Today, I'm excited to have on our show Andy Bodrog, director of partnership in Cover Genius, a high growth InsurTech startup that is providing embedded insurance. This is a new type of product working under the hood of different products you might use, such as airlines, Amazon, etc. You don't even see it, but it's working through API - this is a new type of partnerships.
We discussed with Andy how he started in partnerships in Lemonade, another amazing InsurTech, which went public.
How he started building referral partnerships and then moved into embedded partnerships. What are the things that he sees up and coming in this new type of API-enabled partnerships?
And what are the secrets of success in this new world?
This is a very interesting and trendy conversation because recently Bessemer Venture Partners mentioned embedded products and indirect monetization as the number 1 trend in the SaaS market. I think you will learn a lot from this conversation. If you like this content, please subscribe to our YouTube,
Starting in partnerships
How partnerships are different from sales?
Lemonade - the first insurtech unicorn
Launching partnerships in Lemonade
From referral program to strategic and API embedded partnerships
Pitching to partners when you’re a new brand name
Building repeatable process and scaling partnerships
Embedded insurance - how it works?
How big is embedded insurance?
Partnership lifecycle in API partnerships
How scalable is the embedded strategy?
Customer view: embedded services vs old school partnerships?
Embedded as the core distribution strategy
Will embedded solutions become the future of distribution?
Do partnership teams need a new skill set to succeed?
Embedded case study: Rhino Insurance
Fully white-labeled partnerships
You've been one of the people who went to the same business school and went to partnerships and doing great. You've been working in great companies such as Lemonade and Cover Genius, I'm really excited to talk about all of that with you today. But let's start from the very beginning. After LBS you went to financial services and then sales, and then you transitioned to partnerships. What was behind your motivation to go into a partnership career?
It really happened, happenstance to be honest. I started out at Reuters right after LBS, which was a large organization and I really did more of like half sales, more customer support working under the sales team there. And then in transition to New York to more of a start up Money.net and did full on B2C, B2B sales. And then after that time from my next role, I wasn't really sure what I would like to do, but of course, sales lent its hand and I ended up in partnerships in Lemonade. Which was to me unbeknownst what that really means. But I quickly found out that that's an area that was really interesting for me and mixes multiple things that I've learned along the way until then.
You were in sales, and there are multiple companies who actually call sales people ‘partnerships’, as a marketing trick, nicer touch, less threatening, and so on. How do you really differentiate between sales and partnerships after a couple of years in partnerships?
I would say that sales, at least the types of sales I did was SaaS sales, selling the financial terminal to banks or financial institutions was really more in a silo. You were more working on your own, and had a quota and really used the classical tools that everyone really thinks about when they think about sales. Cold calling, funnel building, Salesforce, and all kinds of CRMs, starting talking about the price, the value of the product. These all circle around the product of the given company. You're an expert at that as a salesperson and trying to constantly pitch the company, sometimes coming up with discounts, sometimes coming up with ways to make the sale happen. And then once the sale happens it is done. Then you move on to the next constantly on a hunt, in a way.
With partnerships, what I've seen is more symbiotic. It's more of a win-win situation, it's more of uncovering the problem at the partner and the company. And really a more consultative approach. You're trying to figure out a way, especially in the embedded world that I am in now, a way for the partner, how can we help you with the given products we have. And often it's a revenue source for the partner. Instead of selling, you're really providing them revenue. I will say that a lot more work happens internally with internal teams that I haven't really seen in the sales roles I've been at before. So once you're in partnership, especially with more complicated products like insurance, you're relying more on internal teams, legal, compliance, account management, etc.
This is a perfect segue to my next question. You quickly found yourself in Lemonade, which is the first tech insurance unicorn. And probably the company which put InsurTech on the map in general. It's very well known, but at the same time it would be interesting to hear from you, what Lemonade is and what are the core strengths of the company?
