Worried about Damaging Your Smartphone or Losing Your Wallet?
OneAssist provides assistance and protection for things which we most depend on in our everyday lives
OneAssist cofounders Gagan Maini and Subrat Pani
Cofounders Gagan Maini and Subrat Pani of OneAssist say, "We realise that everyday life is so demanding – “So much to do and so little time. We call it the cash-rich/time-poor society.” It makes us too dependent on a few things that run our daily lives. Imagine if they went missing or stopped working. A situation like that can bring things to a halt and makes us think,
'I wish I could call somebody and get it fixed ...'
This insight led to the genesis of OneAssist."
Here's more from the cofounders of OneAssist:
Why did you decide to start this venture?
The whole idea was to offer a one-stop, one-call service for assistance and protection of these daily essentials that we are most dependent upon so that our customers could always remain in control of their lives.
While talking to consumers we learnt that two things were most depended upon; the wallet and the smartphone. The first set of products and services were built around mobile protection and card /wallet protection.
How did you manage to fund this idea?
We are lucky to have been funded by people who truly believe in our mission. We raised our Series A finance round from marquee investors Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners in July 2011. We closed our Series B financing round in July 2015 led by Assurant Solutions along with Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
What are your monetization paths?
Our customers subscribe to an annual protection plan for the device(s) of their choice. They can purchase our plans through retail stores, ecommerce portals, partner websites and the OneAssist website and app.
Share with us what’s special about this venture and how it’s different from its competitors?
We have strived to take care of the end to end needs of our customer over just one call. For example, if you lose your wallet you not only lose your cards and hence need to block all of them, but you also need to worry about your driving licence, PAN card which you might have lost along with the wallet. We provide assistance to replace the PAN card as well as driving license.
Tell us how the business has grown so far
We recently crossed 1 million subscribers across our products ranging from protection plans for wallets, mobile wallets, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, Kindles and extended warranties for mobile phones and laptops.
What is the market size and opportunity?
Our business is driven by continued penetration of debit/credit cards and mobile phone in India.
The #DigitalPayments initiative has taken a big leap in making India a truly #Cashless society, but it has also led to lot of dependence on these devices, while leaving them open to manipulations, especially for the uninitiated.
To give you some perspective India is a market with over 250 million smartphones, while there are over 700 million debit card users and over 30 million credit card users.
These numbers would have increased by a few more millions by the time this story is published.
Share with us some best and worst memories while running the business
The litmus test for a fintech company like ours is to assist our customers at their moments of crisis. The first few cards blocked and customers assisted will always remain one of our most memorable and satisfactory experiences.
This journey also led us to modify our product offering to suit the customers’ changing needs. For example, we started off by providing only data security on mobile phones, but soon evolved to encompass the physical device and all things that could disrupt its availability.
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