Swirl Insurance makes progress on $1.5 million funding round

Technology platform uses AI to generate insurance quotes

Terry Wakefield of Swirl Insurance.

Last updated on June 18th, 2019 at 01:12 pm

Mequon-based Swirl Insurance Services LLC has so far raised $100,000 of its up to $1.5 million convertible note funding round.

The company, a technology platform that uses artificial intelligence to provide insurance quotes to new homeowners, was established in February by Terry Wakefield of The Wakefield Co. LLC. The company was a top 12 finalist in the 2018 Governor’s Business Plan Contest, where it announced its funding round last week.

“We have committed $1.25 million, and there is a third investor that has expressed strong interest in investing an additional $250,000, which would take the convertible note raise to $1.5 million,” Wakefield said. “We don’t want to raise any more than that because we don’t need any more than that.”

Wakefield and his business partner have already invested $800,000 in bootstrap capital into Swirl Insurance. He expects the company to have about $2.5 million in 2018 revenue.

Next, Wakefield plans to raise a series A round in the second half of 2019. He expects at that point Swirl will have a $20 million pre-money valuation.

“We’re not a startup. We have clients, we’re producing revenue,” Wakefield said.

Swirl leverages data from mortgage insurers and large property management firms to issue insurance quotes within seconds of a homeowner or renter being approved for a loan or for residency. It serves as a source of leads for The Wakefield Co. and other insurance agents Swirl contracts with nationwide, and it provides ease of service to potential customers.

“What we do is we provide the platform for innovative and forward-thinking insurance agents who understand that the traditional agent distribution model is ripe for disruption,” Wakefield said. “Everything we do is digital, it’s online, it’s fast, it’s easy and the people who purchase this insurance through our Swirl agent network, they never have to speak to an insurance agent and they never have to complete an insurance application.”

Among the unnamed investors in Swirl’s convertible note round is a large Midwestern insurance agency and several individual investors, Wakefield said.

Swirl Insurance will use the funding round to deploy robotic process automation; continually improve its property management company platform to build the minimum viable product for lenders and servicers; and expand geographically with marketing and sales support, he said. The company, which has 11 employees, currently operates in Wisconsin and Illinois, but plans to recruit agents in each state where it deploys the technology.

As a top 12 Governor’s Business Plan Contest finalist, Swirl is also in line to receive a portion of the $190,000 in cash and business services awarded to the finalists. It has not yet received word on its exact winnings from the Wisconsin Technology Council, which runs the contest.

“We’re thrilled we were one of the top 12,” Wakefield said. “There was some very stiff competition in the 12.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.