Hi! 👋 I’m Tolga, founder & CEO at Canopy Connect. I honed my craft at startups, through open source work, and as an early infrastructure and product engineer at Dropbox.
Being Canadian, I had a hard time getting a credit card when I immigrated to the US. Banks couldn't access my Canadian credit information, so they rejected me. In 2018 I joined Nova Credit to help launch in Canada and solve this problem. We helped immigrants get fair access to credit through their international data. I saw the power of consumer consent-driven data sharing first-hand. Through the magic of consumer consent + technology, we helped people unlock better financial outcomes for themselves. This inspiration drove me to discover other areas where consumers have a hard time getting value and convenience from their own data.
In 2019 I learned that this problem existed in the insurance space too. I talked with hundreds of insurance agency owners, agents, insurtechs and carrier reps and learned that getting accurate, comprehensive data from their prospects and customers was painfully difficult. Who knows their premiums, limits and deductibles off the top of their head? Who knows their VIN number, or where to find their dec page (let alone what a dec page even is?!) Of course no one knows. It's not like most people are thinking about the bodily injury limit on their auto policy on a daily basis.
Not only is it painful for consumers to find and share their own data, but once data is shared, we lack the controls to know who we've shared it with, and to revoke our data if we want to. These are fundamental privacy and data controls we should have around our own sensitive data as consumers. They are necessary building blocks of a healthy insurance ecosystem where the consumer is in the driver's seat.
I realized we could build a world where all of this was simple. The necessary ingredients are there; consumers want insurance to be personalized, seamless and easy, and they want basic control over their data. Insurance players need data to write better risks. The missing piece was infrastructure. So in early 2019 I started building the infrastructure for instant, secure and consumer consent-driven insurance data sharing. In February 2020 I founded Canopy Connect. A few months later we closed our seed round and started assembling a world-class engineering and product-focused team. Our team is now fully distributed across the US.
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