Japan’s Warrantee foraying into on-demand insurance in partnership with industry giants

From left: Warrantee CEO Yusuke Shono, Tokio Marine Nichido Managing Executive Officer Yusuke Otsuka
Image credit: Warrantee

See the original story in Japanese.

Warrantee, the Japanese startup offering a cloud-based warranty management service, announced in early July during a joint press conference with Tokio Marine Nichido (TSE: 8766) held in Tokyo that they will develop an on-demand insurance service called Warrantee Now. In addition to Tokio Marine Nichido, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance are also participating as insurance underwriters in Warrantee Now, and through the use of Mitsuibussan Insurance, they have created an insurance subscription service that uses a smartphone app to offer the necessary insurance when it is needed.

Warrantee Now creates an environment that makes it possible to sign up for or cancel insurance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week starting at just 10 yen (about 10 cents US) per day. Warrantee plans to begin the service by the end of August 2017, and is aiming for 100,000 subscribers in one year and 1 million by 2020.

The companies listed by role as they prepare for the launch of Warrantee Now
Image credit: Warrantee

Warrantee is a startup founded in Osaka in October of 2013. By providing apps that manage consumer electronic warranty certificates on the cloud to users, it becomes possible for companies to track which households have what kind of products. For the user, there are advantages such as the ability to browse the instruction manuals of products, second-hand purchase requests and repair requests. Merits for companies include the possibility of targeting advertisement and more effective marketing.

Warrantee raised seed funds from Nippon Venture Capital (NVCC) in November 2013 (no funding amount disclosed). The company then participated in the startup competition of Hack Osaka in 2014. Also in 2014, they raised tens of millions of yen in the seed round from Cookpad. (In Warrantee’s most recent company outline, Yoshiteru Akita, who at the time was the CEO of Cookpad, is noted as one of the major shareholders.)

In April of this year, the company entered into a capital and business alliance with Autobacs Seven, which develops a car repair/purchase assessment network, and began an asset management service for automobiles. In May, they won the audience award at KDDI Mugen Labo 11th Demo Day with the automobile management service.

“Warrantee Now” mobile app
Image credit: Warrantee

This development will probably be hailed as the first venture into InsureTech in Japan. It seems we finally know why Warrantee, a non-fintech startup born in  Osaka, elected to establish their Tokyo headquarters in the Finolab FinTech hub.

In the space of on-demand insurance services, we’ve seen that California-based Trov recently got new funding and will expand into the Japanese market by assistance from local insurance giant Sompo Holdings (TSE:8630). In July, another US-based InsureTech startup Sure launched a mobile-centric on-demand insurance service. Singapore-based PolicyPal, offering a on-demand insurance recommendation service by chatbot, won the audience award at Orange Fab Asia‘s latest batch Demo Day.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka