SearchInk rebrands as omni:us, aims its hand-writing reading AI at insurance industry

Back in 2016 a startup called SearchInk, launched out of Berlin with the aim of combining machine learning with handwriting recognition. The upshot would be the ability to semantically label handwritten documents. Pretty nifty. It went on to raise €4.2 million in seed funding, but after developing this AI to read hard-written documents, it went in search of a market and business model. Not an easy thing to do. After all, what industry needs hand-written documents read at scale, when so many documents today are born digital in the first place? It turns out there was one after-all: the insurance industry.

In that sector, claims forms, emails and invoices are currently processed manually. But CEO and co-founder Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss realised that her company’s technology could significantly reduce the time and cost spent on administrative tasks, as well as the risk of human error.

So today, SearchInk rebrands as omni:us, a next generation AI service with two main products aimed squarely at the insurance industry: omni:us Claim and omni:us Policy. The idea is to be able to process digital documents, some of which contain handwriting, by classifying them and extracting the valuable data.

Omni:us is launching these products first in the DACH region, and claims to be working with over half of the top 10 insurance providers. It also says it can deploy its claims management and policy extraction products into an organisation within a matter of weeks. It’s now raise a total of $6.5 million from individual angels and VC, including Anthemis.

Quidenus-Wahlforss said: “Industry predictions show that insurance data will grow by 94% in 2018, 84% of which will be in highly variable documentation. However, in the future, there is also huge potential to apply omni:us technology to many other diverse industries such as finance, manufacturing, transportation and healthcare.”

She added that “We see customers improving their claims turn around time by 80% and all of that at 75% of the original costs. Why is this the case? Fundamentally, because with omni:us manual interventions can be reduced to a minimum, due to the supervised machine learning approach. One of our clients could speed up the comparison by an average 90% at only 80% of the costs.”

Furthermore, the AI could analyze policies with an annual value of only 250 Euro, which normally be a waste of a human being’s time and effort.

Omni:us is now in the process of raising a further funding round this year, opening an office in the US and growing its team.

AI reveals even more about Hollywood gender bias

Here's what we know about how women are portrayed in Hollywood cinema: Male characters speak far more often than female ones. Men talk more about achievement, whereas women tend towards positive and emotional language. The majority of best picture wi…

The portion of VC-backed startups founded by women stays stubbornly stagnant

 It was a tumultuous year for the technology industry, with sexual harassment, pay gaps and under-representation of women often dominating the headlines. And while sexism was not born in Silicon Valley, sexual harassment is proving to be toxic for business. As part of our larger Q4 and 2017 coverage, let’s see how the venture industry invested in women last year. Read More

Grindr adds more transgender-inclusive features

Grindr is rolling out new features to be more inclusive of transgender members. User profiles now include a new "identity" feature that includes options for listing gender and preferred pronouns. Members can pick from a list of common gender identiti…

In Country Music, Nice Guys Finish First (for Now)

For most of the 2010s, Nashville was dominated by the masculinity of bro country. But now the pendulum has swung to the other side: Meet the country gentleman.

These 10 tech companies are doing the best at diversity, according to Comparably

 It’s been quite a week in tech, with now-former Google engineer James Damore’s controversial post about gender going viral and his subsequent firing. So, right on cue, workplace culture and company review platform Comparably has come out with a ranking of the top 10 tech companies for people of color, as well as the top 10 for women. Since gender is top of mind for a lot of… Read More

Ashton Kutcher plans to host an open dialogue on gender equality

 Actor and startup investor Ashton Kutcher is gearing up to host a “live open dialog about gender equality in the work place and in tech in general.” He plans to host it with fellow Sound Ventures partner Effie Epstein via Facebook on either Monday or Tuesday of next week, according to his post. Read More

The evolution of women in video games continues at E3 2017

Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian tries to make it clear her yearly, gender-focused analysis of the video games announced at E3 isn't founded in malice — it's simply reality. Even in 2017, video games overwhelmingly feature male protagonis…