The FinTech & CyberSecurity Program is in full swing and we’re less than 2 weeks away from Demo Day. In the lead up to the big event, we’ll be sharing a series of stories that put the spotlight on some of the startups in Startupbootcamp Amsterdam’s third cycle of the FinTech & CyberSecurity program.
This year’s teams form a diverse group, offering tech solutions addressing issues ranging from cybersecurity, to engaging millennials to invest. In this series, we dive deeper into some of the startups in the cohort, and people behind these companies – What are their stories? Our first piece hones in on an up-and-coming startup from Portugal, Keep Warranty
Life just got easier, with Keep Warranty
Keep Warranty’s startup journey began fairly recently. Founder of the company, Romana Ibrahim, kick-started operations of the company at the end of October 2017. The idea stemmed from frustrations plenty of us – at one point in time or the other – have experienced. Keeping track of the purchase warranties of our various appliances, equipment, and products. “Where did I place them? Have they expired yet? If not, when are they going to expire?”.
Here’s the good news: Things just got more convenient for everyone – with Keep Warranty’s mobile application (available on IOS and GooglePlay), you can now easily store your guarantees and purchase orders, access them when necessary, add new ones AND get alerts on when their validity expires.
Being in sync with their customers
Within the past year, all the developments Keep Warranty has had were based on surveys done with their users. Based on customer feedback alone, the application has had more than 12 uploads. On the impact front, this easy-to-use, free mobile app has helped over 30,000 users, with their warranty issues.
“Our data tells us a lot about consumers’ pain points. We found out that most of these warranty issues are related to home appliances and technical consumer goods. This represents a huge business opportunity for insurance companies and retailers, that are in fact looking forward to implementing digital solutions in their distribution model. Keep Warranty is a customer-centric thinking startup, and we want to partner up with companies that are also focused on developing solutions that have a true and lasting impact improving peoples lives.” – Romana Ibrahim, Founder at Keep Warranty
Keep Warranty is evolving into a customised multi-service marketplace
Nowadays, we are used to a digital life: our homes, cars and even our watches are based on smart solutions. And that’s exactly how Keep Warranty is progressing. Based on the customers’ needs, they are implementing additional features such as purchasing insurance, repairing damaged products or even selling products through the platform. This is how the company differentiates from competitors: by the services they will offer and the engagement they have with their users. The team is currently in discussion with potential partners with whom they can collaborate to implement and integrate the mentioned services into their current proposition.
Entrepreneurship runs in Romana’s DNA
The current European Tech ecosystem is not as inclusive as we often care to believe but Keep Warranty’s founder, Romana Ibrahim, stands out as a truly inspiring #womanintech. Her story, journey and outlook on life are definitely something stirring.
“Focusing on daily achievements and having an overall vision of where to be in about 3-5 years from now, I do believe it’s all about strategy, resilience and passion! I started Keep Warranty from scratch – for 4 months I was working alone at full energy. I remember having various accounts on my phone answering people from different emails just to make it look as though there was a real company there. Then, things started slowly taking off and growing. I never saw my effort as pain, in fact, I truly believed things would work out. It was just a matter of time and work. Keep Warranty was launched just one week before Web Summit in 2017. By then I had the first person in the team: Maria Joao Seabra, and both my brothers supporting us. We had a square meter of space, but huge coverage from the Portuguese media. Everyone started paying attention to us because we were a smart solution for a problem that millions of people grapple with.” – Romana Ibrahim
Over the years, Romana, a serial entrepreneur has created businesses within different sectors. Her journey began in Angola (in the early days of 2003, in the medical investigation industry and she later moved on to the FMCG industry (working with brands such as Unilever and L’oreal). Soon after, she also set up a business intelligence company. Later, she teamed up with her brother to start a real-estate company (master franchisers of one of the worlds biggest brands), and logistics and transport companies. She now also has experience in tourism logistics – targeted at a very high-end traveller market niche, from a company that they set up in Portugal.
“I started working at my parents business at the age of 6, so business and work is something that came into my life naturally. Many women are very frustrated about being in a ‘man’s world’ or even comparing themselves to them. In reality however, we are different, and we all take advantages of working together. Women have the world around them, starting from our ability to give birth and the responsibility for part of the education of the future world’s leaders. If there is something that makes any woman uncomfortable, the power lies in their hands to change it, and to educate whoever the decision maker may be in order to improve things.
I face life with a positive attitude, whenever I see that there is something going on in the room, I go right ahead and clean it up – I like to keep it all about business and prove that I am as professional and capable as any other businessman/woman out there. At the end of the day, if we aren’t afraid to show what we are capable of, we can achieve the world. For me, it is a pleasure to be a female entrepreneur.” – Romana Ibrahim
Celebrating a #WomanInTech
Last year, Romana won in the category of Founder/Co-Founder at the Portuguese Women in Tech Awards. In this Startupbootcamp program, Romana is joined by her teammates, Liliana (Marketing Manager) and Manuel (Chief Operating Officer). The team complements each other with their skills, and like the other startups in the program, is looking forward to this final stretch towards Demo Day.
“Startupbootcamp is a big opportunity for any startup that wants to stand out and bring value to the market – in any country, and internationally. It has the right partners, the right mentors and basically all we would need in one hub. It is an acceleration program – and I mean that in every sense of the word” – Romana Ibrahim
On the Startupbootcamp journey
Keep Warranty joined the FinTech & CyberSecurity program not just to expand into the Dutch market – they also recognised that value for their company’s growth, that could come by accessing the international SBC ecosystem, of mentors, partners, investors and alumni.
“We are currently negotiating with various partners in The Netherlands, and there might be a new solution that evolves from this Startupbootcamp program. I have a special word to say to our Mentors: since day one they’ve been part of our Team – not only did they take spend their time and effort on us, they’ve also discussed our proposition as if they were working in Keep Warranty themselves. During our gatherings, I always welcome them as our Board. They are helping us to grow our company and improve our proposition. Sometimes, as a startup, what we need is someone to show us the way. Here, i do have to mention special thanks to Elizabeth Kleinveld, Joost Bergen and Michael Dooijes who’ve been part of our journey, every day and every hour.
You also have all the other people around you, always ready to help. I remember receiving an e-mail from Paris Fintech Forum inviting me to be a speaker in this years conference, and having a couple of Startupbootcamp angels around me that immediately proposed to make a new profile picture. Where would you find that? At the end of the day, its all about the small beautiful attitudes people have with us, and I believe I did create relations for life.” – Romana Ibrahim
Demo Day for the FinTech & CyberSecurity Class of 2019 is on 14th February. Tune in to the livestream at 14:15CET, to catch Romana (together with 11 other companies) pitching on stage at the Rabobank HQ in Utrecht!