How AKKO piqued my interest and sold me on not just their product, but a job!
After spending 20 years in wireless, with 12 of those at Asurion, the largest handset insurance provider in the world, I thought I had seen it all. In my time at Asurion, I held a variety of different roles, all related to helping drive insurance sales in wireless retail, building new programs, and launching new products in the Verizon Indirect dealer channel. As an industry veteran, I rarely came across a product that was exciting, new, and a differentiator to shake things up.
In early 2021, I was leading wireless enterprise sales at B-Stock Solutions, and while prospecting for new partnerships, I stumbled across AKKO. The unique model piqued my interest, but I ended up being sold on the approach surrounding the entire process. AKKO highlighted trends and challenges that had previously gone unnoticed, addressing and solving them. Not only was it a superior product for consumers, but the partnership potential AKKO had was endless.
I reached out to their Co-Founders as I knew the massive opportunity AKKO had, and one I wanted to be a part of.
Delivering Real Value to Markets and Customers
Protection for Any Phone
AKKO provides a product that protects any device, including new, used, or refurbished devices. This not only allows them to partner with Point-Of-Sale (POS) partners for phones and devices (new or refurbished), but also anyone related to electronics, cellular, electronic accessories, consumer finance, insurance, electronic repair … and the list goes on.
National Repair Network of High Quality Shops
AKKO created a unique repair network that enables customers to have their device repaired at a local shop as quickly as the same day, which eliminates the “dice roll” of getting a refurbished device sent from one of the larger carrier programs. Speaking from experience, I would much rather keep my current phone than get a refurb sent for me to use! I think there’s also huge value to supporting local businesses rather than only pushing all repair processes through a centrally corporate-owned facility (which also can make it difficult to expand operations).
AKKO provides transparent and fair offerings for the customer. In prior companies I worked with, I was always bothered that customers would be pushed to an extremely high priced device protection offering that bundled features that customers don’t want, don’t need, and don’t know about. These plans also come with extremely high deductibles that often fall in the $200-$250 range. AKKO is for the customer; with fair and inclusive pricing ($5-12/mo for phone protection) and affordable deductibles from $29- $99 for any device and any claim.
Tech-forward & modern
AKKO has an amazingly tech-forward approach, both in terms of customer products but also integrations with partners. Their consumer app is seamless and provides a modern experience today’s customers expect. On the partner side, integrations are quick and can be done with partners of any size with minimal technical resources, and an implementation timeline that lasts days vs. months.
One-of-a-kind bundled plan
AKKO does not stop at phones. AKKO’s one-of-a-kind “AKKO Plan” acts as a “Spotify of Device Protection Plan” where for just $15 a month, a customer can protect one phone and up to 25 other devices. Our lives have become tech-centric and most people have many electronic devices. With AKKO, you no longer have to pick and choose which devices you want to protect; you can protect them all in one place for one affordable monthly rate. Stacked up next to alternatives from large carriers and retailers, protecting a phone, laptop, and tablet alone with AKKO saves customers 100s of dollars per year.
When my friends and colleagues wonder, “Ed, why did you take a leap of faith in your 40’s to join a start-up?” Those are just a few of the reasons why.
Ed Hugener has worked in the wireless industry for over 20 years, and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and 2 children.