Chile Today’s Women To Watch series highlights female leaders and entrepreneurs. Take an inside look at their careers and the inspiration behind the innovative companies and organizations they’ve built. From tech companies to non-profits, you’ll learn from some of Chile’s most influential thought leaders.
María Paz Gillet is the Co-Founder and Board Director of Jooycar, the fastest-growing auto InsureTech company in Latin America that recently expanded operations to its US-based offices in San Francisco. Gillet and her team develop usage-based insurance and fleet management products and services using the power of IoT technology.
Gillet is a recognized digital expert and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience leading companies in Chile. She is passionate about disruptive technologies and building innovative startups.
She has received several important awards in innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2012, she was named one of the 30 Most Successful Young Professionals by Diario Financiero and Entrepreneur of the Year by INCUBA UC. In 2013, she was awarded third place in the Young Women Entrepreneurs Competition hosted by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Association and Revista Mujer, Diario La Tercera. In this same year, she was also named one of the 100 Female Leaders of the Year by Diario El Mercurio.
How did you get started in the InsureTech industry?
In 2014, I realized the significant impact of emerging connected car technology. My partner and I wanted to personalize insurance, so we reimagined how people could use car insurance for a safer, sustainable, and more efficient driving experience using innovative data and mobile interfaces.
What was your inspiration for co-founding Jooycar?
In 2014 I was reading innovation articles related to new IoT devices that could connect cars. I had that “wow” moment where I imagined the great potential it could have in both the automotive and insurance industries to catalyze a relevant change in the experience of customers and products.
We believe that our connected-car technology and data analytics can create significant value for customers, companies, and communities. The insurance industry, to date, has not undergone major changes in innovation and digital transformation. They urgently need to offer a better customer experience to get closer to their clients.
What are Jooycar’s mission and impact?
Jooycar addresses the vast inequities in the industry, and we are proving that our real-time, digital auto insurance is resilient, safer, and sustainable.
Almost 50% of small fleets (less than 15 vehicles) experience downtime, accidents, and high operational costs and are underserved by fleet management software.
Our latest commercial product, Fleetr, is revolutionizing the fragmented and complex $30+ billion US commercial auto insurance market. It offers real-time digital auto insurance personalized for small and medium fleets, thus improving their ROI as we help them reduce their TCO (Total Cost Ownership).
How does Jooycar combine technology and innovation to create value for drivers, insurance companies, and the industry as a whole?
Insurance companies cannot respond to the growing risk in a complex world by offering the same products. A shift is required for loss prevention and generating new revenue streams across the entire risk-value chain. Smart digitalization is a crucial enabler of these ecosystems.
By focusing on value generation, Jooycar flips the traditional approach to auto insurance on its head. We actively encourage better driving habits – and provide the tools and data for drivers to achieve them – so that we can ultimately offer smarter, cheaper, and more convenient terms.
In short: we turn data into value for all the stakeholders around mobility. For this, we use a combination of IoT, Mobile, Machine Learning, and AI to create our products and deliver a superior user experience.
What is the most exciting aspect of Jooycar’s technology?
Jooycar is recognized for its ability to put innovation into practice, thanks to a sustainable and scalable business model. I think the most exciting aspect is to deliver measurable value for users to pay for how much they actually drive and leverage IoT data to reduce the total cost of ownership of their vehicles and fleets, saving in gas, maintenance, and beyond.
What advice would you give to young women trying to follow in your footsteps?
We are in the best moment in history for women to undertake business endeavors. Traditional companies need to accelerate their digital transformation through co-creation with startups. This collaboration between the entrepreneur and the incumbents lowers the barriers, risk, and effort required for capital and the necessary capacities to start and develop a new venture.
How would you like to grow Jooycar in the next five years? What’s next for your company?
We want to continue our leadership in Latin America and the US, providing drivers and fleet owners with the best insurance options.
We’ve also seen how our US business is growing at light speed with a +100 percent month-over-month growth rate in the last months. We are serving hundreds of small fleet owners by reducing their operational costs with affordable and easy-to-use software, Fleetr – and insurance for the US is also coming very soon. In the next five years, we will continue enhancing our mobility value-based connected car ecosystem.
Could you recommend to our readers one or two books that helped you during your entrepreneurial endeavors?
You will find this very strange, but I have not read many books in the last 20 years of my career in the digital innovation space. I like to be very up-to-date with the technological environment, innovation, and consumer trends. When they are already featured in a book, it is too late! As a way of nurturing this need, I have a one-hour daily habit of reading the latest articles, news, and benchmarks to learn about incipient technologies, trends, and consumer expectations.