handdii – a tech platform connecting insurance companies direct to contractors to repair property claims – has secured $1.5 million in seed funding.
The round was led by Scale Investors, an Australian Angel network focused on high growth women-led tech companies. Scale were joined by Greenlight Re Innovations, part of Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (NASDAQ: GLRE) – a specialist property and casualty reinsurance company headquartered in the Cayman Islands; Charles Robinson; and Associate Professor John McBain AO – former Chairman of Melbourne IVF and former Head of Reproductive Services – ART at The Women’s Hospital.
handdii is supported by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science with a commercialisation grant through the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and are alumni of the Hartford InsurTech Hub, USA cohort of 2019.
Co-Founders Kathryn Wood and Christie Downs each have over 10 years of experience in property insurance claims. Kathryn led the Motor and Property Claims division for one of the largest insurance companies in Australia, while Christie, as National Sales Director, lead the exponential revenue growth of the largest insurance building company in Australia.
"Scale is pleased to have led the latest funding round in handdii. Our network of Angel Investors, with a strong background across actuarial and financial services disciplines, quickly recognised the capabilities of the compelling handdii team and are delighted to support their further global insurance growth story" said Ariane Barker, CEO Scale Investors.
Traditionally, the repair process for property claims is cumbersome, has multiple stakeholders, lacks transparency and is unnecessarily complex. Insurance companies face the challenge of managing cost containment while striving to meet the increasing expectation of customers for an on-demand experience. Kathryn Wood, who co-founded the business in May 2017 with Christie Downs said, “the idea for handdii was created on the back of a napkin on a long-haul plane flight: technology to simplify the claims journey and enable contractors to delight customers in their time of need”.
Early stage investors, The Weinman family’s Deasil Group and Charles Robinson joined the co-founders in a pre-seed funding round in December 2017 and within 18 months, handdii had developed into a market-ready product with a number of strategic foundation partners on board.
handdii digitally enables an insurance company to pair customers with contractors that can assist them within minutes and sets up an appointment time of the customer’s choosing. The customer is provided with an on-demand digital experience that simplifies the claims journey and keeps them informed every step of the way.
Following a successful launch in Melbourne, handdii has now expanded into Adelaide and Sydney, significantly reducing the length of a claim for customers and removing much of the hassle of insurance work for contractors. This latest investment of $1.5million will fuel the growth of the handdii product to enable broker and landlord functionality and support further market expansion.
The handdii team have a strong sense of purpose: “We have built technology to connect local insurance companies to local contractors and to enable contractors to be their very best” says Christie. “Contractors are at the heart of the claims experience. As a customer in your time of need, it’s the contractor that turns up on your doorstep that fulfils the insurance promise”. The handdii team are excited and proud to be making a positive impact in the property claims space.