Recently AgentSync announced that we’d raised a $4.4 million seed round co-led by Elad Gil and Caffeinated Capital to take our efforts to the next level. Max Levchin’s Scifi VC, Parker Conrad, Harry Stebbings, and Ben Porterfield also participated in the round, among others. We’re definitely not sitting on that funding but are moving full-speed ahead, hiring and expanding our product and sales teams to meet the incredible demand we’ve found in the insurance industry. Luckily, we built our team to be remote from day one, which has helped us scale quickly, and we’ll continue to recruit the best talent from everywhere as we focus on maintaining our rapid growth.
As I stop just long enough to take a deep breath and get ready for the next wave, I wanted to write this blog post to explain a bit about how we got here. It’s a story I often tell our future insurtech, carrier, and agency customers and it never fails to resonate – which is probably why we’ve found so much success right out of the gate.
As two business process nerds, Jenn Knight and I met while working at LinkedIn in 2011 (pre-IPO). I was managing a sales operations team and she was a sales systems architect. She went on to build out the business technology team at Dropbox, getting their finance systems to IPO-readiness before joining Stripe to build their business technology function from zero to 40+ people. My story post-LinkedIn was a bit less glamorous … I left for a hot, early-stage startup poised to take over the human relations and benefits space for small businesses, joining Zenefits in 2014 to lead the sales strategy and operations team. Zenefits grew extremely fast, and throughout the hypergrowth phase, we didn’t fully appreciate the highly regulated nature of the insurance industry and ended up facing serious producer licensing violations across the country.
Parker Conrad, the CEO at the time, asked me to drop what I was doing and partner with our general counsel and the government relations team to drive the cleanup and remediation effort as the senior director of broker compliance. Over the next 22 months, I learned more than I cared to know about insurance broker licensing and the lack of software to support a problem ubiquitous to every insurance carrier, agency, and MGA in the country. What I’d stumbled into was a fundamental disconnect in most regulated industries – an individual producer’s responsibility to be licensed and the responsibility of their employer or business partner, which is ultimately the party held accountable for compliance issues.
Once Zenefits settled all the outstanding regulatory violations (and paid millions of dollars in penalties), I left the company in late 2018 to work with Jenn to build the first “compliance as a service” business for highly regulated industries, quickly launching in our first vertical, which was (what else?) insurance. We started AgentSync out of our Soma apartment living room with an ambitious goal of achieving the product’s market fit and demonstrating the market’s willingness to buy before taking on investors. As luck/fate/dedication would have it, we had a number of quick successes that led us … here.
In hindsight, a lot of our success is because AgentSync is the very definition of purpose-built, being a powerful solution to a specific and pervasive problem. Navigating a patchwork of regulatory requirements that vary state-by-state is incredibly complex and creates a bottleneck for innovation and growth. We automate that compliance burden by leveraging technology to do the heavy lifting, connecting the regulatory source of truth (NIPR) directly with existing business systems to enable real-time compliance controls. Today, we help companies like Lemonade, Hippo Insurance, Health IQ, Rippling, HUB International, and several Fortune 500 companies to automate their producer compliance processes and scale distribution channels without scaling up regulatory risk.