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July 07, 2024 | Tom Ballard

InRev’s platform fully automates the surety bond underwriting process

The Nashville company was founded in 2021 by Jack Genet and Adam Duff.

Unless you are in the government construction business, you probably haven’t given lots of thought to surety bonds, but those in that sector understand just how important these agreements are.

At $1.7 trillion in annual spending, the construction industry is one of the American economy’s largest and most important components. About one-quarter of all U.S. construction spending is protected by contract surety bonds, making those bonds a heavily used and important feature of not just the construction industry, but the U.S. economy as a whole.

Whether it is new construction on the front end of a project or what comes later when, a solar farm for example, is at the end of its useful life, surety bonds do exactly what the name implies – provide a financial guarantee that a specific obligation will be fulfilled. The National Association of Surety Bond Producers defines surety bonds as a promise to be liable for the debt, default, or failure of another. It is a three-party contract by which one party (the surety) guarantees the performance or obligations of a second party (the principal) to a third party (the obligee).

Jack Genet

Today, InRev, founded three and a half years ago in Nashville, has built a platform that fully automates the underwriting process – from getting a contract surety quote to binding, issuing, and managing all of the surety functions – so agents and brokers can obtain bonds for their clients instantly.

How successful is the firm? InRev is growing about 50 percent quarter-over-quarter through a combination of proprietary technology, access to the right data sources, and the ability to use artificial intelligence innovatively.

The company was launched in March 2021 by Jack Genet, a 2012 graduate of the University of Virginia, and Adam Duff, a 2015 graduate of the University of South Carolina. Genet served in underwriting roles for a decade with three different firms before co-founding InRev, where he serves as Chief Executive Officer. Duff heads the engineering team and writes much of the software code that is integral to InRev’s operations.

Adam Duff

For its first year of operations, InRev focused on building its platform so agents and brokers could obtain bonds for their clients instantly. The first product was contract surety bonds, which the firm began writing in February of 2022.

“We have taught a machine to read complex underwriting documents,” Genet told us during a recent interview. That capability and inRev’s proprietary underwriting algorithm allow the company to underwrite contract surety bonds of up to $2.5 million for a single bond or $5 million aggregate account limits instantly. Larger and/or unconventional submissions are referred to an InRev underwriter for manual review.

These features are very important since he says that there would be 79 actions required, if done manually, and up to as long as two weeks to get the bond issued.

“This is a painful process,” Genet says.

Since launching its first product, InRev has facilitated more than $300 million in surety bonds – a figure that has nearly doubled each quarter. Genet adds that the firm estimates its tools can save over one million hours per year that would have otherwise been devoted to reading contracts.

“The power of our technology is getting a very complex surety bond simply and quickly,” he explains.

InRev was officially profitable last quarter.


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