It's one of the OGs of the insurtechs. The whole insurtech industry, insurance technology is quite new, I would say about 6-7 years at most. The goal is to digitize and innovate the whole value chain of insurance - from buying a policy to the claims. From quoting to claims handling. That's what Lemonade does, it's one of the new insurtech carriers - companies that have their own book and they can create their own products, can price the policies. It started off with renters insurance, and now it grew into multiple lines. It's a multiproduct carrier insurtech that's international. That's its claim to fame, essentially. And it’s the first one that came out with machine learning, AI chatbot and a brand mantra that helps with causes, so you can donate your money or unclaimed money at the end of the year. The branding behind it is very good. And of course, the policy, the claims experience is also top notch. That's what Lemonade is, it digitizes the old school dinosaur insurance world, where you had brick and mortar agents.
What did your partnership strategy look like in Lemonade? What are the main levers through which the company was scaling and which role partnership played it?
It's really fascinating to join a company at an early age, especially companies that have a high growth after and companies are still trying to figure out how they go to market. I joined Lemonade in 2017, very early, it's two years in the making. 2015 is when they started. And they just started selling in the US just renters insurance. As you know, insurance, especially the P&C (property and casualty) side renters whole model. Usually the large organizations have all of these bundled and working at a startup that has no name yet in an industry, which it's quite based on brand names and trust is not easy, especially when their go-to-market strategies are totally different. It's fully digital, it's focusing on Facebook, Google Ads, and then the partnership team was newly created. And it was our job to really figure out how we can distribute these products in a digital manner via partnerships. Really blank slate is what I would say how it all started. We had an inkling idea of who might be an ideal partner for renters insurance.
For the company at large, most of the distribution happened in digital ads, Google Facebook ads. There's a very good digital marketing team. They have partnerships with blogs, with newspapers, anything online, and then ads. It's very B2C focused and about 20% or less so was strategically important to create partnerships with large organizations - property managers, universities, property management softwares, so really any company where there's a lot of renters. And our role there was really to uncover and figure out how we can distribute via partnerships.
And what partnerships really meant at that time, is your simple referral link type of situation. You sell, you sign a contract with a company, let's say a property management firm that manages a few thousands units nationwide, and you pitch them on the simplicity and the value that this insurance Lemonade would bring. “Hey, we're a new entrant, our prices are lower, your residents already like us - we can see that. There are people who use us at your organization, your property, and we can help you with your compliance simpler. And plus, of course, we pay, which is general”. All insurance companies for Renters insurance, when they partner they would pay the property manager, either per quote or per policy basis.
You're essentially coming to the market that's already saturated. They already know this, they already have defined partnerships, they have to figure out how do you switch? How do you make them switch, so you have to have angles - the digital first approach is really good, faster claims, lower prices. And basically it's a mix of values that hopefully is important to partners.
You're essentially coming to the market that's already saturated. They already know this, they already have defined partnerships, they have to figure out how do you switch? How do you make them switch, so you have to have angles - the digital first approach is really good, faster claims, lower prices.
And basically it's a mix of values that hopefully is important to partners. I don't want to get too deep into this, but basically that was the idea - trying to figure out areas where they might not have that many partners or Lemonade's values chime well with the property manager.
You just explained how partnerships started and then grew in Lemonade, but after let's say the first year, what was the evolution of the partnerships from the referral program? Maybe an advanced way to pitch your partnership to companies? What was your learning that you didn't have before?
I would say it had a really interesting evolution. After two years I've been there from simple Excel, tracking of referral links we grew into the embedded approach, fully API. We created an API widget and a whole API page for prospective partners. And we started looking at strategic brands. Quicken Loans, for example, a lot of fintech apps. Where do young renters live digitally - MoneyLion, Acorns, companies that they might use for banking. And renters insurance is a great addon embedded into that app. Because you're a young professional, you're most likely renting, you want to have renters insurance, and you want to have a digital low cost renters insurance, and Lemonade is a great partner for that. And also brands between a company like Acorns and Lemonade fit together.
Those are the partnerships we started moving into. And as we added new products like homeowners insurance, now the whole mortgage world opens. That's why Quicken Loans and other loan providers. And these are the partnerships that are longer tail, more strategic. You're signing one deal with a Quicken loan versus hundreds of property managers is not the same magnitude. That's how the evolution of partnerships were while I was there.
