded together a cyber security start-up, Morta Security, that they sold to Palo Alto Networks. Through this process, they met the other Arceo founders, Davis Hake and Matt Hall as well as Ben Besson, a cyber insurance veteran, and started to talk about the insurance industry, what it was or wasn’t doing with regards to cyber risk.
Fast forward today, we have a company that is focused on solving cyber security risk. Arceo is looking at partnering with the insurance industry to do that. The Arceo team combines cybersecurity, data science, engineers and insurance experts – this makes us uniquely positioned to build a solution for cyber insurance.
What do you see as the most important qualities in a company’s team?
We believe that company culture is incredibly important to the success of any organisation. For Arceo, it is about hiring the right people, and this is a process that starts on the first interaction with candidates. We also allocate a fair amount of efforts internally to keep building a culture that everybody wants to be a part of. Our recent internal Hackathon is the living proof of our approach to culture.
Is there a particular new venture within the insurance ecosystem who inspires you?
Cyber insurance for Small and Mid-size Enterprises (SMEs) is a significant opportunity and an interesting challenge. SMEs often commit fewer resources to cybersecurity than large organisations, yet they are a prime target for cyber criminals. Cyber insurance can help them better cover risks and also recover faster from an incident.
To address the SME market without increasing their risk portfolio, insurers need the ability to write accurate cyber policies at scale. Technology can help on many fronts. For example: simplifying the policy management process or getting better risk data to write higher quality policies.
With the recent launch of your cyber insurance platform, will you be looking at raising a funding round this year?
We are currently well funded through top venture firms: Lightspeed Ventures, and CRV (Charles River Ventures).
A lot of research is predicting the cyber risk market is set for huge growth. How do you view the future of cyber risk and how will you look to stay ahead of competitors as the cyber risk market develops?
Arceo has the expertise on board to apply modern technologies to the challenge of cyber risks. Organizations nowadays collect a huge amount of data to monitor their security posture. Data science and AI are critical to make sense of this information and interpret what it means in terms of cyber risk that can be covered by the insurance market.
Cyberattacks are evolving fast and we believe we have the team in place to continue to develop innovative solutions that connect cybersecurity solutions to cyber risk measurements and policy coverage.
You mentioned having initial partners testing the newly-launched platform. Could you tell me a little bit more about that?
We’re working with several insurance partners to enable them to launch their new services.
If you had to give one piece of advice for aspiring startups looking to disrupt the insurance industry, what would it be?
Patience, adaptability, and resilience are critical. The insurance market is complex with many players interacting with each other at different levels. While the opportunity for better and broader use of technology in insurance is significant, the market will move at its own pace and you need to adapt to every market way of doing business.