Des Moines-based Denim, an intuitive mobile and social media advertising platform for financial services companies, spent 12 months building their technology before launching in October 2016.
In two and a half short years, the company has taken off and now looks towards expanding their team after making a key hire to further advance their standing within the insurtech industry.
Charlie Turri recently joined Denim as Chief Technology Officer, bringing over 20 years of industry experience with him. Turri’s role will be to drive aggressive growth of the company’s tech team by doubling full-time employees by the end of 2018.
He will also lead Denim’s technology strategy, including building an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that aims to be one of the financial services industry’s smartest and most robust.
The AI platform will be trained using more than 1 billion anonymized, aggregated data points the company has collected with its platform.
“With such an enormous dataset on consumer engagement, Denim is positioned to change the way insurance and financial services companies go to market, drive growth, and achieve digital success,” said Gregory Bailey, CEO and founder of Denim. “Adding Charlie Turri to our team of industry experts is the next major step in Denim’s quest to reimagine the way financial services companies market, engage, and sell with intelligent, data-driven technology.”
Turri will drive the company’s efforts to activate this data to help Denim’s customers achieve more effective consumer engagement via mobile and social media.
“No other company has as deep of an experience with that type of data,” said Turri. “We want to apply artificial intelligence to that so our customers can leverage [information on] the best way, and the best type, of ad to reach their audience, and where they’re moving to.”
The data intelligence that Denim is building will allow their insurance clients to enhance consumer experience with social and mobile ads.
“Insurance companies have long been active in social and mobile media advertising, but they’ve done that from a corporate brand perspective,” said Bailey. “What Denim allows them to do is quickly and easily scale the mobile and social advertisement and engagement on behalf of all their agents and locations.”
Prior to joining Denim, Turri served as vice president of IT for Athene USA where he led application development, program management, quality assurance, and enterprise architecture. Turri also held various leadership roles at American General Life & Accident Insurance, an AIG company in Nashville, Tennessee.
Turri also spent time working abroad.
“I’ve worked throughout the United States and had a significant stint overseas in India and China, so I have an international background as well that we can leverage here at Denim,” said Turri. “I’m uniquely qualified to provide a company like Denim information on how the intricacies of an insurance company works, what’s the right way to approach them, and how to help Denim from that perspective.”
That experience will be put to good use as Denim looks toward expanding internationally in the next 12 to 24 months. Bailey said that just this week alone, they have planned meetings with companies in South Africa and Asia.
Bailey said they’re also in talks with a Fortune 200 company.
But while Bailey and Turri set their sites globally for Denim’s future, they aren’t forgetting about Iowa and the Midwest.
“We literally could have started Denim anywhere,” said Bailey. “We feel that we’re in the epicenter of insurance and financial services here in the Midwest.”
“[Iowa] is broader and deeper than most people realize,” added Turri. “If you’re part of the Des Moines fabric, insurance is a vital part of the economy and community here, so it make sense to be on the forefront of where that is going.”
Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.