When you started to Lemonade, Lemonade didn't have the gravitas of the brand that it has now. How did you pitch your company to potential partners?
That's the holy grail with all startups - how do you make them known when they're unknown. Especially, in an industry that is very conservative. Insurance is not something you wake up with every day. And there's household names already GEICO, Liberty, State Farm, and it's really hard to have a new entrant. There haven't really been new entrants for decades. What we use in general resonated well with the younger people. Property managers that were younger, universities, for example, I found as a low hanging fruit. And what we try to come up with is to figure out communities where our renters insurance is already being bought by the consumer.
We can see that on the back end, if someone signs up in real time. And it's a great way to then pitch those communities where I see already that people are buying Lemonade. Texas and California are two big states for this. And then of course after that it's tricky, because why would they want to switch over, as I said, when they already have a partnership with another company?
That's where the real sales comes - the relationship building, you pitch the value, we’re faster, lower price, all digital, we provide you better partner reports. So playing with this mix and trying to figure out what's important for the partner.
With the embedded approach that came later, the brand equity of Lemonade already grew. It was a lot easier, two years gone, the company started to have a name in the sector and there it was a lot more about brand alignment. A company like Acorns or MoneyLion, where the consumers are predominantly young and the core goal of the company is saving money or financial education. It fits well with an upcoming startup like Lemonade, which whole goal is to help you as a renter to insure your property and save money actually with that.
That is a really good insight into the evolution from the beginning of partnerships. What I hear often is that companies typically start by figuring out who their joint clients are. And as you just mentioned, if you already have existing clients who have already bought - it's much easier to persuade a partner.
Last question about Lemonade - over your time in Lemonade and starting your career in partnership in a big time, did you find a way to speed up building a partner pipeline or speed up the process from beginning of partnership to closing, which is typically pretty difficult?
Yeah, but I’d say it's more the early days ride, the whole referral link type of partnerships with Lemonade.com. And a partner's language is often used in these referral types of partnerships. Where we started to look at is - this strategy works. it's scalable manually. The more effort we put in, we talk with a given type of client, let's say property manager in this case, the more partnerships we're able to sign and each partnership has the same process. We talk, we demo, we create the link, and we sign a simple agreement that is about the revenue share.
Then we started thinking “okay, if this can work with effort manually, the same process over and over again, there must be a way we can automate this, way or scale this 10x.”
That was an important strategy we started discussing internally. We started looking at email campaigns. How can we automate the whole contract signing with DocuSign? Should we provide partners with the link right away and then once they're using it and interested then they come to us?
Instead of a push strategy we started thinking about a pull strategy. How can we mass scale the efforts? How can we let this partnership, this referral renters insurance program be known, and then awaiting people to come to us who are interested about it without advertisements or anything, but purely LinkedIn, emails, etc. Relying on where we know communities are already having renters insurance being signed by the customers, the guests or the residents there. That was a big shift. And again, this is pre-embedded strategies. This is still just the whole basic referral link partnerships.
Thank you so much for explaining, I think it's awesome. Moving on into a new era of partnerships and embedded strategy, which you mentioned a couple of times. Let me outline my understanding and I would love to hear how you understand embedding?
Today with the proliferation of API, companies instead of building the full stack of the products itself, they essentially embed other services keeping their own brand. They embed other services and they monetize their existing customer base, or they provide a richer set of services to existing customer base. And in this way, they get more revenue, and they retain customers, and they make them happier.
Can you explain how you started doing that in Lemonade and how embedded insurance works?
The whole embedded world is a trend right now or in the last few years. It started probably with embedded finance, which many times we don't even know that a lot of these products - let's say you're ordering Uber, you're ordering Starbucks. There's a bunch of things that are already embedded and we use it as customers, it's all about convenience. People already have trusted brands they use and they like to go to those trusted brands. And when there's a new offer on that trusted brand, if it's an embedded solution, and embedded add-on product, you trust the brand, so you purchase it. With the insurance world, this is the newest distribution strategy. And I’d say it's in very early stages. It's the newest trend, and it's supposed to grow 5-10x in the next 10 years. It's a really important strategy with the proliferation, obviously, of API's.
