Japan’s JustInCase to launch AI-powered repair cost insurance for smartphone users

(From L to R) Yohei Sawayama (Managing Partner, 500 Startups Japan), Nakamura Takuo (SEO Engineer, JustInCase), Shinichi Nasukawa (CFO, JustInCase), Kazuya Hata (CEO, JustInCase), Hiroo Koizumi (CTO, JustInCase), Kuniyuki Iizawa (Designer, JustInCase), James Riney (Managing Partner, 500 Startups Japan)
Image credit: JustInCase

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based InsurTech startup JustInCase announced last week that it had fundraised from 500 Startups Japan in a seed round. The raised amount was not disclosed but is estimated to be a few hundred thousand dollars.

justInCase was founded in 2016 by Kazuya Hata (CEO) who had served the leading actuary consultancy Milliman and has been providing risk management services such as Asset Liability Management (ALM) to insurance companies, Hiroo Koizumi (CTO) who had engaged in modeling / data analysis of assets and liabilities, Shinichi Nasukawa (CFO) who had been involved in development of advertisement business platform at an ad agency as a data scientist and others. The team consists of technology-driven members as CEO and CFO that have engineering background, in addition to CTO.

Smartphone Insurance
Image credit: JustInCase

Smartphone Insurance — justInCase’s first product planned for launch soon — is a repair cost insurance service for smartphones. By analyzing users’ activity patterns with Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm and evaluating risk for each user, it provides insurance service with optimized fee. With this method, the firm realizes a cheaper service than AppleCare or ones provided by major carriers to smartphone users.

Since this field is a niche market which major insurance companies do not deal with, it is possible to generate new insurance demand and to establish cooperative relationships with conventional players. justInCase has been coordinating activities with the Kanto Local Finance Bureau in order to be registered as a small amounts and short term insurance provider, and plans an official launch of the service within 2018. Furthermore, it started accepting user pre-registrations on its website from the day.

While the details about Smartphone Insurance have not been  revealed yet, it is thought to be an app capable of self-diagnosis when insuring /claiming insurance in addition to carrying out user activity analysis like Sure, a similar service in the US. The Sure team behind the service is in its third year since its foundation and had raised $10.6 million in total including the series A round fundraising conducted this year.

As to same kinds of on-demand insurances for individuals in Japan, Warrantee launched Warrantee Now this month and Trov is expected to enter the Japanese market, although AI algorithm is not used in the calculation of insurance fee of these services.

Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy