Foxquilt Customer Spotlight: Mistall Insight
Aug 27, 2020
Learn more about Mistall Insight, how they came to be and how Foxquilt helped with their insurance.
Our Foxquilt team was able to help founder, Blake Laufer, protect his parking technology and data company, Mistall Insight, with tailored insurance. We wanted to shine our customer spotlight on this unique company and learn more about Laufer, how Mistall came to be and how Foxquilt was able to help them out with the right Technology Insurance!
Meet Mistall Insight
Tell us about Mistall Insight. What do you do?
Blake Laufer: Mistall Insight is in the parking data business. Our systems are capable of collecting live parking occupancy data from surface parking lots, curb side (on-street) and parking structures (garages.) Our customers can then use our toolset and software to share this data with their consumers to help them find available parking. We do this through apps, web, IVR, SMS, signage and other channels. In some cases we get the parking data from other vehicle count systems in parking garages or parking meters; and we also use time-lapse photography with AI to help count cars. Our system can be leveraged for different use cases such as providing alerts and notifications for parking enforcement; this helps parking enforcement officials manage their time better while addressing parking infractions.
When did Mistall Insight start?
Blake Laufer: We founded the company in March, 2017.
How did you start your business?
Blake Laufer: There are many parking systems capable of counting cars and available parking in garages, but very few systems do this in an outdoor surface parking lot or curb side. Initially we set out to solve this problem using camera imagery and machine learning, but we quickly realized that there’s a need to aggregate all parking occupancy data for our clients.
What is Mistall Insight like now?
Blake Laufer: Our business is moving from being a start-up to becoming a scale-up. Initially our customers were small, perhaps one parking lot a few dozen parking spaces. Now we’re responding to cities and campus sites with multiple parking lots, garages, and thousands of parking spaces Geographically we have customers in Ontario, BC and Quebec, as well several states in the US. We just closed our first overseas deal in Norway.
That's amazing! What is your experience or background in your industry? How did you get involved with it to start a unique business like Mistall Insight?
Blake Laufer: I’ve been a computer nerd all my life. I didn’t set out with a vision to serve the parking industry, but I built my first company in the 1990’s and we got lucky providing technology to campus parking operations – selling permits and writing parking tickets. I was able to grow that business and sell it in 1999 to a larger technology firm out of the US. I became part-owner and my role was leading R&D. We grew to 250 people and had lines of business in all facets of parking. In 2016 that company sold to a private equity firm. I decided to return to my entrepreneurial roots, recognized a need for aggregating parking occupancy, and started Mistall.
How Foxquilt Helped Mistall Insight Receive Customized Business Insurance
When did you realize you needed insurance for your business?
Blake Laufer: The need actually came from our customers. As we approached larger organizations like cities, hospitals and airports, they underscored the need for General Llability – in case some of our parking equipment were to accidentally damage a vehicle or injure a person. They also have more stringent requirements around data handling and data security. We don’t deal with sensitive data but this was still their requirement, so we needed insurance.
Why did you ultimately choose Foxquilt for your insurance needs? Could you describe how the process went?
Blake Laufer: Foxquilt was able to deliver a package of insurance that was suited to our unique needs. Our hardware product line demands one type of insurance, while our software and data requires another. We worked with Kassa Kebede – he spent the time to dig into the specifics of our business and tailor a package that was suitable for us. Kassa took the time to understand our business and come up with the right package. Kassa is easy to talk to; he didn’t pressure us one way or another, but he fairly presented different insurance options and explained the advantages or disadvantages of each. The process was easy, and paperwork was all handled electronically. I think that few insurers could come up with the right blend that we needed, but Foxquilt did.
Would you recommend Foxquilt to your community?
Blake Laufer: I’d wholeheartedly recommend Kassa Kebede and Foxquilt.
And finally, how has getting the right insurance coverage affected your business?
Blake Laufer: We can sell to our customers with more confidence knowing that we have the right insurance in place, particularly when there’s high concern over data breaches and ransomware. It’s a lot easier for us to answer their questions about coverage when we already know what they’re going to ask. We have never had a claim (and I hope we never do!) but it gives us peace-of-mind knowing that Foxquilt has us covered.
If you're looking for help with parking enforcement or want to improve the experience of parking for customers, check out Mistall Insight to learn more about how their solutions are changing parking lots. You can also follow them on Twitter or LinkedIn! Our Foxquilt team loves supporting companies like Mistall and other businesses of all sizes and industries by finding business insurance customized to their needs. Whether you're looking for Technology Insurance or Professional Liability Insurance, Foxquilt is happy to find the right coverage for you and provide exclusive savings too. Get a quote today.
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