Simplex Ventures Founders Series: Meet iink


Since opening its venture capital arm, Simplex Ventures, Simplex Trading has invested in more than a dozen high-growth companies and funds – ideas that are shaping the future of finance. Through strategic investments, Simplex Ventures is creating collaborative partnerships with visionary founders of fintech companies who are driven to disrupt and transform the financial industry.

In the next iteration of our “Simplex Ventures Founders Series,” meet iink, a platform helping restoration professionals get paid faster so homeowners can get back to normal after an insured property loss.

More information can also be found about our portfolio companies here.

A Q&A with iink, and its CEO and founder, Tom McGrath

Tom, thanks for your time. To start, can you share with us a brief description of your role as CEO of iink, and describe iink in one or two sentences?

My role as the CEO of iink is to define the company’s strategy and goals, build culture,  and ultimately work with all of the functional leads and the C-suite to execute against that plan. As for iink, simply put, our solution helps restoration professionals get paid faster after an insured loss.

You have invaluable experience both in innovative tech roles and at startups – we’d love to hear a little bit about your journey as a business leader and what led you to iink.

I started my first company out of college, building image and facial recognition software. So, I have a very strong background in AI and machine learning and using that for the purposes of workflow automation.

After my first company, I worked in product, both at VC-backed and public companies, usually working within their R&D or innovation labs to productize some of the more advanced technology that they had developed.

In 2018, I connected with my current iink partners, Ryan Holiday and Ken Lawler, who were restoration contractors in Florida. I was dealing with the same problem we help solve today, and they had started iink as a service-based business to address my issue. When we met, it was this perfect storm of blue-collar and white-collar worlds coming together – I had the background to understand how to automate  the workflow that they had already developed to solve a problem for contractors and homeowners in the industry. Since that meeting, we have been able to build a scalable technology platform thousands of people can now use.

Let’s talk restoration. What is the problem that iink is solving? 

At a very high level, we’ve taken a very paper driven, fragmented and manual process that exists across most major banks in the United States and found a way to digitally transform and make it automated. The main thing that we’re solving for at iink is that the mortgage bank can sign off on a claim check. It’s a very similar idea and solution to what TurboTax did for people filing their taxes.

How is iink’s technology platform able to bring together every stakeholder in the restoration payments ecosystem – including property owners, public adjusters, contractors, and insurance companies – to streamline payments for a faster, more efficient process?

Let’s consider a scenario in which John, the homeowner, has had hurricane damage to his property. In order to disperse the claim check, the mortgage banks have to get the multiple parties you outlined involved, and the kicker is they’re all frequently geographically dispersed.

In this scenario, the public adjusters and ABC Contracting all have a piece of information that the mortgage bank may need to sign the claim check. For example, the bank may want to see a copy of the contract, license and insurance of ABC Contracting to know that the property is being restored by a legitimate professional. The bank will also want to see the loan number information from John, the homeowner, as well as information about his insurance policy. Finally, the mortgage company may want a copy of the public adjuster’s estimate to understand if the $50,000 check written to cover John’s damage is actually going to cover all of the work that has been assessed.

In addition to needing to know all of the different pieces of the puzzle, the mortgage bank’s claim check will also often require the signatures of all these parties. When my cofounders started iink as a service-based business in 2017, they used to pay a courier $800 a week to drive to the homeowner’s house and get them to sign the check, and then drive to the public adjuster’s house and get them assigned the check. They would then drive back to the bank to deposit the claim funds.

Iink’s platform solves all of these challenges by effectively being a smart contract solution that holds all parties involved accountable to the initial agreement and disperses funds equitably amongst those involved, and all remotely. No more needing to physically sign a paper check or go to the bank.

How much faster can iink’s solution allow restoration pros to get paid? 

Using iink, the process can be up to 60 times faster. I usually say that the process in the absence of iink can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days, depending on the size of the claim, which bank or banks you’re working with, etc. With iink by comparison, we can provide the capital in one business day.

What is the inspiration behind iink?

The reason we named ourselves iink was ironic because we wanted to get rid of the ink and the paper checks. About $421 billion are paid out each year in the United States on property and casualty claims, a vast majority of which involve mortgage companies and require the in-person signatures and bank visits I shared earlier. If we can make this all remote, then the process can be something that ultimately happens instantly and removes serious pain points for a lot of people.

The straw that broke the camel’s back for my cofounders was they had a customer who was out of their home for six months because the bank just was not facilitating an efficient process. They saw that and said enough is enough; there’s got to be a better way.

How many claims have already been processed through iink’s payment platform since inception?

Currently, approximately $250 million worth.

We’d love to hear a success story for iink that you’re currently really excited about.

We worked with a contractor who was supposed to finish someone’s house. They had the check from the insurance company. However, the homeowner was on vacation in Africa, and the contractor had absolutely no way of getting the homeowner to physically sign a check. By using iink’s platform, the contractor sent a text message and email to the homeowner, and they were able to instantly sign the check. It was deposited, and when the homeowner returned from Africa, their home was complete.

I think one of the altruistic and powerful things about our company is when you look at the contractors with whom we work. These are blue-collar guys who own and operate small businesses, and one of the main reasons some fail is because of cash flow problems. We’re helping keep those small businesses alive. On the other hand, for the homeowners, we’re bringing families back into their homes faster, which has become even more important after COVID. Homes are not just ‘homes’ anymore. It’s often where people work. It’s where they educate their kids.

To be honest, I feel like every time someone uses iink, it’s a success story I’m proud to talk about.

What are you most excited for in the next six months?

I’m most excited for getting closer to eliminating the paper check and building a completely digital ecosystem. There are still problems, even after the inception of iink, that paper checks cause for people, such as if a paper check needs to be reissued due to a mislabeled address. We’re using our next investments to double down on the integrations between insurance carriers and mortgage banks to build this end-to-end digital ecosystem.

Where can people find you to learn more?

Visit us online at