Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Tech

Extend banks $40M to bring a new approach to the old game of extended warranties

Published

on

Extended warranties — those offers to add an extra year or two to an existing product warranty to give you a little more peace of mind in case something goes wrong with something you’ve purchased — have long been a part of the sales process when you’re buying big-ticket items from large stores. Today, a startup is announcing a large round of funding to help democratise the concept, using APIs to make extended warranties it into something that even the smallest retailers can offer on the least expensive items. 

Extend, which works with companies like Peloton, iRobot, ​Harman / JBL, Advance Auto Parts, Traeger Grills, BlendJet, SoClean, 1More, August Home, Balsam Hill, NewAir, Evolve Skateboards and some 150 others to build and handle extended warranties on their products, has raised $40 million in a Series B round of funding.

Woody Levin, the CEO and founder of the company, said in an interview that his ambition is to remove the roadblocks for smaller merchants (especially in the direct-to-consumer space) in offering extended warranties on their products, and for consumers, to remove the stigma attached to the concept, which some see as simply preying on people’s insecurities and not worth the paper they are written on (or in these days, the splash screen they appear on in the checkout flow of your online transaction).

“There has been a stigma around the extended warranty for way too long,” he said. “We want to create a more elegant experience. We want extend to be Apple Care for everything.”

Levin added that today, the company touches more than $27 billion in warrantable gross merchandise value. 

If Apple is where it’s aiming, Extend is working the right VCs, situated in the top shelf of investors. The round is being led by Meritech Capital — which has backed the likes of Facebook, Salesforce and Tableau, among others — with participation from PayPal Ventures and previous backers Great Point Ventures and Shah Capital Partners.

PayPal is a key investor here: it’s one of the most ubiquitous providers of online payments and other services for merchants, and will forever be on the lookout for those building technology that will lead to more conversions, especially in the current market, where social distancing has led to a boom in e-commerce, which in turn has led to a much more competitive landscape: more places to buy things, more discounts and more tech to keep people from navigating away and buying elsewhere.

“Merchants of all sizes can benefit from extended warranties but implementing and maintaining them has been too complex for many businesses,” said ​Jay Ganatra, Partner at PayPal Ventures​, in a statement. “Extend shares PayPal’s commitment to providing merchants with easy to use tools that help them better connect with and support their customers. On top of that, the Extend team has seriously improved the end-user experience through its use of their conversational chatbot. We’re excited to invest in Extend as it continues to redefine this space.”

Extend has raised $56 million to date, and it’s not disclosing valuation.

Extended warranties may pivot on the idea of providing more peace of mind to buyers who will, for example, take out Apple Care in order to make sure that their expensive iPhones don’t cost a fortune to fix or end up getting thrown away after a misadventure. But from the point of view of the merchant, they serve as a huge fillip to getting a sale over the line.

And over the last few years, as merchants have realised this, they’ve been applying the extended warranty to a lot more than just the most expensive things.

“The top 1% of merchants have been benefitting from that peace of mind,” Levin said. “If you look at Amazon, they are offering extended warranties on $40 backpacks. That’s because the purchase rate goes up when there is an extended warranty even being advertised.”

But advertising is not all: extended warranties generated a whopping $130 billion in 2019, with the figures growing at a rate of about 7.4% annually. 

The roadblock for many up to now has been that the companies that provide extended warranties are old and tend only to work with the biggest sellers. Companies like Squarespace and Assurion, Levin said, work with only the “top 1% of companies,” ignoring smaller companies. “These are legacy companies focused on one-off integrations,” he said.

Extend’s solution has been to take the modern approach: it has built an API that can be integrated into any e-commerce storefront or check-out flow (it works also with others like Affirm that are also trying to disrupt and modernise this process). The actual can cost as little as $19.99 or far more than that for one- or two-year plans.

Extend then partners with underwriters like AIG to provide the insurance backing to the warranties. Those who claim back can file claims by speaking with an agent, but it also offers an automatic chatbot 24 hours a day to deal with claims. Levin said that some 98% of claims are processed through her. (She is called Kayley.)

Those claims, in turn, are processed with as little hassle as possible: since they are tied to transactions that happened online, buyers don’t need to have kept receipts in order to claim since Extend tracks that for them. It typically issues credits back for a buyer to either re-purchase the same product, or something else of equivalent value, at the same point of sale.

“Meritech always strives to work with companies that are seeking to define the future of an industry, and that’s exactly what Extend is doing with its platform,” said ​Alex Clayton, General Partner at Meritech Capital, in a statement. ​“Extend is filling a huge gap in the eCommerce infrastructure market by streamlining the process for merchants to offer extended warranties and protection plans on their products, and providing a seamless customer experience for consumers from start to finish. We’re eager to see what’s next.”

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

Advertisement

You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

Published

on

Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

Source

Continue Reading

Tech

This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

Published

on

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Trending