THE BRIDGE

tag Warrantee

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

SHARE:

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. 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…

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

Japan’s Cookpad takes 16% stake in one-stop warranty management startup Warrantee

SHARE:

See the original story in Japanese. The Bridge learned earlier this week that Warrantee, an Osaka-based startup that aims to digitalize product warranties, announced that Japanese recipe site Cookpad has taken a 16% stake in the former company. Details of the investment has not been disclosed but it’s likely to be a seed funding worth six-digits in US dollars. Warrantee proposes a one-stop process, registering personal data in advance on their service. In this way warranties for a specified user can be quickly registered regardless of products or companies. There are many cases where retail stores offer additional paid warranties, so the startup plans to earn a service charge from retailers by motivating users to opt into such additional warranties. Another business opportunity lies in tying up with retailers, allowing them to utilize user data accumulated on Warrantee for the retailer promotions. Warrantee CEO Yusuke Shono elaborated their business potential: By collecting warranty data users, we can learn when and what they have bought as well as predict their next replacement period. With warranty data inputs of multiple home appliances rather than a single one, we can even estimate how they use these appliances in their lives. Such information was out of reach for appliance manufacturers despite extensive partnering efforts with retailers. He thinks…

warrantee_featuredimage

See the original story in Japanese.

The Bridge learned earlier this week that Warrantee, an Osaka-based startup that aims to digitalize product warranties, announced that Japanese recipe site Cookpad has taken a 16% stake in the former company. Details of the investment has not been disclosed but it’s likely to be a seed funding worth six-digits in US dollars.

Warrantee proposes a one-stop process, registering personal data in advance on their service. In this way warranties for a specified user can be quickly registered regardless of products or companies. There are many cases where retail stores offer additional paid warranties, so the startup plans to earn a service charge from retailers by motivating users to opt into such additional warranties. Another business opportunity lies in tying up with retailers, allowing them to utilize user data accumulated on Warrantee for the retailer promotions.

Warrantee CEO Yusuke Shono elaborated their business potential:

By collecting warranty data users, we can learn when and what they have bought as well as predict their next replacement period. With warranty data inputs of multiple home appliances rather than a single one, we can even estimate how they use these appliances in their lives. Such information was out of reach for appliance manufacturers despite extensive partnering efforts with retailers.

He thinks that one possibility with the platform is proposing interior styling and decoration to potential furniture buyers.

Translation app Waygo wins HackOsaka pitch contest

SHARE:

See the original article in Japanese HackOsaka 2014, held earlier this month in Osaka, featured a pitch contest where 10 startups pitched their services and products. I’d like to introduce the prize winning startups below. Gold Prize: Waygo Awarded 500,000 yen ($5000), a round-trip ticket to London sponsored by British Airways, a Pebble Watch. Waygo is a translation app using that uses OCR technology. When the user scans Chinese sentences with their smartphone camera, the app will translate that sentence into English even without an internet connection. We previously mentioned this app when we covered Echelon 2013 and Innovation Weekend Grand Finale 2013. Last year, the startup took part in 500 Startups’ incubation program, and subsequently raised $900,000. CEO Ryan Rogowski shared two updates at the event. The first is that they are going to release a new version of their app that translates Chinese into Japanese. The other (and perhaps the most interesting one) is that they are now developing a prototype app for Google Glass. Silver Prize: TransferGo Awarded 300,000 yen ($3000), Pebble Watch Many people need to make international money transfers. But service charges at banks can be expensive, as are other transfer services like Western Union….

hackosaka-2014-competition-final

See the original article in Japanese

HackOsaka 2014, held earlier this month in Osaka, featured a pitch contest where 10 startups pitched their services and products. I’d like to introduce the prize winning startups below.

Gold Prize: Waygo

Awarded 500,000 yen ($5000), a round-trip ticket to London sponsored by British Airways, a Pebble Watch.

hackosaka-2014-competition-waygo
Waygo CEO/founder Ryan Rogowski

Waygo is a translation app using that uses OCR technology. When the user scans Chinese sentences with their smartphone camera, the app will translate that sentence into English even without an internet connection. We previously mentioned this app when we covered Echelon 2013 and Innovation Weekend Grand Finale 2013. Last year, the startup took part in 500 Startups’ incubation program, and subsequently raised $900,000.