People already have trusted brands they use and they like to go to those trusted brands. And when there's a new offer on that trusted brand, if it's an embedded solution, and embedded add-on product, you trust the brand, so you purchase it. With the insurance world, this is the newest distribution strategy with the proliferation, obviously, of API's. It's supposed to grow 5-10x in the next 10 years.
Where the InsurTech space has gotten from the digitization, first taking agents away, digitizing the quote, buying and claims experience. Now we're at a point where how can we embed products into unrelated industries? Think of Uber, you're an Uber driver, there's an embedded insurance in the app for you or a rideshare company that you are for example, e-scooter. There's an embedded coverage for using that e-scooter. Or Airbnb, for example - short term rentals, very prevalent. You're booking a trip, and you're covered behind the scenes, sometimes you don't even need to buy it. Flights is really one of the most classical examples and we're really strong in all travel sector. COVID really made the attach rates skyrocket, everyone became risk averse because of COVID. People were unsure “Oh, if I travel, what's going to happen if there's going to be a lockdown” , so the attached travel insurance, medical coverage, baggage coverage became more standard than in a few years. And there's a lot of companies that are coming into this space now. This whole embedded insurance is a new distribution trend that will be growing quite a lot in the next few years.
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I completely agree with your point about embedded finance. At least people who are on the consumer side, they don't see that happening, as they don't look under the hood. You mentioned a couple of big companies, using as an example Airbnb, airlines and so on. But how big is it? How really pervasive is this becoming? Can you share a bit more insights on that?
It’s still in its infancy, it's really small and there's only a handful of companies that are de facto embedded insurance providers. And even those are just a few years old, Cover Genius where I'm working now is one of those. There's a few players in Europe, but it's really early stages and it's the newest trend. Embedded finance that I touched upon is a more mature area, and that's where I would highlight the most similarities with. Embedded insurance, platform as a service, insurance as a service, embedded insurance - these are the new buzzwords. APIs, restful APIs, the whole convenience factor. Each company, if you look industry wide at different industries, some industries like real estate, which I'm directing at the company, are slower to digitize. Travel, hotel booking obviously are super digital. All these companies are looking for ancillary services, add-ons if you will. And that's where embedded insurance comes into play. And of course, there needs to be a customer that can be protected. Elsewhere, there's no point in even talking about this. And there needs to be an activity or a purchase or a transaction where you can attach protection. Amazon, great partner of ours, very important. You're buying a sofa, or you're buying furniture, you're really buying an appliance, you want to have a warranty. When Amazon is attaching it in the booking flow, you might not know where it's coming from, you can go into the policy documents, but it's a convenient purchase for you. One click, and you're covered for that, let's say, stove. That's convenient for the customer, great for the insurer, and great for the partner, because they're having a stickier connection to the end customer. Not only does that customer use your platform to buy something, now you have an insurance relationship with them in a way. And oftentimes the insurance is recurring - renews annually for homeowners, even renters. There's a lot of interesting trends and value added with the whole embedded insurance world.
Completely agree with you. Recently, Bessemer Venture Partners, one of the biggest VCs called this embedding services/indirect monetization a number one trend. The more and more of what we see in general, is companies switching to the simple referral partnerships into this much more integrated way of working together. Can you dig a little bit deeper into how you as a company, which is Cover Genius, provide embedded insurance services to other companies? What does the typical cycle look like? Where do you typically start and how do you build relationships? How do you build a product? And what is the value that you provide for both companies in the end?
This is a great classic discussing partnerships, and this new trend of API partnerships. To start high level, just with the whole insurance framework, you have three players I will say - the carriers, Lemonade, State Farm, the companies that underwrite the policies that create the product. Then you have platforms and technology provider players; and then you have MGAs, which we are. Managing general agents are middlemen brokers between the carriers and between the end customer or the partner.
In this world, the partnership is very interesting, because we're partnering on one side with the carrier, where we're getting the insurance product from. And we're able to pitch, to go to a company and say, ‘hey, we have every insurance product that you might need, we're not an off-the-shelf company’. We're not, “hey, we have these five products, let's partner around one of them”. We're able to really be a consultant to that partner and solve a problem that they might not be able to find a solution or don't really even know the solution.
