A startup may go through multiple iterations before finding product/market fit. We worked with DeeCide to develop a marketplace solution for insurance quotes initially. Thanks to proactive market validation, it quickly became obvious that the process did not work for sellers. We were able to pivot to a SaaS model to better serve sellers and their customers. Here’s what we did:
- Launched complex product in a few short months
- Baked in opportunities for market validation between rapid bursts of development
- Streamlined workflow for sellers by 75%
Belighted created a system that reduced the burden on sellers and buyers, efficiently handling the complex data and timing required for insurance quotes. Now DeeCide is better aligned with the needs of its users and continues to build in customer validation as it gets closer to product/market fit.
Background: The DeeCide Story
Antoine, one of the founders of DeeCide, had more than 20 years of experience in the insurance field. He noted that few people take the time to study their insurance choices and find a broker they fully trust. Every year people pay their insurance premiums without contacting other brokers or trying to negotiate a better contract. It's a complicated field and people quickly become lost.
To help simplify the process, DeeCide created a marketplace for insurance brokers and policyholders.
Here’s how it worked: A buyer (policyholder) would describe the item they wanted to insure and specify the coverage desired. Then the brokers registered on the platform would send their quotes. The buyer could discuss the quotes with each broker. When happy with one, he could select it and sign the insurance contract.
Thanks to marketing efforts, the DeeCide insurance marketplace rapidly reached 1,000 users.
Challenges Revealed Through Market Validation
For a marketplace to succeed, both buyers and sellers must embrace the model.
The DeeCide founders placed great value on testing and market validation. The Belighted Way also supports ongoing market validation by keeping the first version of the product simple and including time to validate within the development process.
With accelerated time to market, DeeCide then could present the early-stage product to brokers to get buy-in and feedback before going further with development.
Pain Points for Sellers
In this case, the buyers liked the new approach to insurance. But the sellers - the insurance brokers - were less enthusiastic.
Market validation revealed a significant "pain" for brokers: getting multiple quotes was just too much work. Each insurance company required its own form, forcing the broker to complete multiple forms with the same information. It took 40 minutes just to request quotes from 3 insurance companies.
Solution: Simplify Workflow, Move to SaaS
A simple workflow was important for customers and brokers in order to support the complex data and time sensitivity of insurance quotes. We addressed the following issues:
- Customers must provide a large amount of data to request insurance quotes, so collection needed to be thorough but simple.
- Insurance contracts are time sensitive since they must take effect on defined dates. This required an intelligent system for publishing requests to brokers.
Then market validation showed that brokers also needed a simpler way to get the quote requests to insurance companies. To streamline this workflow, we offered a pricing scale that connected to the insurance companies' APIs. User data only had to be entered once and then could be used to request an insurance quote from multiple insurance companies.
Belighted worked with DeeCide to move from a marketplace to a SaaS model that brokers could use much more easily.
Results and Next Steps
The pivot to SaaS solution was well received by the panel of broker users, with indications that DeeCide is closer to reaching product/market fit.
Simplifying the process for quote requests reduced time input by 75% - a broker could get 3 quotes in only 10 minutes instead of 40.
In addition, brokers can use the new application for obtaining quotes for all their customers in their daily work, not only those participating in a marketplace.
Great project management from both sides helped the collaboration to proceed smoothly. The founders at DeeCide provided thorough information and proactively tested at each step. Belighted developers focused on delivering value, which reflected in the end product.
“It's a real pleasure to work with Belighted. They are focused on delivering features with business value and they like to get stuff done. This vision allowed us to launch our products with just a couple of months of development and help us to get user feedback.”
- Antoine De Beys, co-founder of DeeCide
Thanks to ongoing market validation, Belighted and DeeCide will continue to improve and evolve the product to meet the needs of users.