Link To Guest Website:https://getakko.com
Title: “Subscription Based Warranties For All Your Electronics”
Guest: Eric Schneider & Jared Brier – AKKO
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC
Click here to read the transcript
Well, hello, everybody. Welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs. I guess this is the 2021 summer edition. Over 7,000 guests. A million people have listened to the show 28 countries and up next in our counting and almost like McDonald’s over a billion served Eric Schneider and Jared Brier, Akko founders
Akko like taco.
Okay Akko. Okay, well welcome guys. And why don’t you tell me about Akko?
Yeah, thanks so much for having us really excited to be here. So, so at ACO we’re really revolutionizing the electronics warranty industry. So our flagship product is a single subscription. It’s only $15 a month and it protects your phone plus twenty-five other devices against damage and theft. So we actually started the company. We’re not from insurance space, we’re consumers first. And so we saw that the most of the focus in the current warranty space is on retailers and insurers. And so we knew there was actually an opportunity to take a more consumer first approach to drastically improve the production experience. And so that’s what we launched with. I actually got a bunch of awesome press and customer feedback and reviews. So we ranked the top choice for phone and device protection by gadget review Investopedia and Android central.
Jared (1m 14s):
And we also released actually a phone only protection plan that has also some of the best coverage and most affordable in the market. And so we actually initially wants direct consumer and we launched last year during, during COVID. So we went direct to consumer, but we got excited to get a bunch of inbound interest from business partners. So we actually realized that, you know, we initially regarded consumer. Now we’re really, really focusing on a dual approach that there’s countless businesses across the us that also wanted ways to offer seamless device protection for their customers, members, students, or teams to actually began. And we’re creating entire platform just to service, you know, B2B and B2B to see opportunities. And so kind of today, we’re really this more universal platform that sits at the center of repair shop partners, our underwriting options, customers and business partners.
Jared (1m 54s):
And we’re really kind of the center of that ecosystem.
Jeffrey (1m 57s):
And how did you guys come together?
Jared (2m 0s):
Yeah, so it’s actually a funny story. So last fall, there’s actually, we’re both part of the same Jewish fraternity called AAPI and there’s online networking group where people talk about things they’re working on, both from kind of a startup and, and business perspective. And Jared mentioned about ACO. I found it fascinating and he kind of hasn’t had the idea initially actually, and he was working on it, had bootstrapped and I thought it was fascinating. The first call was 30 minutes. It’s supposed to be 30 minutes, turned to three hours. We realized that we were really great and a fit for fit together. And that we were both really excited about the product and pushing it forward ever since.
Jeffrey (2m 33s):
Oh, that’s kind of neat. It’s sort of like a Jewish business dating service.
Jared (2m 38s):
Yeah. Very funny. Yeah.
Jeffrey (2m 41s):
It just had that feel about it. So it’ll like J D
Jared (2m 44s):
Yeah. It’s like, you know, you get that first call is you’re a little nervous, you know, but then it, it went really well. And, and then we like, honestly, we kind of were talking every day. We’re like, oh, the proxies is super interesting and just going back and forth on it. And, and
Jeffrey (2m 56s):
What’s your, what’s your backgrounds that sort of led to this? You must have some similar backgrounds.
3 (3m 2s):
Yeah. So I actually initially founded ACO a couple of years ago. My background was in the event and hospitality industry actually, but what I really liked was logistics operations and also branding and digital marketing. So I pursued this endeavor when I recognized this opportunity in the insurance and warranty space to basically simplify the entire process of protecting your everyday stuff, mainly your electronic devices in, in just a more affordable, simpler way for the consumer. Cause I was a consumer myself that had, you know, phone insurance, a laptop warranty, guitar center, protection plans on all my recording equipment. And so we, you know, launched this much more sort of unique $15 per month subscription that just protects all your stuff in one place.
3 (3m 47s):
So really ultimately it’s really just about still sort of providing this great experience and really focusing on that first and foremost and,
Jared (3m 56s):
And in my background is actually, I started as an engineer. I then was D I was doing jet engine engineering and mechanical aerospace mix. That’s what you do consulting, sorry, someone’s ringing the doorbell. You know, work from home. I switched into, into consulting and was doing kind of managing consulting for consumer travel transport industrials companies. I started a nonprofit for grad school test, so GMAT and Jerry to provide free mentoring to a can afford tutoring. That was kind of led me into business school, sorry, business school at, at HBS at Harvard in Boston, and then was working in venture capital some and actually met Jared kind of through the kind of Harvard’s, you know, startup venture ecosystem that I was there was exploring passive 3 85.
