Sensible

Sensible raises a $6.5MM seed round to make documents as accessible to software as APIs

Josh Lewis
Thursday, November 17, 2022

Craft Ventures leads the round, with participation from Engineering Capital and Clocktower Technology Ventures. Learn more about Sensible's vision for the future.

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Craft Ventures leads the round, with participation from Engineering Capital and Clocktower Technology Ventures.

For decades, technologists have tried to make businesses more efficient by standardizing their processes via software and codifying their workflows into centralized APIs. But today when we look at the mature industries that power the global economy – insurance, health care, logistics, and real estate – we find that they are still dominated by documents, emails, and conversation.

I experienced this first-hand as head of product at Newfront, a modern insurance brokerage that uses software-defined operations to delight its clients and brokers with exceptional service. We quickly saw that our account managers spent a significant amount of their time doing manual data entry of carrier quotes, insurance applications, and other documents. These data entry tasks were perfect candidates to automate.

We searched in vain for a good developer tool that would quickly get us from documents to useful data that we could then pipe directly into downstream service workflows. We didn’t want to build something in-house – we were an insurance company, not a PDF company – but without a quality off-the-shelf solution available we were forced to tackle the problem ourselves.

Today, Sensible is what we needed at Newfront: powerful developer tools that make documents as accessible to software as APIs. But we have a broader thesis. We believe all businesses in the future will become more efficient by defining their entire operations in software.

Software that works the way people work

To date, we software folks have encouraged mature industries to adopt centralized APIs in a slow and painfully-coordinated group effort. This effort is based on a once-true dichotomy between software and the messy, everyday world of business communication. And it is harmful – most business want to control their own destiny and innovate independently of their peers. While unstructured communication allows for this, centralized APIs do not.

Machine learning, and in particular the rapid rise of large language models (LLMs), has significantly eroded the gap between software and unstructured communication. This creates an opportunity to empower developers with the tools they need to build the next generation of great businesses in mature industries.

That's our vision at Sensible: to connect software to the way people work every day. We've started by tackling documents, building a document orchestration platform and document query language, SenseML, to quickly turn documents into accurate, structured data. SenseML provides developers the powerful primitives required for document extraction: from basic rules and heuristics, to entity and layout detection, to NLP techniques and LLMs. These tools empower product and engineering teams to transform the documents their company relies on into structured data quickly and at scale.

Dozens of companies, across insurance, logistics, health care, real estate, and financial services use Sensible to make their operations more efficient by directly connecting documents to software. Our customers benefit from the 150+ configurations we've published in our open source SenseML Configuration Library, which provides out of the box support for the most popular documents. With this new funding we will further enhance SenseML and our orchestration platform, and expand our configuration library to thousands of document layouts.

We’re thrilled that Lainy Painter at Craft Ventures is supporting us on this journey. Lainy has deep experience in business operations, which, paired with Craft's B2B SaaS focus, is a perfect match for our vision. Craft and Clocktower join pre-seed investors Engineering Capital, which also participated in this round, Jack Altman and Eric Koslow, the co-founders of Lattice, Spike Lipkin and Gordon Wintrob, the co-founders of Newfront, Chad Nitschke, president of Vouch Specialty, and Gurjeet Singh, co-founder of Oma Robotics, as well as many other angels, to bring our total funding to date over $8MM.

"Sensible is uniquely positioned to power businesses operating in mature industries by putting the most advanced document understanding techniques at developers' fingertips." — Lainy Painter, Craft Ventures

We believe software should work the way people work. The path to a future where much of business operations is software-defined requires the stuff of everyday work be as accessible to software as an API. We're excited to build that future at Sensible – join us.