How We Found the First Problems We Tackled
Clyde was founded out of necessity. In 2017 I was working at a small hardware startup that saw an opportunity to better serve customers by offering a warranty program. Customers wanted coverage options but didn’t know where to begin. I took on research and development of a program that would fit the needs of our success team and provide our customers some security along with their purchases. The experience that follows became the driving force of Clyde's mandate - put retailers first.
As was the case for many retailers back then, my search for product protection unearthed more challenges than solutions.
We ran the numbers on self-insuring our product and quickly realized that kind of risk exposure was out of the question for an independent merchant. The company didn’t have the balance sheet, internal tools, or bandwidth to stand up a new product line, certainly not in an industry that none of us had experience in.
No problem, I thought – we’ll work with a name brand insurer.
While looking for product protection, I also oversaw our Stripe integration. The contrast between these two experiences was striking. If integrations for financial transactions could be so easy, where were the insurance solutions? There ought to be a way to do this.
We pressed on. We reached out to every name brand insurer we could find. We failed to get a response - let alone a meaningful conversation. ‘Demo’ seemed to be a foreign word in the industry. I began to question whether insurers had the tools to support retailers, any retailers – mid-size or enterprise.
Finally, I gained footholds. We booked conversations with one big name, as well as a smaller, local insurer. The discussions lasted months. Eventually the large insurer told us that they do not work with business earning less than $500M annually. The local insurer was more willing. But their integration and claims processes were disenchanting at best. My search bottomed out. And the business went on without product protection.
I continued thinking there ought to be a way to close this gap between market need and supply. That experience founded Clyde.
The business case that would become our company revolved around meeting those ought-to moments. Merchants ought to have access to product insurance, regardless of size. There ought to be a solution that eases the path to adoption - rather than force overly technical integrations. That solution ought to give end users real assurance in their purchase. By combining technology, data, and partnerships, the insurance industry could be democratized. Everyone - small, midsize and enterprise - could access warranty programs in a box. After three months of validation and late nights spent refining, I incorporated Clyde.