One more day, it is January 15 and as Pier celebrates its third anniversary, I am writing again on what our annual exercise of transparency and respect with those who were part of our history in 2020 is.
But last year was not like any other. The world was surprised by a silent and powerful invader, a new type of virus that marked the history of humanity. Despite the challenges, at Pier, we went through the crossing well. However, unfortunately we cannot say that we have reason to celebrate in face of the tragedy that happened in the lives of so many people: the pain of losses, the confrontation with difficulties and the lack of hugs.
For this reason, this year’s report breaks tradition and will be divided into four parts:
i. 2020: the year nobody expected.
i. 2020: the year nobody expected
It is said that the year only begins after Carnival.
2020 started at full blast, more specifically on the streets of “Beagá”. With our Auto Insurance pilot running in the capital of Minas Gerais, every week, part of the Pier team flew to Belo Horizonte to talk to consumers and understand how to make an Auto Insurance with exact coverage and fair price.
We transformed the city into Pier’s HQ and made a war plan to offer our Smartphone Insurance members an unprecedented experience during Carnival. We have automated 60% of the claim analysis and improved our infrastructure. With most of the hard work in the hands of our robots, a team of 15 people embarked there to ensure that our members would have great time.
Result: 80% of the carnival claims were paid in less than 20 minutes and we broke our own record by paying the Everton refund in 38 seconds.
We came back from carnival with soul cleaned and with the certainty that Pier was already making a difference and taking lightness into people’s lives!
We would barely know that the year would only start after the carnival…
While the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Brazil, the disease already demonstrated its impact in other countries in the world.
Understanding its exponentiality was fundamental to act quickly: Monday (03/16), we had a meeting with the whole company, cancelled all trips, closed the office and reviewed all plans. At a moment´s notice, our top priority was to take care of people – we sent chairs and monitors to the Piers and maintained for 6 months the health insurance of those who had left the company just before the pandemic.
After taking care of the team, for the first time we felt the fear of losing our members. In the 2019 transparency report I wrote: “Nothing different from satisfaction generates voluntary and long-term retention”.
And the following year, in 2020, we experienced voluntary retention accompanied by a series of supportive testimonials:
As people were at home and robberies decreased, we passed on the loss rate reduction by applying discounts of 5 to 20% on our members’ monthly fees.
The attitude of the members who stayed with us also enabled us to help the most vulnerable ones: the healthcare frontline professionals. We offered free smartphone insurance to those who had to go out on the streets to face the pandemic.
After going through all this, and sharing with you, we can go back to our report and talk about our results, learnings and challenges.
Pier is responsible for controlling the entry of new members, the flow of monthly fees and also the risk of the community and we try to do this in the most transparent way possible. Even with the pandemic, we grew 2.4 times the monthly fees collected in 2020 compared to 2019.
In 2020 we launched car insurance. We made a product at a fair price and in line with the needs of more than 70% of vehicle owners who do not have insurance in Brazil: with simplified protection against theft and robbery, 24h assistance to use without fear and the use of winches throughout the country.
The anti-fraud technology of the smartphone insurance has also proved to be very assertive for the automobile product. We have seen results much higher than industry averages and have become a reference for other insurtech in Latin America. Goal for the Underwriting team of Pier!
The results are expressive and made us capture $14.5 million in Series A, led by Monashees, a pioneer in venture capital in Latin America, with the confidence of investors like Canary, Mercado Livre and BTG Pactual.
We also recognized our team, inviting the Piers who stood out to become partners in the company. Today, we are proud to say that 27% of our team is on our board of partners – and we are just beginning.
To close with a golden key, it was also in this year that we became the first (and most loved) digital insurance company in Brazil when we received the license from SUSEP.
1. React quickly to changes in context
A company’s ability to respond to an unplanned event, good or bad, is a prime indicator of its ability to compete. Bill Gates
The only sure thing is that we will change. And the way we react to change is a key factor in the company’s success. As an entrepreneur, this year was very remarkable due to the volume of uncertainties and the need to react quickly even though we do not have all the necessary information to make the best decisions.
Study, talk to specialists, follow moves from other markets to project the impacts on your business.
At Pier, we map the context, draw scenarios and follow the course. Make no mistake: being realistic with the impacts and disciplined in decisions was undoubtedly essential to complete the journey.