CEO Ryan Rogowski shared two updates at the event. The first is that they are going to release a new version of their app that translates Chinese into Japanese. The other (and perhaps the most interesting one) is that they are now developing a prototype app for Google Glass.

Silver Prize: TransferGo

Awarded 300,000 yen ($3000), Pebble Watch

hackosaka-2014-competition-transfergo
TransferGo co-founder/CEO Daumantas Dvilinskas

Many people need to make international money transfers. But service charges at banks can be expensive, as are other transfer services like Western Union.

TransferGo, a startup based in Lithuania and London, offers international money transfers service at reasonable price. The transfer flow goes like this:

  • A user transfers money to the local TransferGo account, thus paying only a domestic transfer fee
  • TransferGo will then send the money from the TransferGo’s local account to a TransferGo account in the recipient’s country, and then on to the recipient.

The transfer fee is £2.50 plus 1.5% of the total amount of transferred. The company’s real rate of return is pretty high at 70%, and they have acquired licenses from authorities in the countries where they offer the service.

TransferGo was launched in May of 2013, and the number of the transfers in the first month was 941. But in January of 2014, that number shot up to 6,837. Currently they have 21,000 users and 98% of them said they want to recommend the service to friends. TransferGo is currently only available in Europe, but the startup aims to expand to other areas, including Asia.

Bronze Prize: StudyPact

Awarded 100,000 yen ($1000), Pebble Watch

hackosaka-2014-competition-studypact

StudyPact is a service that lets users to set a study goal and monetary stakes as as sort of bet with themselves. For example, you can set a goal of studying English for two hours a week, and then set the target stakes at $5. If you reach that goal, you get $5, but if not, you have to pay $5. In the event that you have to pay, the fee is split in half among users who supported the goal and the rest will go to StudyPact.

To realize more effective learning platforms, the startups plans to tie up with other educational platforms and services like Duolingo, Anki, Memrise, Coursera and Edx. The prototype that implemented Anki is expected to be released in early March, and there are plans develop apps for Android, Chrome, FireFox and iPhone. They’re now participating in an accelerator program hosted by Open Network Lab, so let’s wait and see what they present at the demo day in a few months.

Crosscorp Prize: Slumbor

Awarded 1-year free pass to co-working spaces run by Crosscorp in Singapore, Jakarta, Delhi, and Ho Chi Minh City.

hackosaka-2014-competition-slumbor
AnSing Technology CEO Dr. Hu Junhao

Slumbor is a Singapore-based startup producing a sort of smart mat designed to be put under your pillow. The mat has sensors that acquire various data, which are then transferred to the user’s smartphone via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). The startup currently attends a program run by the IoT incubator, HAXLR8R. They plan to raise funds at Kickstarter later on.

In addition to these four prize winners, I’d like to introduce two more startups that stood out for me in the competition.

Ontrox

hackosaka-2014-competition-ontrox
Ontrox CEO, Kazuki Arita

Ontrox is a startup aspiring to reduce traffic jams by using big data. The CEO says that by using such data, you can see certain patterns of traffic jams in cities. The advantage of Ontrox, he says, lies in their unique technology that can visualize the pattern of traffic jams and shorten the processing time for visualization.

The same technology can be used for other purposes such as analyzing and optimizing computer network data, or analyzing users’ online behavior on e-commerce sites. The startup was selected as one of 10 startups to participate in SVIP (Silicon Valley Innovative Program) hosted by the Japan External Trade Organization, which aims to launch global services from Silicon Valley.

Warrantee

hackosaka-2014-competition-warantee

Warrantee, an Osaka-based startup, aims to digitalize product warranties. When you buy a product, you typically have to fill out information on a paper form to validate the warranty. But because this is a time consuming process, many users skip it.

Warrantee proposes a one-stop process, registering personal data in advance on their service. In this way the user can quickly register warranties for different products or from different companies. There are many cases where retail stores offer additional paid warranties, so the startup plans to earn a service charge from retailers by motivating users to opt into such additional warranties. Another business opportunity lies in tying up with retailers, allowing them to utilize user data accumulated on Warrantee for the retailer promotions.

hackosaka-2014-networking