While tech companies in other towns often consider their user base to be “everyone,” Chicago entrepreneurs take a different approach. Instead of casting a wide net, Chicago tech companies often focus on addressing industry-specific pain points first before moving to apply their solutions to other businesses.
This concentrated approach has helped DataCubes drive rapid growth. The company, whose data science-powered tools helps commercial insurance underwriters work more efficiently, has grown its customer base by six times in the past year and doubled its annual revenue in the past six months.
“We can solve a wide range of problems in the niche we’re in, and that’s part of why we’ve had this success,” said VP of Marketing Phil Alampi. “These are well-defined problems, and we solve them from end-to-end.”
Data powers just about all aspects of a commercial underwriter’s job, but digging through documents submitted by a business to find relevant information takes time. In addition to sifting through documents, underwriters often turn to search engines to find missing information, with Alampi saying those who work with mid-size companies average 30 searches per policy.
The problems we solve are very advanced and sophisticated.”
DataCubes has designed a suite of products that automate these manual processes and give underwriters greater access to data, which allows them to more accurately assess risk and craft policies quicker.
“The problems we solve are very advanced and sophisticated,” said Alampi. “Machine learning problems, scalability and data access problems, efficiency — things that are really being done in this industry for the first time.”
DataCubes is betting on the appeal of these challenges to attract new tech talent to its growing team. The company has a headcount of about 40 people and will grow that figure to 70 this year, with Alampi saying two thirds of the growth will be on the technical side of the house, as the team looks to bring on more data scientists, DevOps engineers, Python developers and more.
While DataCubes has gained traction with its existing solutions, Alampi said the company isn’t resting on its laurels.
“Even though we have product-market fit with our current solution, there’s a lot of potential beyond that,” said Alampi. “It’s an area of a lot of excitement where you can have a big impact and influence where the company is going.”