Autodesk is a great example. The company has a SaaS product, and engineers use its software to design buildings or products. It might have insurance carrier relationships on a commercial level. But what if it wants to add insurance to the engineers or the architects who use its program. It has millions of customers, but might not know what products are relevant or how can we add this to the digital subscriptions? That's where embedded insurance would come in, for example.
Ticketing is another great example. You're buying online tickets, like a Ticketmaster, for example, and you need missed event coverage or CFAR (Cancel for Any Reason). Or even in the travel space. And companies like us that can uncover these product needs and it can meet these product needs by talking with carrier partners that can fill this gap. And then comes the technology piece, the whole API and the technology integration.
We have a technology called xcover.com. That's really our backbone, that's our distribution platform that sits in the middle and connects the carrier, the product source, to the partner and is able to interface with that via RESTful APIs, microservices infrastructure. And we're able to also serve as the claim side for the partner. We're able to really come to a partnership and say “we will be your end to end solution for insurance, and we'll custom design and integrate those products”. Again, just saying out examples like travel products or ticketing products or real estate products. Any type, industry agnostic, we're able to help you.
And with this type of flexibility, of course, comes a lot of moving pieces into the partnership. You asked about how these partnerships are set up. The whole pitching and finding companies is really the key here. How do you uncover companies that need an embedded insurance solution? Most importantly, there must be a digital backbone to the partner company, a digital transaction, where we can embed into a protection product. And generally, discussions start open-ended. You're not selling anyone anything, you're trying to uncover a problem that the company has and find a solution for that. And each partnership is unique. Each time we're innovating, in a way. And it's very challenging also.
Quick question regarding scalable versus non scalable. In general, API strategy and embedded solutions are very scalable. At the same time, what are you explaining about working in a more integrated way with your partners, and actually trying to get to the stage when you have a pull from your partners. I think you're not pushing your referral links anymore, you're trying to help them to help the customers and earn more revenue. How scalable is that?
Surprisingly, extremely scalable, because one of the biggest advantages of anything embedded is once the integration happens, once the contracts are signed, even though it's a longer sales cycle, the product, the integration technology is there, it becomes a core part of the partner company. And when you're already in the door, you can then scale into other products. And we're a perfect partner for that, as I said, we're product and industry agnostic. Once we're, let's say, in a travel company, and we're providing them flight cancellation, we can then if the company's need grows into that, or new geographies, we can expand into that or expand into new product lines, like let's say a medical coverage or luggage protection. There's a lot of interesting growth opportunities once the partnership happens. I'd like to say that really the start of the partnership, the integration is really the beginning of growth. And there's an account management team, a growth team, a partner services team, there's ongoing support going on. That's another really key part of these types of embedded partnerships. It's not a sell and forget or set it and forget type of deal. The work really begins once the partnership starts.
This is like an ultimate foot in the door. Essentially, you get your foot in the door and then you can just expand - that is fantastic.
For example, very innovative in the insurance world sporting organizations. We talked with one of the largest private sporting organizations that have triathlons globally. They don't have any type of insurance, and the whole signup process is digital, but it's via a third party source. It’s a very challenging situation, you have a company that hasn't had insurance ever, but would like to offer, for example, medical coverage for athletes or bike insurance. And then you have a registration path, that's another company. Now you have to interface, liaise with two separate entities and figure out their pain points for both of them and how you can partner with both of them to deliver an integrated solution.
Ultimately, all partnerships revolve around customers. Customers should be happy, more fulfilled and they would generate more revenue as a result. What is the customer sentiment that you see from embedded services versus old school partnerships?
I don't flow that much into the customer side, but NPS score as a company we have really high. That's Net Promoter Score - how generally insurance companies are measured by. And insurance is really all about claims. Again, I don't flow into more of that, but once you purchase that product and something happens to you, will that protection really protect me? Will I be able to get my money back? Get help from the insurance company? And that all happens digitally. It's really important to be really fast - fast response times, fast payouts and we do it multicurrency, 60+ currencies. That's the part I see. With the old school referral for links, even less insight into customers, how customers appreciate it.
