Even with the closure of Groupon in South Africa, the ex-founding director Daniel Guasco has been busy with a range of other projects. He is part of the South African Business Angel Network (SABAN), VC Team Africa Ventures, and investing in Hyperli.
Guasco recently launched Click2Sure, an insurance startup, which is a bit of a strange industry for someone with a Groupon background. Ventureburn had a chance to catch up with Guasco and chat to him about this new venture.
Ventureburn: With your daily-deals experience (Groupon), why start an insurance-related business?
Daniel Guasco: It was from my experience at Groupon and in e-commerce more generally that I identified the business we have built. I was looking for a way to bolt on insurance during the checkout process and couldn’t find a suitable insurance product offering nor a platform to easily integrate it.
While I have successfully built e-commerce and telecoms companies to date, my strength lies in identifying disruptive consumer-centric technology-enabled business models and executing on them.
VB: How is the company funded and will you be looking at other funding for it?
DG: Click2Sure has been substantially funded by Team Africa Ventures – Daniel Guasco (sic) and business partner Wayne Gosling’s personal technology investment fund with over 13 global investments to date. In addition, it has closed a sizeable seed round extension from a group of global super angels early this year.
Click2Sure had also seen much interest from a variety of both local and global VCs, while the response from potential partners and customers had also been really positive.
VB: Is Click2Sure actually providing the insurance (in addition to the platform) or is it merely connecting retailers/customers to existing insurance companies/policies?
DG: Click2Sure is a licensed digital intermediary. We co-design and partner with insurers to provide relevant insurance products and then via our technology platform enable retailers and service providers both online and off-line to offer their customers insurance on an item or service they have purchased. We are B2B2C.
VB: How would customers, especially B2C, take advantage of Click2Sure?
DG: Our platform enables the digital distribution of insurance in an FSB-compliant and seamless manner. To use an example, a customer purchases a high-value consumer item (i.e. camera /laptop/cellphone) via an online e-commerce provider. During the checkout process, the customer is offered a policy of insurance on the item they have just purchased. They choose to take up the offer or decline it.
Click2Sure’s platform ensures the insurance offer is correctly presented to the customer and manages the process of premium collection all the way through to enabling the customer to manage their policy online and required reporting to insurers.
The alternative would be for the customer to phone their broker, get a quote and fill in forms. Click2Sure digitally and seamlessly replaces this manual process and a whole lot more.
VB: What kind of rough insurance costs would be associated items? Is it a one-off cost or does it depend on the product?
DG: Click2Sure uses three tier pricing (Silver/Gold/Platinum) and individually prices each item based on value and category. On lower value items roughly below R3500, we ask for a once-off payment for a 12 month period. For higher value items we use recurring monthly premiums to make it more affordable.
A key part of our focus has been designing insurance products that are super simple for the customer to understand and present it in a way that is transparent (no hundreds of pages of policy documents, no complex claims processes etc.)
Most importantly we have worked hard to get the cost of the policy down significantly. This has been possible by automating the administration process and cost of acquiring a customer upfront.
VB: Has the company partnered with any major local retailers?
DG: We have a number of integrations in progress with our first launch planned for [the] middle of February [at the time of the interview – ed]. I would need to first obtain permission from the relevant retailers before we could publish, though.
VB: Do you have an idea of the growth rate since its launch?
DG: Currently, we have a number of lines of insurance at various stages of development. We have been overwhelmed with demand from potential retail and service provider partners who are looking to embed the Click2Sure platform enabling their customers to purchase insurance as a value-added offering.
VB: After South Africa, what’s next for Click2Sure?
DG: C2S is a global business which has started off in South Africa partially because of our local business and retail connections but mainly due to the complexity of laws pertaining to insurance which is significantly more complex than a number of other markets, so a great place to test and validate our model.
We have a number of emerging markets where we actively applying for licenses and partnering with local insurers.