Kitchener-based Alert Labs Inc. has announced an investment by Intact Ventures, the strategic venture arm of Intact Financial Corporation, Canada’s largest provider of property and casualty insurance. BDC Capital, Garage Capital, Hedgewood Inc., and several angel and private investors have also invested in Alert Labs in order to accelerate marketing activities and scale business operations.
In 2015, Canadian insurance companies spent approximately $2.6 billion repairing homes due to water damage. In the USA, 45 per cent of the $41.2 billion in home insurance claims were due to water damage and freezing pipes. In the next 5 years, it’s expected that North American insurers will spend over $100 billion to repair water damage in customers’ homes. Alert Labs is committed to helping the insurance industry reduce preventable expenditures.
“This represents Intact Ventures’ first investment in Canada. It’s exciting to support a company like Alert Labs that is developing technology that will help protect homeowners and mitigate risk,” says Karim Hirji, Senior Vice President, Intact Ventures, “We appreciate the importance of providing homeowners and businesses with innovative solutions that are easy to use, cost effective and reliable. The value of this type of technology will continue to grow as we adapt to climate change.”
Alert Labs’ Flowie water sensor and Floodie companion sensor work together to protect homes from flood damage, and to provide minute-by-minute water use information. This allows Alert Labs’ analytics engine to identify leaks from the municipal water supply, like a leaky toilet or malfunctioning furnace humidifier, and to share insight into water conservation opportunities. Homeowners receive email and mobile alerts for floods, leaks, high or continual water use, and power outages. Alert Labs’ sensors are cellular-connected with a built-in battery backup, which means they don’t rely on WiFi and will continue to operate during an ice storm or power outage. Flowie also reports basement temperature and humidity which gives early warning about environments with higher potential for mould or freezing pipes.
“It is inspiring to have Canada’s leading insurance company believe in our vision and goals, and we’re grateful for the financial support of our investors. This will ultimately enable us to share our products with more customers,” says George Tsintzouras, CEO of Alert Labs.
Alert Labs also recently announced a program with the City of Guelph, Ontario. As the largest city in Canada that relies solely on groundwater for its water source, Guelph is promoting Alert Labs’ Flowie Water Sensor Kit as a tool to drive water conservation, and is offering a rebate to its residents for purchasing Alert Labs’ leak and flood protection solution.