Legal Name: Dropin, Inc.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Founded: May 2015
Founder(s): Louis Ziskin
Social Media: 625 Likes on Facebook, 1951 Followers on Twitter, 1913 Followers on Instagram
INDUSTRY – Insurtech
Size: $532.7Mn (2018) (2018 report, ResearchAndMarkets.com)
Projections: $1.1Bn by 2023 (2018 report, ResearchAndMarkets.com)
DropIn is an on-demand, live video streaming service that allows insurance claim adjusters to conduct appraisals through smart phone or drone-based video streaming. The company also uses trained drone operators in what their website describes as “an Uber or Lyft for drones”. Using DropIn, insurance claim adjusters can preview or assess insurance claims through a live video feed, and can opt for different methods of accessing this feed, including DropIn’s own drones and drone operators, or by connecting directly with the claimant through DropIn’s app. Cognizant estimates that using drones can increase the productivity of insurance claims adjusters by 40 to 50%.
Insurance companies can use DropIn to expedite the claims assessment process, by using drone-based or smartphone-based live video streaming instead of conducting physical site or claims assessments. DropIn offers two ways to do this: through its trademarked ClaimsDirect software, or through trained Droperators.
The company can instruct the claimant to download DropIn’s app, after which the claims adjuster can view a live feed through the claimant’s smart phone. This feature is called ClaimsDirect. For users who don’t have the knowledge or ability to use an app, or where such services may be limited, or where assessing the claim requires more technological support, DropIn also offers the services of trademarked Droperators, or DropIn’s independently registered drivers, who can arrive at the required location and be directed to take the required photographs or videos of the claim, either by mobile or through drones. DropIn charges $300 for a Droperator with a smart phone, and $1000 for a Droperator with a drone. All prices are as of publishing.
The company’s website claims to have hired 6 million independent contractor smartphone Droperators in 56 countries all over the world, and over 1000 licensed drone pilot Droperators, half of whom are former military veterans. DropIn asserts that Droperators cannot access the video footage they collect.
Their website also says that it has completed 400,000+ live video streams to date. It has also partnered with companies like Lyft during natural disasters, including Hurricane Irma, to expedite claims processing in particularly busy and trying times.
Origin and Founding Team
Three years after completing a 12 year term in federal prison for importing MDMA into the United States from Europe, Louis Ziskin decided in 2015 to found DropIn.
The platform was originally conceptualized as a media company that would harness the skills of drone operators worldwide to obtain video footage of breaking news stories from war zones and during natural disasters. The company soon pivoted when it became clear that the project was financially infeasible, and couldn’t raise the number of users required to keep it afloat. Ziskin told Forbes that when he realized “no one else” was doing “it” (using drones for insurance claims) he decided to make a slight shift, retaining the drone operators, but providing their services to insurance claims adjusters instead.
Born and raised in LA, Ziskin says that traditional venture capitalists refused to collaborate with him when he started out and raised much of his initial capital through friends and family. He continues to spend time speaking at local schools in LA to motivate children into pursuing careers in tech, and uses his unconventional background as a way to inspire them.
Ziskin was named by Entrepreneur magazine in 2016 as one of “8 Entrepreneurs to Watch”. Professional golfer Anthony Kim serves as an advisor to DropIn, and courier and delivery industry veteran Andrew Brady and former Mashable editor and author of Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention Ben Parr, as partners.
Performance and Trends
DropIn initially received $5.5M from angel investors, mostly friends and family, during its formation in 2015. DropIn conducted a round of funding in May 2016, earning around $1.5M. Ziskin claimed in 2018 that the company had closed $2M in funding, and boasts of clients like Hiscox and Beazley (which manages six Lloyd’s syndicates).
In September 2018, DropIn also became one of the 20 companies selected by Lloyd’s of London for their prestigious and competitive start-up accelerator program.
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