Today, $60 million was raised by Hover, a startup creating AI-powered apps that build 3D models of homes from smartphone images. The 200-employee firm says the proceeds will be used as Hover expands its product offerings to strengthen established partnerships with insurance companies.
6.26% of insured homes experienced a claim in 2017, compared to just 4.87% in 2014. Usually, homeowners need to be present at the time of the interior home inspection, and depending on the home and the size of the house, inspections can take between 30 and 90 minutes.
Hover, founded in 2011 by former Intel and U.S. engineer Ross Hangebrauck and Veteran A.J. of the Marine Corps Altman uses cloud-hosted algorithms for computer vision to create 3D models from as few as eight images taken from various angles. Hover’s tools help homeowners and contractors to extract measurements in PDF or Excel format and imagine various items, colors, and materials on the models they have captured, including roof, siding, windows, doors, brick, stone, stucco, gable, and trim. Via the messaging platforms of their choosing, they can exchange links to those models and buy materials directly via Hover from collaborators such as The Home Depot, roofing manufacturer GAF, and materials distributor Beacon.
The technique is not novel per se. In April, Zillow launched 3D Home, an iOS AI-powered app that allows home buyers to view 360-degree property tours built from iPhone camera photos. Modsy, a startup that develops a platform that enables property owners to produce and restyle room renderings in real time, also taps AI for 3D automation.
Yet Hover argues that over rivals it has a technical advantage. In addition to multifamily houses, the company’s technology ostensibly works for single-family homes and townhomes, and even with some vegetation or obstructions, it may account for tight lot lines, urban alleys, and rural areas. Models and images that can be checked and edited before they are submitted are available for unlimited storage in Hover’s cloud. And they can be accessed remotely and sorted by address, location and more from PCs and smartphones.
The apps have hundreds of thousands of users representing tens of thousands of home improvement businesses, and Hover, which plans to end 2020 with a run rate of $70 million, says that it partners with five of the top 10 U.S. insurance companies that use its technology to minimize claim adjustment costs, reduce cycle times, and enhance the overall consumer experience. For example, Hover says that within 30 minutes of capturing images, it is able to provide a roof square estimate and total living area.
In June 2019, Hover started operating for the U.S. To speed up home injury compensation procedures, Adjusting Programs. And last October, Hover entered into an agreement with Hancock Claim Consultants to provide “data packages” to estimate roof and home damage and to construct workflows for roof and property-related claims scoping and settling.
The near-term emphasis will continue to enhance the user experience and deliver value for partners and consumers, Altman says.
Hover’s series D round, led by insurance carriers Travelers, State Farm Ventures, and Nationally, revealed this week, takes the total raised to $147 million by the San Francisco-based business to date. It follows a series C of $25 million in April 2019.