Westfield Insurance’s 1848 Ventures: Pioneering AI-powered B2B SaaS for SMBs

In January 2018, Westfield Insurance, with the help of Stuart Rosenberg, launched 1848 Ventures to build and scale a portfolio of B2B SaaS companies aimed at harnessing AI to revolutionize small and medium-sized businesses. Backed by Westfield, 1848 Ventures explores ideas beyond insurance, focusing on industries such as construction, real estate, hospitality, retail, and restaurants.

The Ohio-based studio aims to launch a new venture each year, ideating and testing early-stage business models grounded in the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) framework. Ventures with significant demand and traction receive further investment and a dedicated Venture Leader to drive growth and product-market fit.

Current Ventures

  • Vandra: Founded in 2022, Vandra is a discount app for eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Adobe Commerce, and WooCommerce. It uses AI to identify online visitors needing incentives and helps brands convert them with AI-powered nudges.
  • AI-Powered Recruiting Platform: This pre-revenue venture aims to become the leading AI-powered recruiting platform, helping construction HR teams source, screen, qualify, and hire candidates in hours, not days.
  • TakeUp: Operating in the hospitality sector, TakeUp was founded in 2021 and uses AI and machine learning to optimize room rates automatically, maximizing property revenue.

New Concepts

1848 Ventures is also exploring new concepts, including:

  • Streamlining vendor management for property managers to enhance efficiency and tenant satisfaction.
  • Improving bidding and estimating processes in construction.
  • Automating inventory management for SMB retail workers.

Ventures launched by 1848 Ventures remain wholly-owned subsidiaries of Westfield, focusing on long-term strategic and financial value.

As background, Westfield Insurance provides commercial and personal insurance in 21 states and surety services nationwide through a network of over 1,000 independent agencies. With over $5 billion in consolidated assets and $1.8 billion in written premiums, Westfield is the largest writer of contract performance bonds in Ohio and a top writer of farm insurance in the US.

Bottom Line: AXA Next and Progressive Next come to mind.