Q1: Carmela, tell us about Garanteasy and its legaltech core
A1: Garanteasy digitises, archives and manages legal, conventional and extended warranties on consumer goods over time. Also, we store copies of sales documents (receipt, invoice) and shop data and we digitise and archive data sheets, certificates and product manuals, as well as the relevant certificates of traceability, conformity, authenticity. Our service is fully automatic and is sold in affiliated shops and e-commerce shops but can also be included in the product sale price itself. In the event of a defect, damage or failure, we help the consumer to find the quickest and easiest solution, but we do not handle repairs or provide warranties. Before a guarantee expires, we notify the consumer. In practice, Garanteasy is a digital warranty drawer.
Our legaltech nature lies in the way we digitise all types of warranties and extended coverage. Each contract is analysed and classified in all its relevant aspects: type of product to which it applies, target audience (consumer or professional), type of cover, duration, limitations, activation methods, among others. We are therefore able to compare contracts and define benchmarks with regard to completeness, clarity, compliance with regulations, etc. We can also score each guarantee contract and suggest areas for improvement (towards simplicity and completeness). We don’t just grade contracts, we also offer a service to generate guided legal warranty disclosures for various markets. Another legal topic that we handle in a fully automated but customisable way is GDPR or data processing and related disclosures. We can provide a turnkey service for everything relating to guarantees (information, consent, registration, request for assistance, cancellation, portability, etc.).
Q2: How important is the relevant legislation in your business and how do you think this relationship will evolve in the future?
A2: Garanteasy was born taking the directive 44/99 as a “standard” on which to develop the specifications of our platform. We wanted that directive to be our point of reference for non-EU markets as well and this choice has rewarded us. In fact, a startup competing with us in Silicon Valley, financed with US$20m but with no reference legislation adopted, was not able to make neither its platform nor its business scalable. With a 1/10 investment, we instead succeeded just thanks to our choice. Over time, we have also “absorbed” specifications and peculiarities of other non-EU regulations, but never giving up on our strategic objective of making guarantees simple, because that is what consumers want.
In the future, we expect our relationship with regulations, especially European ones, to extend to other topics that are complementary to that of guarantees, such as product authenticity (see “made in…”, anti-counterfeiting, etc), compliance with certain safety parameters, reparability and expected durability, topics on which the commission is already working and is publishing new directives, also in terms of sustainability.
Q3: Can you elaborate a little bit on the relationship between guarantee and sustainability?
A3: In a nutshell, environmental sustainability consists of reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. In the case of consumer goods, the relationship between a product and the amount of CO2 emitted is largely associated with its production. We can say that products lasting longer, that can also be repaired after damage, are of higher quality than products with a shorter life cycle or unrepairable after damage. To reduce the CO2 emitted by factories, we need to produce a lower number of higher quality and long-lasting goods. This is where the guarantee comes in.
The guarantee is a way to communicate the quality of a product, its durability and therefore its quality. We believe that legislators will increasingly make the duration of the compulsory warranty longer with the aim of “forcing” the market to produce goods with a longer lifespan and therefore less impact on the environment. Even the legal guarantee, in 1999, was introduced to prevent the marketing of shoddy products, those that we now consider not sustainable. The obligation to guarantee the reparability of household appliances for ten years is a new directive that goes precisely in this direction. Even though it is not called a guarantee, it relates to the durability and quality of products, their sustainability indeed.
Q4: What is the relationship between Garanteasy and the blockchains or AI?
A4: It is a wait-and-see relationship, in the sense that blockchain serves to store a set of data “forever”. Frankly, it is not always necessary to store the presence of a warranty associated with a product forever when the warranty itself has a limited duration.
The case of a lifetime warranty, which exists on the market but is still very rare, is different instead. The use of blockchain is different and much more interesting if applied to memorise the ownership of a specific product or its authenticity but we are now starting to work on these issues with a few partners and we believe they will become crucial soon to further differentiate quality products from imitations. The application of AI, on the other hand, is related to customer care, the rapid search for answers, but even in this case we are talking about future applications that will become necessary when billions of guarantees will be stored and active simultaneously on our platform. We are now “only” at the first million.