While e-commerce is growing rapidly, offering modern product warranties remains challenging for all but the largest retailers. Many large retailers have already implemented successful extended warranty programs but small and medium-sized merchants face significant roadblocks in setting up their own due to minimum premium requirements by insurers, long commercial onboarding times, and limited internal resources to set up and manage the program. Singapore-based startup anycover aims to change the game. Anycover helps small and medium-sized merchants to launch and manage their extended warranty program through a plug-and-play API solution. Adoption and monitoring of the program are easy, without merchants having to create it from scratch.
Anycover was founded in November 2021 by Bharadwaj Ogirala and Jan Rothkegel with the vision of transforming the traditional extended warranties game. In his own words, Bharad describes anycover as “A simple yet powerful solution for merchants to generate incremental revenue, boost conversion, and increase customer loyalty.” “Recognizing the frustrations many consumers have with legacy programs, we also overhaul the consumer experience by making warranties more transparent and flexible while drastically improving the claims process. Hereby, we want to re-establish consumers’ trust in product warranties”, Bharad notes.
In recent years, the most significant trend in the Southeast Asian e-commerce space has been the direct-to-consumer shift, accelerated by the pandemic that has led to the mass migration of consumers online. As a result, the e-commerce market in Southeast Asia is evolving rapidly and is expected to double by 2025. From a merchant’s perspective, these growth prospects further intensify an already competitive landscape.
“Accelerated by the pandemic, we have seen an unprecedented seller’s boom. Our solution helps merchants to successfully differentiate in a crowded marketplace by providing a value-added service centered around an elevated customer experience. We believe that competing on price is no longer feasible as today’s shoppers demand a value-driven experience.” Jan expresses.
How does anycover transform the traditional extended warranties game?
Anycover’s mission is to democratize the extended warranties concept for small and medium-sized merchants by building a solution that is easily integrated into any online store. Typically, implementing a warranty program takes merchants at least 3-6 months. By leveraging its tech solution and partnerships with leading insurers, anycover can cut this entire process to a day. It also aims to open up new categories for product protection, such as furniture, sports equipment, jewelry, and optics.
Recognizing the frustrations with legacy programs, anycover also aims to make product warranties more transparent and simplify the coverage terms, so they are easy to understand. Complicated terms and conditions have often been a deterrent for shoppers.
Traditionally when making a warranty claim, customers, who want their product to be fixed as fast as possible, often have a bad experience. Bharad explains that filing a claim typically entails taking time out of business hours to call busy customer hotlines and filling out lengthy and redundant claim forms. Once filed, it can take one or two weeks before the product is approved for repair or replacement. Facing these challenges, customers often end up not making a claim in the first place. Anycover drastically shortens this process and makes the claim process fuss-free and user-friendly. It has built a 24/7 online chatbot, enabling customers to make a claim instantly within minutes.
What’s next for anycover?
Bharad and Jan both hail from corporate backgrounds in engineering and finance and left their respective jobs to build something together after meeting during the Antler entrepreneurship program in Singapore. The duo came up with the idea for anycover as they both had frustrating experiences with product failures in the past. They successfully raised a first US$450k pre-seed round at the beginning of this year, led by Powerhouse Ventures, with participation from 1337 Ventures, Walter de Oude (the founder of Singlife), and Khairil Abdullah (Veon Ventures’ CEO and former Chairman of Axiata Boost).
Since then, the team has grown to more than 10 people through local and remote hires. The team is officially looking to launch its product over the following weeks and has received strong initial interest from merchants across product categories.
Moving forward, Jan and Bharad intend to take their product to other selected markets in Southeast Asia. “Each market in the region is unique, so we’ll have to fully understand how we can deliver a solution that is tailored to the specific needs of merchants and consumers in each one of them.” conveys Jan. Anycover is also looking to build stronger relationships with insurers across the region. With current insurance penetration into e-commerce at around 1%-2%, the duo believes there is strong growth potential to be tapped into.