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Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Detecting insurance fraud through Big Data

Two alumni of École Polytechnique created Shift Technology, a start-up that offers an IT solution to detect insurance fraud. In 2014, Shift Technology won the "Global Innovation Competition 2030".

Jérémy Jawish (X2008) and Éric Sibony (X2008), with David Durrleman, launched Shift Technology in March 2013. A year and half later, in November 2014, the start-up raised 1.4 million euros through the venture capital funds Iris Capital and Elaia Partners. The company provides insurance companies an IT solution for fraud detection based on recent mathematical algorithms and extensive modeling of the phenomenon of fraud.

Interview with the two founders of Shift Technology: Jérémy Jawish and Éric Sibony.

How did you get the idea for your start-up?

Jérémy: In 2011, as part of our training at École Polytechnique, we did a research internship with Éric in the anti-fraud teams of a large insurance group. We realized that there was a real need for industrialization in this field and that an IT solution integrating real business expertise was required.

Éric: After our internship, we developed at l’X a prototype solution combining our know-how in combating fraud and our newly acquired skills in statistical data processing (machine learning, Big Data). The company was founded in March 2013.

What need was there for your start-up?

Jérémy: Our SaaS* Big Data solution is able to detect and model the weak and strong signals of fraud, including fraud by organized gangs. More precisely, Shift Technology has developed algorithms to model data analysis of insurance policies and insurance claims, and external data while integrating the expertise of insurers. To be implemented and configured, our solution requires very little technical or financial investment. We charge a fixed amount based on the volume of claims to be processed.

Éric: Our customers are primarily general insurance companies (for cars or housing), but we can also target other actors in the world of insurance, such as expert networks.

Who are your competitors today and how do you stand out?

Jérémy: Our competitors are Anglo-Saxon software companies, specialized in statistical data processing or security issues. Our major competitive advantage is the performance of our detection algorithms. These algorithms are based on models that were designed specifically to integrate the business expertise of anti-fraud experts. Our solution therefore makes it possible to detect more cases of fraud and thus achieve significantly greater results.

What are your plans for the future?

Jérémy: We had the first version of our solution ready early 2014 and that’s when we truly started our business. Today, we keep on improving our solution. Our goal is to become a leading provider of anti-fraud solutions on a global level.

Did your training at l’X help you to create this start-up?

Éric: École Polytechnique’s scientific and multidisciplinary approach, especially in computer science and applied mathematics, helped us to develop an innovative product relying on very modern technologies. L’X also gave us the opportunity to be involved in many entrepreneurial ventures. Our real training in entrepreneurship came through the course of creation of innovative start-ups taught by Stéphane Mallat and Bruno Martinaud.

What qualities do you need to start your own business?

Éric: When an entrepreneur makes decisions, even the small details matter and can have great consequences. An entrepreneur should therefore always explore all options before making a decision.

Jérémy: The important thing for young entrepreneurs is to be surrounded with the right partners, ie, partners bringing them complementary skills, partners they can fully rely on.

> More information on the website: www.shift-technology.com

*Software as a Service (SaaS) is a commercial operating model of software in which the software is on remote servers rather than on the user's computer.