Entrepreneurship

San Diego startup Yembo, by ex-Qualcomm engineers, gets $8.5M to expand

Read more at www.sandiegouniontribune.com

A San Diego tech startup founded by two ex-Qualcomm engineers just raised $8.5 million from investors to expand its reach into new industries.

The company, called Yembo, currently makes an AI-powered camera app that can measure the size and weight of furniture and other items in a room. This is particularly useful for moving companies, which use the app to estimate the workload of a move and deliver quotes to customers — without ever visiting in person. That business got a boost during the pandemic.

But now, Yembo’s new investors are backing a new use for the app: property insurance and underwriting inspections.

CEO and co-founder Siddharth Mohan has recent experience making a claims adjustment with his property insurance company and says the experience is fraught with inefficiencies.

“Someone comes out to your home with a tape measurer, pen and paper, and the whole process takes hours and hours,” Mohan said.

Yembo plans to build features in its software that can map out a 3D model of a room so insurance adjusters can estimate square footage, cabinetry and countertop space, for example, and share that information with contractors.

Yembo was founded in 2016 by Mohan and his co-founder Zach Rattner, both of whom were former engineers in Qualcomm’s innovation department, specializing in writing code for artificial intelligence. By 2018, the startup employed seven people and a few dozen customers lining up on a waitlist to use their moving tool.

But Mohan said Yembo’s AI app surged in demand during 2020, as more and more companies saw a need for a remote surveying tool.

“People didn’t want strangers in their home, so it all went into virtual,” Mohan said. “We saw a 5X growth in adoption.”

The company now has about 100 moving companies using its tool and employs 28 people. The startup is earning revenue, but not yet profitable.

Yembo’s new $8.5 million Series A round was led by Imagen Capital Partners, a Seattle-area investment firm.

“We believe the market will continue to seek cutting-edge solutions focused on efficient interior claims processing, while also underwriting (decision-making) and Yembo’s current technology can seamlessly shift to support these carrier demands,” said Chris Barrow, general partner with Imagen Capital Partners, in a statement. “The company’s vast domain expertise within the field of 3D computer vision and cloud computing has already deployed a powerful solution for the moving and relocation market, and we are excited to collaborate with and support the team as they extend their business model across the insurance sector.”

Yembo’s current software for movers.

(Courtesy of Yembo)

Read more at www.sandiegouniontribune.com

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