I would imagine those customers actually buy your embedded product much easier. And they probably generate recurring revenue for longer for your partners. Is this the dynamics that you typically see?
Yes, and what I would add there is really what we are trying to solve here. We're trying to add ancillary revenue to a partner, but the most important is convenience and helping the end customers. You're going to your trusted brand, like an Amazon, for example. And when insurance is offered in the path, it's super convenient for you. You might not have even thought that that product exists, that protection product. And you trust that brand, you use it all the time. It's there for you at the point of sale and it's convenient to get. So the customer wins, the partner wins and ultimately, insurance carriers now have a new distribution channel to sell products into.
Quick question regarding distribution channel - where the embedded partnerships sit in your distribution channel? Is it front and center of your distribution strategy or do you still have multiple channels as a company?
We're fairly simple in this regard. At the core, it's all about being embedded. Sometimes there might be like a white-label website. Let's say we design earthquake coverage, there's in California for small businesses, that might have a standalone website. But the data gathering and the conversion, which is an important metric in insurance, is not as high if it's a standalone type. It's kind of like a referral link - go to this place, buy the product there versus embedded in path attached to an otherwise already happening transaction. You're buying a flight ticket, the main transaction is the flight and then embedded insurance is just an attach and add-on. You're booking on Airbnb or on booking.com, the hotel cancellation protection etc. is an add-on that's much simpler and higher converting than any type of other relationships that are a referral link in an article.
You partner with multiple phenomenal companies, that is great. And I think what you mentioned previously about embedding and simplicity, I think Amazon pioneered this 1-click strategy a long time ago and it's still working amazingly well. I think this move of 1-click strategy is underestimated by competition.
Wearing your strategy hat, which we learned together in the same school, is this a new age of distribution, how do you think this will unfold in the next couple of years?
Embedded solutions and embedded insurance will be prevailing, it will be the norm, and it is already the norm. People are always on their phones buying products. E-commerce has skyrocketed during COVID, delivery services, everything is digital;, let me buy, bring it to me. The convenience factor is just going to grow, there's going to be shared rides, cars will drive themselves soon now if they are not already. The whole embedded nature of providing add-on services to an already existing service just makes it more colorful, more convenient for the end customers, everyone wins. I don't see this trend really dying down anytime soon, and it's really only starting in insurance. And again, specifically insurance, what's really key here is these products are generally not thought of, you don't wake up in the morning thinking about buying insurance. But when it's attached to a transaction, it's a new distribution source for carriers and also allows a lot of innovative policy developments. You atomize the insurance, bundled, dynamic pricing - all of this is really relevant when it's embedded to an otherwise existing transaction. A different length of a plane ticket, a VIP or business class ticket might require different fine tune coverages than an economy class. There's a lot of interesting innovative pricing, bundling product plays behind the scenes that the customer might not see. But it's driving innovation forward in the industry and new products can be developed for embedded type of distribution.
I agree that it brings an entirely new set of granularity that it was impossible to do before. Now you're the director of partnership in Cover Genius. Important question, there's a new type of partnership: more technical, more integrated. What is the type of skills that this requires from partnership teams and you as a partnership leader?
It's been a great learning experience and very fortunate to be in that foray of the insurtech space. What I've noticed especially at these cutting edge companies, this type of partnership, and the whole pipeline is a lot more complicated than where I came from. Not only do you have to have those two external partners, the carrier and the end partner that you constantly have to liaise with, you now have an internal partnership so-called element. Now you have to work well internally. You have a legal team that you really rely on, the contracting piece with embedded type of partnerships is vital. Everything really is all circles around that contract. It's a B2B partnership, so you're liaising with the other company's legal team. The technology piece, integration, you're doing mock designs first, uncovering the product, then you're pitching an ideal design solution to the partner that requires you to liaise well with your internal client solution engineering team or design team. Once these designs and legal documents are approved or done, then comes the actual integration. There's a lot of tech discussion of weekly technology calls, maybe a shared Slack channel, and all behind the scenes is you're the manager behind all of this as the owner of the partnership. And even before all of this begins, you need to uncover the product, the partner might not even know that's their need, and paint the picture and forecast on the revenue opportunities here. You have a lot of different skill sets you now need to make this partnership happen - with management skills, forecasting skills, and some type of technology skills to understand the lingo, and really be able to articulate to a partner that technology solution. And of course, you're helped a lot by everyone on the team, and it's all a team effort. Unlike the B2C sales that I began my career in that was more of like a solo player, this type of partnership requires a whole team effort.