Jeffrey (4m 39s):
That’s a very diligent person. I know that sounds very important. It’s it’s it sounds like the British air race, you know, when I think about all these gadgets, I think about millennials, am I right or wrong? That that’s your most susceptible group? Are they the early adapters? You know, it’s funny,
3 (5m 1s):
We actually initially started mainly marketing towards college students, but what we kind of quickly found is that the difficult thing about sort of telling young kids or, you know, younger adults, why they should care about protecting their stuff with an insurance product kind of goes over their head. It usually kind of falls more on the parents to pick up the bill when things are damaged or stolen. But obviously we all rely very heavily on, you know, items like our phone and our laptops and electronics. So we definitely see a lot of early adopters or the sort of tech forward folks that have a whole bunch of different variety of homeless ctronics, but we have also a huge number of families as well, that sort of recognize that paying their carrier for phone insurance on four or five lines really adds up.
3 (5m 42s):
It’s really expensive. And so we’re much more affordable and simple way to provide actually better protection than what your carrier will provide. And then with our everything protected ACO plan, you can actually protect all the electronics in your home as well. And so that’s a pretty universal need. I would say everyone kind of has in the country is protecting all of our gadgets and devices.
Jeffrey (6m 2s):
Wow, interesting. So is this a very competitive field?
3 (6m 7s):
You know, there’s a couple, a large giants in this space. I would say there’s a couple of huge insurance companies that work directly with the big four carriers. And so we’re all probably aware of those couple of brands that provide phone insurance through 18 T Verizon T-Mobile sprint. And then there’s of course SquareTrade as well. That was really one of the pioneers in sort of the warranty space, but more going at it from an angle of selling you an individual protection plan for each item you own, since that’s something that’s going to benefit the retailer a lot more when they can sell you one protection plan for each item at the point of checkout. And so we’re really taking more of this subscription style approach, almost like what Spotify did to music, bundling it all into one single affordable monthly rate, and just making the experience overall better for how people consume music.
3 (6m 48s):
And so we sort of see yourselves doing that in the warranty protection plan space.
Jeffrey (6m 53s):
So who are your big clients targets? Do you have big client targets or is it more individual? Yeah. Sorry, go ahead.
Jared (7m 2s):
Yeah, I guess so from kind of a business development standpoint and really, you know, the consumer side, obviously that’s, you know, individuals, as Jared mentioned, you know, on the, on the business development side, there’s actually a variety of them types of businesses. So ranging from financial institutions to schools, to gig worker kind of apps and services, we actually had, you know, given that everyone relies on their phone every day, a lot of different types of businesses have reached out to us. So from kind of, you know, that really the, the expansion in distribution and in partnerships that reach out to us, it’s really centered around a variety of those types of groups, cell carriers, retail stores, you know, repair stores. There’s a lot of those types of groups and, and folks out there that we’ve been working with.
Jeffrey (7m 39s):
That’s very interesting. And, and, and if we wanted to find the company, how would we find you?
3 (7m 45s):
Yeah. So you can visit get aco.com. That’s getakko.com. And whether you want to reach out and learn more about the product or for partnership, folks can visit the site and get in touch. We also created a discount code. So if any listeners wanted to sign up and get their first month free and see this new way of doing protection for your devices, this count code is R E as in Radio. Entrepreneurs’ one.
Eric (8m 11s):
You do that on purpose.
3 (8m 13s):
Absolutely. Yeah. I wanted to do that since we’re coming on the show, we’re really grateful for having you guys having this.
Jeffrey (8m 19s):
That’s very nice of you. Well, we hope you come back again and I want to remind everybody that my name is Jeffrey Davis and I can be firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s made usa.com. You can also find this interview on others on our website, renovated email@example.com, also Radio Entrepreneurs on LinkedIn, Spotify, Facebook at biz at on the radio on Twitter at Radio Entrepreneurs, Instagram, YouTube, iTunes, Google podcasts, and Stitcher. So you can find these guys just about anywhere in the next couple of weeks. And I want thank both of you for being on the show today. And I look forward to talking to you again.
Jeffrey (8m 60s):
Yeah. Thanks for having us as well. Thank you. Remind everybody. This is Radio Entrepreneurs.
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