Rain Takahashi, founder of JAUNTIN’ tells us about innovation in the field of insurance.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Rain Takahashi: We are very fortunate to be healthy, safe, and employed with the ability to work remotely from home. Hang in there, things will get better soon!
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded JAUNTIN’.
Rain Takahashi: Formerly a consultant in the digital media industry, I founded JAUNTIN’ because of the personal frustrations I experienced from the insurance industry. Traditionally, insurance is quite inflexible and expensive, which by nature makes it inaccessible to a large, vulnerable segment of the population. I wanted to change this by making insurance more accessible, which in turn will make upward social mobility more possible for these vulnerable sections of society.
How does JAUNTIN’ innovate?
Rain Takahashi: We provide software to insurance carriers that make flexible and affordable insurance both possible and profitable. Using our technology to automate a large part of the distribution process, brings down the cost of distributing coverage, making short-term insurance more attractive to the carriers. Also, our technology allows carriers to embed insurance into third-party products and services so it’s part of the consumer purchase journey and not a separate process after the fact. An example of this is the ability for people to get business (commercial general liability) insurance as part of the process of registering a new business or event insurance as part of renting a venue for a party or wedding.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Rain Takahashi: Admittedly it has affected us, however, it isn’t all that terrible. It slowed us down slightly to the point where it’s going to take 18 months to reach what we thought would take 12 months pre-Covid.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Rain Takahashi: Fortunately no. This is what stressed me out the most but we were able to retain everyone thanks to our great partners and government covid subsidies.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Rain Takahashi: Not being able to go to conferences hurts. We invested in virtual conferences where possible. As for tools, we use Hubspot and Slack.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Rain Takahashi: Yes, we took advantage of CEWS in Canada which helped make personnel decisions a lot easier.
Your final thoughts?
Rain Takahashi: For anybody else that’s frustrated with the insurance industry, it will get better!
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