LeO is an AI-driven sales assistant insurtech that began life in Israel. The United States is in its sights now as it gears up for expansion.
“It’s obviously one of the biggest markets in the insurance space,” Saar Miron (pictured), vice president of product at LeO, told Insurance Business America. “Israel is a small market, obviously, compared to the US.”
The company is centered around a platform driven by artificial intelligence that produces and makes sales information more accessible to salespeople, insurance agents and managers. Agents can use it to get information about current and potential business customers, as well as business opportunities and useful tips. Queries for information can be done by correspondence or voice in a process similar to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa tools. Founder and CEO Liri Halperin Segal launched LeO in 2017.
LeO’s premise gained a major foothold in the US earlier in April via a partnership agreement with insurance technology company Vertafore. The partnership integrates LeO’s sales assistant with Vertafore’s AMS 360 agency management system and other third-party sources so Vertafore agents can instantly access sales data they need.
According to Miron, the arrangement will give LeO access to approximately 35% of agencies across the US.
LeO currently employs 12 people and is based in Tel Aviv, one of the largest global technology hubs and the birthplace of many insurance and fintech start-ups. Two salespeople are based in the US and the company is looking at potentially New York State or Texas as potential expansion locales, Miron said.
The company raised about $5 million approximately four months ago and attracted a few smaller seed rounds before then, Miron said.
LeO is essentially a cloud-based sales assistant (via Amazon’s cloud services) designed to help producers, agency owners and CSRs in brokerages and agencies. It helps make information available to users whenever they need it – before or during meetings, for example – via a downloadable app.
“They need information on the go, and they need it in a way that they can actually consume it, so we simplify access to data,” Miron said. “We generate intelligence, which is personalized to the user’s needs.”
Natural language search or natural language processing is the core technology behind LeO, and Miron said it is not unlike Siri or Alexa, as the tool allows easy communication with voice or text to request information.
LeO does its job very efficiently, Miron said.
“We first connect with the agency book of business, which is normally maintained in the agency management system,” Miron said. “We integrate with external prospecting sources, and what we do is intersect with these two different databases and make it available to our clients.”
Clients use LeO to help improve their carrier relationships and a lot more.
“They’re looking for cross-sell opportunities … anything that has to do with intelligence and data they need to make a sale and to improve productivity,” Miron said. “We try to make it as quick and easy and as intuitive as we can.”
Customers can download the LeO app on to their cell phones or laptops, which help them connect to the sales tool platform. It’s accessible either via Google Play or the Apple store. Clients can also access it via the web, using their desktop browser.
Natural language processing has been around for a while, but its arrival in the insurance space is recent.
“It is relatively new to insurance. I think, like other AI technology in insurance, it has been emerging in the past couple of years,” Miron said.
He noted insurers have latched on to natural language processing in areas including document analysis and automation of manual processes. Their goal in all cases, Miron said, is to make a better user experience or improve access to data.
In LeO’s case, the platform has existed for about five years, and launched in the Israeli market over the past two years.
Now, all eyes are on the US market.
Growth, of course, requires capital, and LeO will likely pursue new financing within a year or so, Miron said.
“We are seeing great traction for what we do,” he said. “There is a great need for intelligence to be used easily and quickly by professionals.”