May 26, 2022

Renovating a home that has been destroyed by a hurricane, tornado, flood, or fire can take a long time, during which homeowners have to move out.

Captain Demetrius Gray, founder and CEO, said that after hurricanes like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy, the average primary recovery period was 14 months. Minor hurricanes can still take up to five months to complete financing and repairs as the homeowner works with their mortgage lender, insurance company and contractor to find them.

Add to that the fact that a homeowner has an average $1,000 deductible and the fact that the average consumer only has $400 in savings, and you can imagine that homeowners will have to find creative solutions to get back to normal. the cost of time, he added. ,

Here comes the captain. Founded in May 2021, the fintech company emerged from stealth mode Thursday with a lending tool aimed at bridging the gap between policyholders, insurers and contractors by allowing a homeowner to choose a contractor and complete repairs within 30 days. Day.

“There is a new paradigm for severe events and there has to be climate adaptation,” Gray told gaming-updates magazine. “People wait years for events to be fixed, or looking for ways to afford it. One way captains can help is by providing contractors with all the tools they need to speed up and simplify the claims process. ,

Prior to becoming a captain, Gray worked as an accountant for insurance claims construction companies. He noticed that no one collected data on how roofers check work, and if you could put it all together, you could see which house should file a claim and which should not.

He turned to WeatherCheck, a Kentucky-based damage prediction company that was part of the Y Combinator package in the winter of 2019. He still owns the company and plans to use WeatherCheck data with the captain in the future.

The contract business is still mostly done by pen, and the three-tier contract is something we all know very well. The captain took this process, digitized it and integrated it into an application with legal expertise for state and local needs.

Once the contractor and work are approved and approved for funding, the company reviews the data coming from the insurance company and determines if it is accurate. It takes about 30 minutes to get approved to get started with Capt and get funding.

The captain then negotiates with the insurance company and other third parties to pay all bills for the work, eliminating the insured’s lien and allowing the process to run more smoothly and allowing the contractor to focus on the job.

The company is already working with 50 contractors in the US and has paid out $5 million. Gray expects to provide contractors with an additional $20 million over the next three months thanks to the company’s $104 million in funding.

Funding includes $4 million in seed funding backed by NFX, GGV Capital and Red Swan. The second is $100 million in debt financing from CoVenture.

In addition to raising additional capital, Captain will use the new funding to expand its sales and engineering teams, as well as add new people to its leadership team in positions including VP of Engineering, Head of Engineering and Head of Human Resources. The company currently has nine employees and Gray expects to have between 50 and 75 employees by the end of the year. The company is also targeting new cities, including Dallas, Denver and Chicago, which are often hit by hail.

Gray then sees that the captain is considering other proposals, such as funding home ownership projects in places where insurance is no longer required once you have a home. The company is gearing up for California fire season by hiring builders and renovation contractors.

The captain isn’t the only one making loans to contractors; For example, Sunlight Financial, Enhancify and Billd provide some form of financing to contractors. Where Gray sees his business differently than others is that he focuses on the policyholder, not the insurance company.

“The lens we see ourselves in is how we can help the insured get back to normal as soon as possible,” he said. “It is about offering a solution aimed at the other side of the insurance contract. The insured has rights, but does not know what they are, and is often left to himself. We offer managed solutions when disaster strikes.”

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