Google Data Scientist-Founded Business is Acquired by Neptune Flood

Charles River Data (CRD) was recently bought by St. Petersburg’s Neptune Flood, which aims to improve its AI-driven Triton underwriting system by integrating the strong analytical and modeling skills of the Boston-based company.

In order to start CRD in 2021, two former data scientists from Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) resigned from their prestigious roles. Neptune, the biggest private flood insurance provider in the country, processes over 30,000 quotations per day using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Neptune CEO Trevor Burgess stated that CRD’s experience in academia and big tech will help the company forecast flood threats more precisely and effectively. According to him, the main objective is to establish a market that provides reasonable rates to customers while shielding the international insurance sector from suffering  “a ton of money.”

Burgess told the Catalyst, “It’s a really exciting acquisition and something that a small company from St. Petersburg, Florida, doesn’t always get to do.” “Being able to buy a data science consulting firm with that talent and experience will enable us to really fast forward the work we’ve been doing.”

CEO of Neptune Flood is Trevor Burgess

The industry previously believed, according to Burgess, that a private company could not insure flood insurance. For more than 50 years, the only option was the National Flood Insurance Program, which was supported by the US Treasury.

Six years ago, Neptune launched a private alternative by developing an intricate flood modeling system with AI and machine learning. Burgess stated he knew the organization needed “very specialized talent” to stay up with the exponential advancements in technology.

He clarified that in order to estimate each home’s danger of flooding, the models take into account a wide range of variables, from elevation to fluid dynamics. The underlying technology, according to Burgess, is operating “better than anyone expected.”

That success, though, depends on Neptune’s capacity to handle enormous volumes of data. Burgess stated, “That’s where the Charles River team came in.”

During their time together at Google, Burgess got to know Mike Dezube, the CEO of CRD. Neptune has appointed Dezube as its chief data science officer.

Along with Gleb Drobkov, a former BCG consultant, he co-founded CRD. Drobkov will take up the role of Chief Strategy Officer at Neptune.

In a prepared statement, Dezube stated, “We are thrilled to join Neptune and contribute to a platform that is transforming an industry through data and AI,  “Our expertise in data science aligns seamlessly with Neptune’s vision of accuracy and efficiency in underwriting flood risk, and together, we will bring the industry forward, setting new standards as we go.”

Burgess described the business as an exceptional application of AI and machine learning. In 2018, he put up a sign that said, “No Humans,” in the software programming office.

That, according to Burgess, highlighted the goal of developing a technology system that outperformed people. “We’ve been able to do what we set out to do,” he continued.

The capabilities of Neptune have been noticed by the industry. October 2023 saw the local company achieve $200 million in premiums in force, around five years after Burgess took over and put a plan in place.

Next week, the former CRD team will travel to St. Petersburg to “push some new code” alongside the current software engineers of the organization. According to Burgess, the “most cutting-edge work in insurance technology” is now being done in the city.

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