2. Satisfaction as core generates retention
The second apprenticeship comes in a tone of confirmation at Pier. We always consider the satisfaction of our members as a central aspect of our success. Is it possible to create an insurance company that people really admire?
We confirm that a delightful experience not only accelerates growth but also builds loyalty. We have discovered on the job the value of satisfaction as a retention leverage and we have received countless pieces of evidence that a product that generates value tends to have more space in people’s lives (and pockets).
Even in the face of the challenges of the pandemic, we improve our processes in all areas that touch our member’s experience. We redesigned our brand to better inform the Pier message, developed a new claim flow for Smartphone Insurance and got an NPS of 82 this year, with a score of 10 in 73% of responses. We were not satisfied with 96% of CSAT and focused on increasing the number of maximum assessments. We were able to go from 77% to 88% of the responses with a top score and reached 99% CSAT. Only incredible satisfaction rates lead to incredible retention rates.
3. Never lose focus on people.
Finally, a new chapter of the most important learning of all the years: what keeps any company or dream alive are the people. Whether it is the people who are part of the community, our investors and partners, or the Piers who kept the vessel during the storm.
Often our gaze falls on the vessel and on the possible problems not to sink. But ALWAYS look and value the crew. Without it, every boat is adrift.
Besides the storm, we had a 100% remote controlled boat! We already had a distributed culture, in 2019 we had the office as an option for everyone, but just over 30% of the people lived outside São Paulo. We finished 2020 with the office restricted and 80 people distributed.
2020 surprised us with the reality of social isolation, without the possibility of trivial or completely purposeful meetings as in our offsites. We always had a culture for face-to-face events to unite the teams. Every leader had a budget to promote these meetings throughout the year and the company made a large annual offsite. Unfortunately, 2020 will be marked as the first (and only!) year without any offsite.
Some Piers turned the lemons into lemonade and said goodbye for good to the geographical ties. The UX design team was the bravest: Lívia left for California, Gabi for the beaches of São Sebastião and Bruno went to live nomadically, starting in Paraty. Even I, as CEO, left my apartment in São Paulo to make my dream of living temporarily by the beach come true. The behavior shows us that the team’s concentration in São Paulo has been left behind for good and puts us in the hope of a future where we can gather all the Piers for at least a few days of the year.
Another important point is to realize that working distributed is not just about connecting to the internet. We already had a series of rituals and good practices that allowed us not to have operational impacts during the pandemic. We officially adopted remote-first as a model and designed new plans for our team
Waiting List: how to bring lightness into the lives of more people
There are still another 100,000 people on the waiting list interested in Pier insurance and this year we will decrease that number and welcome new members to the community. In 2020 we improved our anti-fraud technology, raising our acceptance rate of new members.
We also want to expand to more smartphone manufacturers (Xiaomi alone is more than 5,000 people in the waiting list) and expand coverage that has been in high demand by our members. We want to evolve to be able to protect all people who trust Pier as the best solution to secure their assets.
2. Regulation vs. Complexity
With great powers come great responsibilities. Uncle Ben
This year all Pier teams, without exception, were involved in the project that made us the first digital insurance company in Brazil. Being a pioneer in applying state-of-the-art technology is a milestone that raises the quality of services in the market as a whole.
And if those who understand regulation as bureaucracy are wrong, it guarantees a solid market.
Regulation: Susep registration, numbered policies, periodic reports, technical notes, actuarial reserves, fraud prevention and money laundering policy, audited financial statements, risk underwriting policy, payment of claims and service protocols.
More than R$ 50 million will be contributed to build a solid insurance company. However, security and robustness need to generate trust and not complexity for our members.
Let no one be mistaken, you only achieve simplicity through hard work. Clarice Lispector
Regulated, but we will keep the focus on our mission: to make the world lighter with an insurance that does the best for people. We hope to count on you for this new journey and to meet here again next year.
Until next year!
Finally, we are happy to share our results seeking maximum transparency and clarity of information. We would like to thank the members who cleared up doubts, got involved in contributing feedbacks and have helped us in the difficult mission of building something completely new.
Weren’t we clear enough? Just ask in the chat and we’ll answer 100% of the questions.
Nos últimos 10 anos, atuou em diferentes posições no ambiente de
Formado em Engenharia Mecânica pela Universidade Estadual de Campinas
*Acknowledgements to Marina Moreira