Prolong, a San Francisco tech startup that makes it simpler for companies to supply product warranties, stated it raised US$260 million (A334 million) in a funding spherical led by SoftBank Group Corp’s Imaginative and prescient Fund 2 that valued the corporate at over US$1 billion.
Prolong permits corporations so as to add a button to their on-line markets that provides clients the choice to pay additional to guard their purchases, stated Woodrow Levin, CEO and co-founder of Prolong.
If there’s a downside with the product, Prolong will deal with the declare, most often via a customer support chatbot, stated Levin.
Prolong is amongst a rising variety of tech startups, from logistics to funds to advertising, geared toward serving to smaller corporations construct up their e-commerce enterprise.
Many have raised massive quantities of funding prior to now yr.
“Retailers are attempting to determine how can they create a extra degree taking part in subject towards the Walmarts, towards the Amazons, towards these large marketplaces. They usually’re transport prolonged warranties, buy-now-pay-later. All of those instruments are what they want so as to have the ability to compete for a share of consumers’ wallets,” stated Levin.
Nagraj Kashyap, managing associate at SoftBank Funding Advisers, stated prolonged warranties and product safety companies have been ripe for change.
“Due to the best way it was being practiced prior to now, it actually solely touches 1% of the accessible market,” he stated.
Prolong, launched in 2019, offered over 300,000 safety plans final yr and is on monitor this yr to promote over 3 million plans, Levin stated. He expects income this yr to leap by greater than 400 p.c.
Retailers that add the Prolong button to their on-line markets additionally get a lower of the charges, Levin stated.
Prolong estimates that including the Prolong guarantee service will increase general product gross sales by 11 p.c.