Tech

Niels Thoné resigns as CEO of Sprout.ai

Niels Thoné is the co – founder and chief growth officer at Sprout.ai, a company that uses artificial intelligence to automate insurance claims.

The London-based company uses natural language processing technology to scan insurance policy documents, understand the context and create rules. It then runs insurance claims against these rules to check if a claim is covered.

Founded in 2018, by Thoné with Gregoire Cadel and Raphael Guth, sprout.ai it supplies its technology to global insurance companies such as Zurich.

The insurtech has raised almost $ 15m (£ 12m) in funding, incl Series Round £ 8m in May last year.

This week Founder in Five Questions and AnswersThoné explains why he recently resigned as CEO of Sprout.ai, recalls a time when he froze during a pitch and explains why founders should choose angel investors for their network, not their checkbook.

1. What is your worst parking experience?

Niels Thoné: I once froze at an insurtechs parking event back in 2019 – it makes me think about it! I was not feeling well before the pitch and I was definitely not ‘on form’. I was standing watching a founder who was on stage in front of me. He was completely nailed to his presentation, and by the time I got on stage, I had just froze.

The experience was so unpleasant that I did everything I could to avoid pitching for several months. As part of the TechStars 2019 cohort, however, it was no longer something I could have avoided, with parking to be delivered about six months later. I finally got there: I finally rehearsed for hours, which meant that when it came time to play, I played all the scenarios and finally gave myself the confidence to go through.

2. What funding advice would you give to a first-time founder?

NT: I think the best advice I can give early stage firms is to choose angel investors for their network, not necessarily their checks. Some of my angel investors – including insurance industry executives and serial entrepreneurs – are a huge support to me in tackling the growing pains of growing a fast-growing tech business like Sprout.

Their knowledge and wisdom pushed me through some very tight spots. Once you have found those angels, make sure you cultivate those relationships. I have found that it is highly regarded by investors when you show that you care about their support and experience, since they have skin in the game.

3. When should the founding CEO pass the baton to a new chief executive?

NT: Two months ago, we announced my resignation as CEO of Sprout.ai to take on a new role as chief growth officer. Often in the tech industry, founders step down from CEO roles and it creates a lot of controversy, as the founders are usually the ‘face’ of the business.

Many founders wait too long and are afraid to make a decision like this because when it goes wrong, it really goes wrong. Personally, it took me some time to make this decision, but it was definitely the right one for me. As a founder, you carry the business with you everywhere you go, and I discovered more than ever that I was abusing myself inside and outside the office. In doing so, I realized, far from being detrimental, by realizing that I was creating a long – term value in the business.

The decision I made to resign was to relinquish control in certain areas of the business where someone else would add much more value. I was able to see the road ahead of Sprout’s rapid growth journey and the milestones we needed to achieve to achieve this. Our new CEO Roi Amir gives us the experience we need to achieve it, including the best ways to build and the mistakes you can avoid. And it’s all about knowing what’s around the corner!

4. What is a fact about you that would surprise people?

NT: People are often surprised when they find out that I am an introvert. As a founder, you are usually the front end of the house. When most people think of a successful entrepreneur, they usually think of character more than life. While this is easier to do at work as there is a strong mission to talk about, at home and in my private life I do not find this model – I am quite reserved and generally avoid situations that interfere with the spotlight you.

Don’t let me get lost, I like meeting new people and I love getting in touch with potential customers. However, when you bring all your work to work, it’s a good idea to have a safe place to go back to for reloading.

5. Which emerging technology is most promising?

NT: I think there is still a lot to learn in the field of natural language processing (NLP), about how we calculate computers to process and analyze language. At Sprout, we have developed a computer vision and NLP technology that is specifically focused on the insurance claims industry and its unusual homeland, but this is just the beginning.

New transformer models are putting pressure on the donkeys of the old models and we are in the forefront with so many new practical applications in various industries by using these new transformer models.

Founder in Five – UKTN’s Q&A series with the entrepreneurs behind UK start – ups, scales, unicorns and public technology companies – published every Friday.



Niels Thoné resigns as CEO of Sprout.ai

Source link Niels Thoné resigns as CEO of Sprout.ai

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