AIN Ventures Invests in Insured Connect and Duku Solutions Platforms


AIN VenturesSM, a division of Advantage Insurance Network, Inc. (AIN), finds opportunities within the realms of technology, product design and strategic partnership development with the common theme of fulfilling the unmet needs of the brokerage general agency (BGA) and their advisors.


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.  July 27, 2018Today, after more than a year of planning, AIN VenturesSM has announced investments into two insurtech firms: Insured Connect and Duku Solutions.


AIN is a national wholesale marketing organization representing more than 100 independently owned and operated wholesale insurance BGA across the United States with combined first year life insurance premiums in excess of $500 million.


“Executives and entrepreneurs alike have all lied awake wondering whether their firm will be blindsided by technologies they’ve never heard of. It’s simply a reality of today’s disruption cycle and the world we live in. We believe the solution lies in adopting an ecosystem mind-set,” said Jason Cavalier, the firm’s Strategy Officer. According to sources like McKinsey and the Harvard Business Review, ecosystems will account for 30% of global revenues by 2025.


A platform is a business model that allows multiple participants (producers and consumers) to connect to it, interact with one another, and create and exchange value.[1] The most successful companies in the digital era, including Amazon and Facebook, were all designed on platform business models. An ecosystem, meanwhile, is an interconnected set of services that allows users to fulfill a variety of needs in one integrated experience.[2]


“At AIN, concepts like AIN’s Underwriting and Wholesaling Teams will eventually live among a growing number of platforms within a broader ecosystem. New platforms like Insured Connect and Duku will become additional platforms provided by AIN to offer a world of solutions to our customers,” said Martin Haile, the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer.


“Solutions similar to Insured Connect and Duku have launched in the past, and have eventually failed, not because they lacked efficiency or elegance; rather, they simply lacked scale and the opportunity to exist as a platform within a connected ecosystem. We are pleased to partner with these innovative companies and we are excited to grow in alignment with them in the months and years to come,” commented Cavalier.


More on Insured Connect and “NIC” Applications

Insured Connect and its affiliated companies have been working in the insurance industry for more than 20 years aggregating data and creating technology solutions. For the past ten years in Canada, Insured Connect’s sister company Ticoon has been aggregating investment, banking and insurance data. Having already established the premier in-force policy data aggregation service in Canada, Insured Connect is partnering with AIN VenturesSM for its first major expansion into the US.


Insured Connect’s platform is called ‘NIC’ and it is comprised of four (4) main applications for the four (4) customers in the insurance distribution chain: Insurance Carriers (“NICcarrier”), Distributors (“NICdistributor”), Advisors (“NICadvisor”) and Policy Owners (“NICpolicyowner”).   The four applications create an ecosystem for the management and servicing of in force policies.


Insured Connect works behind the scenes as a “secure data transfer” partner, or “service bureau” to the industry, making it easier for insurance companies to push their data to one source while providing Distributors and Advisors with a single solution to access all of their in force business. NIC operates on a modern cloud-based and open architecture that enables Carriers and Distributors to integrate their apps, tools and business services, making it much easier for everyone to do business.


More on Duku Solutions and SalesFuseTM Software

Duku Solutions is a software engineering firm focused on the insurance services sector. Their newest software platform—SalesFuseTM—is the insurance industry’s next generation agency management solution which will gain scale through an investment from AIN VenturesSM.


SalesFuseTM is an enterprise-grade agency management system containing the latest advances in customer relationship management (CRM) technology. SalesFuseTM will be differentiated from other offerings in the marketplace by including digital marketing automation, lead generation services and other modern and intuitive sales and recruiting tracking functionalities which complement its robust new business management, commissions tracking and adjudication features. SalesFuseTM will also dramatically simplify the ACORD standard “data feed” integration between insurance companies, BGAs and IMOs.


Finally, SalesFuse will integrate and communicate with the NIC platforms and technology, supported by the scale of the Advantage Insurance Network.”


[1] Sangeet Paul Choudary, Geoffrey G. Parker, and Marshal Van Alystne, “Pipelines, platforms and the new rules of strategy” Harvard Business Review, April 2016
[2] Tanguy Catlin, Johannes-Tobias Lorenz, Jahnavi Nandan, Shirish Sharma, and Andreas Waschto, “Insurance beyond digital: The rise of ecosystems and platforms”