“For us, this is really one of our first steps towards more than just a repository or storage for all of your policy details,” Winchester said. “We wanted to become more of an insurance storage [entity] plus insurance/risk guide.
Driver is a key step in that direction, he said.
“Most of our users have car insurance, so that’s that cornerstone for us with Driver,” Winchester said. “Moving forward, we also have partnerships not yet announced but in this space like health and wellness, step counting and flood monitoring for your home.”
By partnering with Driver, the idea is to give Marble customers insight into their insurance policy as well as ways to better manage their risk.
“What we’re seeing with partnering with Driver is a great way to say, hey, we’ve got all your information stored away, and now we have a great partner who can lower the cost of your insurance or make you safer with technology,” Winchester said.
Marble so far employs nine full-time staff and has raised approximately $3 million in venture capital to date. Driver, which launched in 2018, employs at least 30 full-time people (plus several part-time contractors), and not too long ago secured a Series A investment of $10 million. dollars.
The partnership entitles Marble users to three months of DriverPremium service from Driver Technologies.
Marble took their time to research and select Driver as their first partner. The process took between four or five months of conversations before Marble and Driver signed an agreement, Winchester noted.
“It was a tough qualifying process,” Winchester said. “There are a lot of great technologies out there for insurance, but not all of them work…we were impressed with what Driver had built and what they already had live, and that’s a big differentiator.”
Once the agreement was signed, the integration was rapid.
“I think [it was] a matter of a day even to get up,” Winchester said. “Ultimately, as we get more data transmitted, which we’d like to do as well, we’ll see how long it takes…”
Driver CEO and co-founder Rashid Galadanci (pictured above) said his company has pursued a number of insurance industry integrations. Driver has developed a “fairly simplified way” to set up a link that can be shared across a fleet of drivers, or with anyone in your family or with an insurer, he added.
After embedding Driver link in Marble website and corresponding app, Driver also shares onboarding documents, web pages and videos for users to help them get acclimated.
The benefits of speed
Both CEOs said rapid technology integrations are far more beneficial these days than those that have traditionally taken months or longer.
“We really like getting things and shipping them quickly, so we can learn from our users,” Winchester said. We can go back to a team like Driver Technologies and say, “Hey, it’s going well. Let’s deepen the integration.’ We are also quite skinny. We monitor our resources, so we don’t have to extend a deployment for months. It means we can build more things.
Galadanci agreed, noting that the rapid integration brought feedback and the ability to upgrade and improve Driver’s technology earlier.
“A lot of what we’re all doing is very new,” Galadanci said. “If you can integrate faster and you can get user feedback faster, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much consumers and fleet drivers will use this technology and adopt it in a way that hardware history has not been well adopted.You may begin to see results and therefore warrant further expansion of providing this sort of thing to your insurance, or to your [auto] fleet.”
The approach is better, he added, than “that old model of saying ‘hey, we need a budget of $2 million to start something’ and it has to be a process of ‘a year”.
If integration fails, money and time are wasted, he said.