Talem Health Analytics, which makes software for auto insurers, has closed a $2.3 million equity funding round led by Build Ventures, which will allow the Sydney-based company  to extend its reach in the insurance industry.

The company issued a statement announcing the round on Thursday, adding that investors in the round included Halifax-based Innovacorp, the HOLT Accelerator in Montreal, and new and existing angel investors.

“We see the Talem platform as a positive disruptor for the auto insurance sector,” Rob Barbara, General Partner at Build Ventures, said in a statement. “This financing will enable them to truly expand their industry reach.”

Co-founded four years ago by Paul Talem and Matthew Kay, Talem Health uses artificial intelligence, including image-recognition technology, to help auto insurers assess claims. Auto insurers using traditional methods to predict medical claims have seen overruns in time and costs.

Talem said its platform, which combines AI, clinical expertise and forensic science, enables insurers to predict claim costs earlier, more accurately, and more efficiently.

The outbreak of COVID-19 last year led insurers to seek contactless injury assessment (including AI) whenever possible. Insurers especially want to use such solutions immediately after an accident, when they have the best opportunity to improve customer experience and manage costs.

“Having injury insights early in a claim cycle can benefit not only insurers, but customers too, by making early care a priority,” said CEO Paul Travis. “We’re changing the process up front, and that helps everyone involved.”

Added COO Matthew Kay: “Our technology provides insurers with the ability to price themselves more competitively, too. We’re changing the way auto insurers assess claims.”

The seed financing announced Thursday will allow Talem to launch its artificial intelligence-enabled prediction platform to 35 U.S. states by the end of 2021. The company in 2019 attended the Hartford Insurtech Accelerator, which exposed the co-founders to C-level personnel at some of the biggest insurers in the U.S. Talem, whose staff has increased by 50 percent to 12 employees in 2021, is now working with four enterprise clients in the U.S.

Travis said in an interview that the experience helped them to understand the challenges of implementing AI-based technology in large companies that depend on legacy systems, and the importance of image-recognition software in the Talem solution.

Last year, Talem went through the HOLT fintech accelerator in Montreal, which invests in participating companies. That experience gave Talem insights into the Canadian industry, which it hopes to sell into in 2022, said Travis.

He added that the company now has enough capital to last about 24 months, which should allow it to grow and hit a few milestones.

Talem Health is the third company financed by the second fund of Halifax-based Build Ventures, the region’s growth-stage venture capital fund. The other two are Potential Motors of Fredericton and Gemba Software (which does business as ProcedureFlow) of Saint John. Build has ben in the news this year for exiting its investments in Manifold of Halifax and Fiddlehead Technology of Moncton.