Q&A with Eliron Ekstein, Co-Founder & CEO at Ravin
What does Ravin do?
Ekstein: Ravin’s artificial intelligence inspects vehicle condition to enable faster motor claim processing. Shortly after the incident, any user (including the claimant) can scan their vehicle using their mobile phone and receive a full 360-degree documentation of the vehicle’s condition, triaging of the claim to ‘light repair’ or more complex one, and breakdown of damages.
How do you see the regular Claim experience for the insured?
Ekstein: Despite attempts to digitize the claim submission, the process typically turns manual with phone calls and human estimations. Not only is the claim handling expensive for the carrier, the customer is left frustrated. A global survey done by Accenture has shown that a customer experiencing a claim is twice as likely to leave their insurers in the following 12 months.
How does it affect the insurers?
Ekstein: Handling motor claims is notoriously difficult and costly for insurers. Money goes towards many human hours of claim verification and communications with the repair shop, and even more money is lost through fraud and ‘supplements’ that are hard to trace back to the specific collision event.
How can your product change the customer claiming experience?
Ekstein: Ravin provides an authenticated, artificial intelligence-powered inspection that can indicate if the damage is related to the claim, and detect if the damage is light enough to avoid the manual estimate and long repair cycle. Some carriers choose to then offer cash settlement or direct the customer towards a smart repair. If the damage requires significant repair, then the carrier can use Ravin’s damage analysis for the estimate and to avoid supplements or fraud. The saving in cost and time translate in amazing experience for the customer, who suddenly get their vehicle repaired overnight and their claim paid quickly.
Can you also translate the photo’s taken to the claim’s cost?
Ekstein: Yes – in cases where damage can be comprehended from the outside, the AI can predict the parts and damage severity. In many cases however there is internal damage that can only be verified by a professional, in which case the technology is mainly assisting them in performing their job faster and efficiently.
What insurance companies are you currently working with?
Ekstein: While many of our customers remain confidential, we have recently launched a collaboration with the KBC Group which is a large European financial player across Europe.
What did you learn so far?
Ekstein: Quite a few players have claimed that they can completely replace human estimations using AI. One of our key learnings is not to over promise, and especially not pretend that computers can completely replace humans in the most complex of tasks.
We bring a fresh approach to vehicle analysis using novel algorithms that analyse the vehicle holistically in a way that is agnostic to make, model or VIN. We assist human inspectors do their job faster: from the customer capturing the images, the insurance claim desk assessing them, and the collision repair shop person who carries out the work. Our artificial intelligence is designed to make the image capture consistent, triage the vehicles for closer look, and allow common review of results to eliminate disputes and excess payments by the insurer.
What investments were made in the company?
Ekstein: Our company has raised funds in multiple rounds from investors in the automotive and mobility space, such as Shell Ventures, PICO Venture Partners and the former CEO of General Motors, Rick Wagoner. One of our recent investors is Fraser McCombs that works with some of the largest insurance and automotive groups in the US.
Tell me about your professional background and about other key figures in the company
Ekstein: My background is in building ventures in the mobility space, most recently as part of the Shell Group in London. My co-founder and CTO, Dr. Roman Sandler, has his PhD in computer vision and our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Alex Kenis, sold his computer vision company Photoccino to Shutterfly in 2012. We have a strong R&D team in Israel and leadership team based in the UK and the US. Our North American General Manager, Jim O’Brien, was a key figure in Audi and BMW’s used car operations and knows how to assess damaged vehicles.