TrustLayer’s collaborative risk management program utilizes AI and robotic process automation (RPA) so companies can verify insurance, licenses, and business credentials automatically — effectively eliminating a very slow, costly, manual process that is still paper-based for many companies. 

Investment firms, brokers, and top insurance carriers alike are taking note of this revolutionary technology, as TrustLayer recently closed their Series A funding round with $15.1 million in investments. 

“Our CDL journey has been extremely valuable and helpful to TrustLayer’s recent growth,” co-founder John Fohr told us.

Let’s explore how this success story came to fruition.

In 2018, John Fohr and Vincenzo Acinapura happened to connect at a tech meetup in San Francisco. Acinapura was searching for real-world use cases for modern technologies like RPA, AI and distributed ledger, while Fohr was exploring ways these could help streamline the inefficient document processes that he ran into in his past ventures.

After banding together and conducting months of research, they discovered that the insurance sector was in dire need of streamlining, and these technologies could form the perfect solution.

Armed with this knowledge, Fohr and Acinapura teamed up to digitize the antiquated paper-based process of insurance verification, using these digital processes they both believed in. TrustLayer — an AI-powered collaborative risk management platform — was born.

Not long after, the co-founders joined Creative Destruction Lab’s Risk Stream, hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a leading institution in risk management and insurance, to take their transformational technology to the next level.

TrustLayer dove head first into the CDL Risk Stream, working diligently with their mentors and advisors. They also reaped the benefits of CDL-Wisconsin’s partnership with American Family Insurance.

“One of the huge benefits of the CDL program is the number of advisors and experts that founders have the ability to interact and connect with,” Fohr said. “Having set goals and milestones as well as regular meetings with mentors helped us stay focused and on track with what we were trying to achieve during that specific time frame. Their advice and feedback was invaluable.”

Fohr explained that the networking opportunities through CDL were also priceless. They were able to obtain strategic introductions to people and organizations that helped them with growth along the way. “Not only from a sales perspective, but with internal scaling like talent acquisition and business process optimization,” he noted.

Today, TrustLayer works not only with some of the largest insurance brokers in the U.S., but also with companies in verticals like construction, education, financial institutions, property management, and many others. 

“Nearly every sector of the economy requires proof of insurance to operate and enter commercial arrangements,” Fohr told us. And they see nothing but exponential growth on the horizon.

“We’ve launched pilots with major carriers, like Nationwide and Liberty Mutual, as part of the development of our fully digital proof of insurance product, which we aim to launch in the next year,” he said.

The future is looking very bright for TrustLayer, and Creative Destruction Lab is excited to see what they accomplish next.

Their most valuable takeaway from CDL, however, wasn’t how to raise millions of dollars — as important as that is. 

“We’ve learned that building and growing a startup takes more than just money,” Fohr said. “Mission & vision, strategy, partnerships, and building the proper internal structure are all important aspects that help transform a fledgling startup into a successful, viable business.”