Matheus Riolfi is the founder of Tint, which empowers tech platforms to sell more by embedding unique insurance products that protect their end-users. Tint has raised $30 million to date from notable investors such as QED Investors, Nyca, Deciens, Y Combinator, and Webb Investment Network.
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Let's do it!
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Broadcasting, from around the world, you're listening to the First 100, a podcast on how
founders acquired their first 100 paying customers.
Here's your host, Hadi Radwan.
Good to have you on the show, Matteos.
How are you doing today?
Hi, Harry. I'm doing good.
How are you?
Thank you for being part of our podcast.
I'll give a quick introduction for our listeners.
Matteos Rialfi is the founder of Tint,
which empowers tech platforms to sell more
by embedding unique insurance products
in their customer flow.
Tint has raised 30 million to date
from notable investors such as QED investors,
and Web Investment Network.
Take us back to the founding of How Moment.
How did TENT come to your fruition?
Yeah, so before Micro Founder and I started TENT,
we worked at a company called Turo,
which is the leading company in peer-to-peer car sharing.
So basically it's like Airbnb for cars.
You can rent out your car to your neighbor,
or pretty much everybody, or anybody in the world.
And Turo was doing something that was radically new,
broke every single logic of insurance, which is this idea that now you can drive anybody's car,
but insurance used to follow the car, like, and then it's legal to have a car on the road without
the liability part of the policy. So in short, we had to create a completely new insurance category
to exist. And both Michael Fander and I were early employees, and we've been through this journey.
I was leading the international expansion, so doing the same in different countries. I lived
setting up Turo and the insurance frameworks in the UK.
Michael founder was the head of data science.
So he was building the models, the data part
that kind of powers the insurance offerings
that Turo was having.
And we saw two things.
We saw huge opportunity because we saw that like
there was Turo, this tech company was creating
a known insurance category.
And we looked around and we saw that happening
in our Airbnb, Apple, if you think about Apple care,
like many other great tech companies were creating their own insurance and
protection products, but we also experienced how hard it was. It was
extremely complicated to do that without help and there was our inspiration to
start Tint, so the product we wish existed when we were at Turo. Amazing story.
So technically is your company Tint a licensed insure tech or are you using
the technology to create embedded products by partnering with other
carriers that wants to sell it to your partners?
We are technically a broker and a captive manager with play a few
roles, but we are not an insurance company. We're not an underwriter.
We see ourselves as basically the combination of two things.
Our technology stack, so we have all the core insurance
systems, policy admin claims, whatever you need. So our customers don't need to
write a lot of code on their side. And we also connect them with insurance
a reassure so we provide them the kind of financial capacity as well.
And the last role we play is we provide them back office compliance kind of like services
that they need to operate.
So from that perspective, we're end to end, but we focus on the connectivity, not as a
What has been the hardest problem for you when you're building a B2B ensure tech?
I think the hardest part is that ensure tech requires a lot of pieces.
we play at least three roles, right? The software, the compliance back end, and back office, I say,
and the risk cap of the broker, the matchmaking side of things. And it's a lot. But we see that as
an opportunity because the way we are thinking about ourselves is that embedded insurance,
it's really reinventing insurance. Because let's say Airbnb is now the one thinking about those
products selling, it completely changes the industry, changes where the players, what they do,
exists. And what we do, in a simple way is to write this infrastructure, write this product,
it's going to power this new value chain to operate. But that's a challenge. We need to
build a lot of pieces, right? So that our solution is complete. Thank you for sharing this journey.
Can you take us back to your first client? How did you convince them to join TENT?
Yeah, our first client was a company called Outdoorsy.
RV, so very similar to what we're doing at Turo. And our story with them was very similar,
I'd say, to a lot of B2B founders. We knew the space very well because we were both from Turo.
We have a contact from Turo who moved to Aldorsian and was running insurance and claims for them.
So we already had somewhat a trust relationship. So that got ourselves the opportunity to
back in 2019, 18 or 19.
So we didn't have all the components of our product,
but our first module, if you think about it,
was what we sold to them.
And we implemented the results, so it's great.
And then we started.
And then from there, they were our kind of flagship customers
to move into all the companies in the same space,
in the kind of vehicle sharing or peer-to-peer space.
And we grew, we focused on that for some time,
until we expanded to other verticals.
Now we have customers in shipping, companies like Dio in the HR space.
We have companies in the crypto space.
Now we're like a multi vertical company, but I'd say in the early days what we did was
really focus where we had domain expertise and connections.
Very interestingly for me, it looks like when you land a partner like this, you have done
something extremely right.
So if you were to write the playbook of getting clients like outdoorsy,
neighbor, deal, which are some notable and big clients. What would be the playbook in that case,
especially when the sales cycle is long, and it's not their core, and insurance is not their core
revenue stream? How can you close such big names? The playbook would be, I'd say, the same, like an
expanded version of what I just said for outdoors, which is like try to leverage your domain expertise,
Those matter a lot in the early days because again,
at some point you build trust in your brand through the customers you have,
through the product, right?
But in the early days,
it's all about the personal relationships,
it's all about them trusting that you will be able to solve something that they have.
That's what we did.
So, Dio, for example, was a connection through Y Combinator.
That's one of the main advantages of Y Combinator and Y.
We went the first place.
like you have a network of amazing founders and companies
that they still gonna be like customers
that will want a lot from you
because they are all fast growth and exciting startups
but it gives you the foot of the door
when you can start having this conversation,
start building the trust
and you have somewhat a stamp, right?