This new embedded solution, how is it winning new partners versus old solutions? Because I saw for example, that one of your previous partners, a Lemonade partner called Rhino, they became a partner of Cover Genius and abandoned the partnership with Lemonade. Two part question, how well is it winning customers this new approach to partnership, which is embedded? And does it provide longer, more sustainable revenue for your partners?
This is a really interesting case study. The backdrop here is I would say it's a really interesting evolution, a company might begin with a referral link type of partnership, and it's a good start. But if they're digitizing, and their core product lends itself to an embedded solution, then it's usually more optimal. In this case, is a perfect example, Rhino is a company that provides secure deposit alternatives. You move into an apartment, instead of paying the one month security deposit, you can buy a security deposit insurance for $5-$10 a month, and that covers that for the landlord. It's a great way to help renters moving to apartments. And it's a perfect twin product for renters insurance. You're moving into an apartment, you have a security deposit generally in the US and you usually are required to show proof of renters insurance. And the transaction happens on an app, it's all digital for Rhino. Why wouldn't we embed renters insurance is the question. And because it's a new way of distribution, there's no case studies for this in that industry. But we were able to show numbers, provide a more advantageous commercial model, and of course, designed the whole program fully white labeled customized for Rhino. In this case, it's Rhino renters insurance, and our Cover Genius XCover technologies behind the scenes. It's a really interesting case study in this industry where an embedded solution was able to prove more advantageous revenue wise and for the customers as well. You can bundle these two products together now as an industry - first, the security deposit alternative, and the renters insurance. And with time since it's already embedded, the API connection is there, we're gathering data, we know more about the renters, we're able to offer new products down the line, pet insurance, for example.
The very important point that you mentioned that I didn't underscore before is that the company is not losing the brand? This embed is happening under their umbrella?
It all falls under the brand of the original partner. You're not trying to add on another brand or logo. That's really a big selling point for embedded partnerships ‘look, we're here to be behind the scenes and develop an insurance capability for you that will drive new revenue, and you have a new connection to your customers”. That's one of the core tenants of the value proposition with embedded partnerships.
And then the revenue that you get from customers is enabled by you as Cover Genius, but I, as your partner, get this revenue as long as the customer stays your customer. It's like a share of revenue?
Exactly, the customer stays your customer really. They're part of your platform, they
use your platform to purchase. Yes they purchased insurance that's provided by a carrier in the back end, but it remains your customer. We're not sharing these customers in any way, we're deriving revenue from all of this. But that's another big value proposition that if you buy a stove on Amazon and you get that warranty, it's still an Amazon customer. Whether they file a claim they'll interface with us. But even that is in a co-branded manner, they know they're part of Amazon and not an insurance company.
Thank you so much for explaining all of this to us. I'm really excited to see you grow as a partnership leader moving into more innovative companies, which provide more integrated solutions. I think this is the future.
Talking about the future, we are currently in a very interesting junction of history where the tech market is sort of slow. But looking into the future for the next several years, what are you excited about?
I'm very excited about anything tech. And specifically, I'm in insurance, I'm excited more about that. But all of these kinds of innovations that are coming online - crypto, new payment strategies, more and more embedded solutions that are making our life simpler. You're using apps like Airbnb, having new destination experiences. I really like the innovations that happen with all the digital symbiosis of partnerships. Because at the end of the day, how I look at partnerships -it's really making new products covering up new alternatives and the customer benefits, new things are uncovered that no one has really thought about and that's what I'm excited about and working on these partnerships.
Thank you so much, Andy. I look forward to following your success. A lot of people are viewing this interview, what is the best way to connect with you?
You can find me on LinkedIn, that's probably the best way - Andy Bodrog.
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