Retail and Direct To Consumer

SoftBank-Backed Extend Pumps $260M Series C Into Revamping Extended Warranty, Protection Plan Industry

Extended warranty provider Extend is back seven months after securing a $40 million Series B funding — this time with a big backer and an even bigger round to go after the $100 billion global product protection market.

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San Francisco-based Extend, founded in 2019, interacts with consumers at their point of purchase, providing an application programming interface that enables any merchant to offer extended warranties and protection plans, as well as provide them with a new revenue stream while giving customers greater peace of mind when making purchase decisions.

SoftBank Vision Fund led the $260 million Series C investment into the company. It was joined by existing investors Meritech Capital Partners, PayPal Ventures and GreatPoint Ventures, as well as new investors Nationwide, Tomales Bay Capital, Launchpad Capital, 10X Capital and 40 North.

The oversubscribed round brings Extend’s total funding to more than $315 million, according to Crunchbase data, and also elevates the company into unicorn status with a valuation north of $1.6 billion.

“This is a very large infusion of capital into the business and allows us to continue to build best-in-class product protection,” Woodrow Levin, co-founder and CEO, told Crunchbase News. “This enables us to move to full stack and be able to create customized, bespoke products that can cover issues important to them and help merchants address shortcomings that legacy providers couldn’t do.”

This new round of funding will be used to continue to scale the Extend team, accelerate its technology development and expand its suite of services. The company is going international: It is fully licensed to operate in Canada and will be launching both English and Canadian French versions. In addition, Extend is working on Europe and United Kingdom licenses.

The company is also hiring in the areas of product and design engineering, customer support and claims, financial accounting, and marketing, intending to reach 400 employees by the end of the year, Levin said.

“We have not spent a dollar on marketing yet, so we plan to build out a team to create the leading brand behind product protection and help us resonate with consumers,” he added.

Extend is experiencing demand from companies of all sizes, and the new funding also enables it to continue moving up the sales funnel to work with bigger companies.

“We have an opportunity to go after the legacy brands, like SquareTrade and Assurant, and take business because they don’t have the market tooling to streamline the experience,” Levin said. “At the same time, we have an opportunity to move up the market and work with companies doing $10 billion, $20 billion and $50 billion in warrantable goods sales. There is a lot of pressure, but we are ready to do it.”

Meanwhile, Alex Clayton, general partner at Meritech Capital, said the firm took a bet on Extend during its Series B round, and loves the management team and believes in its traction and Extend’s opportunity to bring an Applecare-like experience to the e-commerce space.

He also believes Extend is providing a unique offer with its application programming interface integration, something he said only 1 percent of merchants were able to provide. Extend is now doing it for the other 99 percent, he added.

“The money is going to last them a very long time,” Clayton said. “Extend got a lot of interest for this round, and SoftBank was one of those. Extend was early in cementing its leadership in the industry and will have a great outcome.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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