On this week’s Spøtlight series, we caught up with Lapetus Solutions’ CMO, Janet Anderson, to learn how their tools and platforms are supporting industries with life event prediction.
Established in 2014, to date, Lapetus has picked up a total $4.7M in funding from various investors including Plug and Play, who injected $150k after the company graduated their global startup accelerator programme in 2017.
Hi Janet, could you start by telling us a little about yourself and what Lapetus does?
Lapetus Solutions integrates science and technology with machine learning to develop tools and platforms that enable industries reliant on life event prediction to reduce and replace their dependence on traditional assessment methods with faster, more cost-effective and increasingly accurate results. With just a selfie and the answers to a handful of questions, we are able to provide an assessment on: BMI, gender, age, smoking classification, life expectancy and healthy life expectancy.
As for me, my background is in the insurance industry, having previously worked for ReMark and AEGON. But, when I met the co-founders, I knew this type of technology would be revolutionary for the insurance market and that I had to be on board.
Where did the idea for the startup come from?
Our co-founders, Dr. Jay Olshansky and Dr. Karl Ricanek, initially got together for a scientific research initiative. Then, one thing led to another and suddenly Lapetus was formed.
What do you see as the most important qualities in a company’s team?
We have some of the leading scientists in the fields of Life Science and Sensory Analytics. They are simply at the top of their game.
Is there a particular new venture within the insurance ecosystem who inspires you?
Carriers are seeking ways to build digital engagements with their clients, which is a perfect fit for our tools. This is by no means a small undertaking, but finally the industry is taking notice that the consumer is no longer willing to deal with lengthy onboarding processes and intrusive exams to obtain insurance coverage.
In 2017, you were a part of Plug and Play’s cohort. How important was it to have a major innovation platform invite you to pitch?
The Plug and Play ecosystem is a terrific place to not only expose yourself to a large number of carriers, but also to show carriers promising start-ups who have passed the initial vetting process.
Did the program result in any partnerships, and are you eyeing up any potential partnerships for 2019?
We are currently working with a variety of POCs around the world! It is a bit frustrating as each carrier has experienced several delays in executing their POCs which extends their decisioning timeline, however, we will be on-boarding several clients during 2019 in the insurance carrier and life settlement sectors.
Your last round of funding came as a $3.5M Seed round in mid-2017. Do you have plans for another funding round soon? And, if so, what would you look to do with the financing?
We are currently in the middle of a Series A-2 round. We are hoping to have 1 or 2 strategic insurance carrier partners as part of this next round of financing as well as from our current investment group.
If you had to give one piece of advice for aspiring startups looking to disrupt the insurance industry, what would it be?
Patience. The speed of change has been very slow, and it is often burdened with reorganisations, re-focus, and internal delays.