That can tell to the other founders in the community
that like, okay, they have passed a certain screening
from to be the OIC community.
So I would say the playbook
exactly the same. Start with what you know, ideally with a product and service that you
used before in your past life or problem that you experienced in your past life and then
try to sell that first within your immediate network and then expand from there.
Do you have any advice for founders who probably don't have access to warm leads and they want
to build their momentum, let's say? Would there be any advice that you would give that
start at least.
I think if you don't have the access,
I'm originally from Brazil.
I moved to the US 12 years ago.
I didn't have networks here either.
I had to definitely start from scratch.
I'd say my advice,
what I did was you work for a company,
like I did for two or four years.
So I will build that network,
I'll build the domain expertise,
and then do my company.
So that'll be advice number one.
If you already want an advice for fathers who are already in their businesses and trying
to hustle, then it is about hustling.
It is about the numbers game, right?
Trying to reach out to as many companies as possible, to reach out to them on LinkedIn,
go to conferences.
Like, you'll be surprised with the amount of people that if they get the right message
at the right time, they will help, right?
Especially, go focus in earlier stage companies where an ideally the founder has a lot of
a little bit more empathy he or she want me maybe to pay some for their ways but I'd say
they will be more like a volume game I would say.
Well if you have some connections through your personal networks, schools or whatever
you can leverage then I think it becomes more like a targeted approach.
What have you been so far the most proud of and building Tint?
Well I think we would have been the most proud of as helping our customers protecting their
users, we're typically people, right? So we're now going through one of the biggest shocks in
the venture industry, the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, and I think it's a story, this is
too breaking, but you can see now, like, everybody's seeing why thinking about downside scenarios is
important, right? There has been a lot of conversation about the assured part of the pod is the
uninsured part. Nobody likes you think about those things, but whenever you need, like,
available to you.
And it's like what we do in, you know,
it's complicated technology is regulated, as you know,
as well as I do in the issue tech world,
but ultimately it's about protecting people, right?
So better, cheaper, more convenient ways
that people get to protect.
So one of our customers, you ship,
if you ship a car from one place to the other,
the car may get broken, right?
Like maybe get damaged.
And if that happens and they purchase
a protection from each ship,
have a very magical experience that you're taking care of. So how do we help more companies
to get that in front of their users better in a faster and cheaper way? Because ultimately,
the reason why insurance is so important is that things will go wrong. And when they do,
you better be covered.
That's great advice. Thank you for sharing it, Matias. If you go back now in time, knowing
funding, where would you have started to acquire your first customer? Would it be the same strategy
or would you have done something different? Same strategy because in the beginning we had some
funding but it wasn't too much. So paid marketing, things like that were not even an option for us
and that's good. It is good in the early days that you have very constrained resources because
or yet sustainable paths, which matters a lot.
Did matter at that time,
matters even more in the market today.
So yeah, I don't think we will have changes.
We'll go after our networks in places
where we have domain expertise
and we can intelligently talk about why we can,
even as an unproven company, we can solve the problem.
Do you place more, let's say,
effort on building a perfect product
or you prefer to build a product
that works well?
but you want to lend a customer first and then perfect it. Which approach did you go with?
My natural inclination is the latter. It's to try to move fast, lend a customer, then improve.
However, in the one complexity we deal with is that in a regulated industry, there is a minimum
bar you need to make. So that I think we try and like to be agile, but it's not always possible.
Again, we still try to apply the same.
We have a value in our company that's called compliant agility.
So it's still about moving fast, but understanding
that we need to do some compliance checks before.
Which of the B2C company in unregulated space
doesn't have to deal with that.
Thank you for that advice.
If we zag a little bit to Matthew as the person,
what is a principle that you live by that has served you well
in your life?
in your business?
Yeah, one of these, it happens to be another value that we have not by coincidence, but
is this idea of constructive candor?
Is the idea that like I strongly believe in transparency, I strongly believe in being
straight in business and personal life and telling the truth because if you really care
about someone, you tell the truth.
And even so hard thing to hear, that person will get better only if they can knowing what
they have to improve.
improving. But you got to do that in a constructive way. I also don't believe in just pointing
the facts and not helping because this is really not not great. So we have this idea
in our company, this principle of constructive candor, which is always be open, but always
be thinking about, okay, here are the things you should improve. But here's what I recommend
right now is pointing fingers.
If you were in a room with one of the CEOs of your competitors, what's the topic that
you would discuss with them? I think we'll discuss like how can we grow like you know
together in a sense because insurance is so big that like literally two trillion dollars of
premium of money flowing around every year and embedded insurance the entire category is just
so small has so much potential right people recognize as the one of the most promising
That's what we need is about how the tide would lift all the boats.
And that's what I'll be talking about.
There are plenty of niches to be carved out by all the different companies.
Thank you for sharing it, Matthews.
One last question. What's next for Tint?
Well, Nexus continued like in the trajectory we are, like keep growing,
keep adding or keep helping great companies protect their customers.
And I think it feels strongly about us building a world where insurance will become a feature
and no longer a product where people don't have to think about it.
They are protected when things go wrong.
They have somewhere to go.
And that's really what we, not every day when we wake up, that's what we're thinking about.
Where can people reach you?
LinkedIn, I'm always there.
Like I like to joke.
There's probably just one Matheus Rioff in the world.
So if you type my name on the thing.
find me. You need to talk with me, I'm Matheus at team.ai in my email and I'm always happy
to help even if they are not prospects or anything related to a business.
Thank you Matheus for your time.
Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.
Thank you so much for listening to the first 100.
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