Image Credits: Pink
When your home is damaged by weather, fire, or some other type of disaster, all you want is to restore it to the way it was. However, responses to insurance claims can take some time, leaving you and your contractor waiting for weeks or even longer.
Enter iink, a digital payment network to facilitate the receipt of funds related to multi-party property insurance claims. The Tampa-based company integrates with mortgage servicer banks and insurance companies to create a fully digital and automated workflow to continue the recovery process.
That work is backed by some fresh capital like $12 million in Series A funding led by Headline. The firm was joined by Motley Fool Ventures, Chartline Capital Partners, Silver Circle Ventures and a group of existing investors.
When the company was founded in 2017 and until 2022, iink operated as a services business, Tom McGrath, co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch. This is mainly because its co-founders Ryan Holliday, Ken Lollar and Ryan Wetzel have experience as restoration professionals.
“They were trying to solve a problem that they themselves were dealing with,” McGrath said. “I came in from product AI and machine learning and around 2020 I said this is a complex workflow that we can automate with technology or even a great UX/UI experience.”
Restoration professionals or property owners still have to do much of the paperwork manually and go back and forth with calls to customer service agents. So iink set out to bring together into the company’s systems all the guidance, documentation and checks and balances that banks have. They turned it into something like TurboTax, which would ask a series of questions used to speed up payments, McGrath said.
With its approach, iink knows that the bank will release funds, so the company will provide the contractor with a line of credit. This solves two problems, according to McGrath: cash flow and administrative burden.
“The need to do all the follow-up work is often what gets passed on to the contractor,” he said. “What’s unique about us is that we not only help you get your loan money faster, we help you pay back that loan quickly.”
iink’s three main products include the cash flow component of funding in just two business days; remote capture of deposits and payments to easily complete multi-party claim verification processing; and the ability to allow iink to work with the mortgage company on behalf of the contractor.
The remote check processing solution starts as a free tier with a one-time setup fee of $299, while the other components can be added for a payment of up to 1.95% of the claim check per month with some additional fees. The company also charges a monthly subscription fee for unlimited use.
In the past 12 months, iink has doubled the number of clients it works with and averages about $72 million in terms of the volume of insurance claims it handles. That equates to tripling the amount of revenue, McGrath said.
Meanwhile, including the new investment, the company has raised about $23 million in total funding. Although McGrath declined to disclose iink’s valuation, he said it was a bullish round that tripled his valuation from the opening round.
“It was very unique, we actually got about four anchor term sheets,” he said. “The first one we got was actually for a lower valuation and all my investors for the most part said we should take it because it’s a very tough environment to raise funds. We decided to take a chance and counter that we think we are worth more. Then we found Headline, who saw that potential, saw that growth and allowed us to get the right amount of capital that we needed to get the job done.”
The company intends to deploy the new funds in three groups: scalability and automation, customer base building, and channel integrations and partnerships. It also hires in both the engineering and business fields.
“One of the reasons we called ourselves iink was that we just wanted to get rid of the paper check and the ink,” McGrath said. “By having these partnerships and closer relationships with banks and carriers, my hope is to make it fully digital and in a future state something that’s instantaneous so that nobody has to deal with the time lapse that doing today.”
Thursday, October 19, 9:15 AM PST, edited to reflect that iink’s monthly insurance claims processed dollar volume was $72 million.