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Dr. Ruby Pillai, the Founder & CEO of iWarranty, spent 14 years as a corporate finance lawyer in London before venturing into the Luxembourg tech industry. Awarded the Women in Innovation and Rising Star of FinTech prize, she discusses her career transition and motivation to leave a lasting impact in the tech space.

Tell us about your background and how you made the transition to tech.

Rubys Profile Picture Growing up in India, I completed my law degree in Australia before relocating to London in 2006. Over the next 14 years, I practised law with prominent firms and pursued a Ph.D. in law and financial regulation.

The catalyst for my shift to tech occurred after a difficult customer experience with a malfunctioning headset covered under warranty. I called the manufacturer and was asked to compile a list of documents (receipts, credit card data, etc.) and come back. By the time I got around by Easter, I was asked to pay about £90 to get it repaired and was told I would have been eligible for replacement if I called earlier.

Unfortunately, there was no record of my initial call to track that I did report the damage and was eligible for a replacement. I sent so many emails and it was frustrating, so this prompted me to explore a solution, leading to the creation of iWarranty—a warranty intelligence platform facilitating connectivity between consumers, retailers, and manufacturers.

At what point did you decide to start the tech company to address this issue?

Around the same time, I stumbled upon a United Nations report shedding light on the issue of electronic waste and the importance and the need for consumers to easily access their warranty rights when something fails and find affordable repair solutions. That made me think about how big the problem is, and I engaged with engineers and professors at the University of Cambridge to study this further. At the end, I decided to create a user-friendly interface connecting consumers, retailers, and manufacturers, and a seamless warranty and post-purchase experience for consumers.

Market research shows a vast global opportunity in this space with a market size exceeding $880 billion.


The potential to reduce electronic waste and contribute to climate change by encouraging longer product usage resonated deeply with us, motivating myself and co-founder to establish iWarranty.

Consumers have at least 36 to 40 devices and gadgets in their house, so it’s a problem touching everyone. If consumers have better access and support, that means they will throw away less, save money, use their products for a longer period of time, indirectly contributing to the environment and reducing electronic waste.

On top of that, only 13% of global e-waste is properly recycled, and a lot of that ends up in emerging economies. All of that encouraged us to want to solve this business problem, and in 2019, I decided to quit law to pursue this goal.

What were the initial steps you took?

Initially, we developed a prototype of our consumer application, testing it with about 8,000 users and we received positive feedback. However, we refrained from going directly to consumers until we secured support from manufacturers and retailers.

Our approach then included engaging 550 repairers in the London area and seeking investor backing to demonstrate the value we could offer. We branded as a B2B platform working with small to medium sized manufacturers and retailers and have onboarded 12 clients, with a pipeline value of around €15.6 million.

Describe your experience as a female entrepreneur in the Luxembourg ecosystem?

Luxembourg offers an innovative and supportive ecosystem for female founders, reflective of Europe's overall recognition of women entrepreneurship.

I was actually in the UK when I applied for the Fit 4 Start programme, a global competition from Luxembourg.


Timing was also critical in my experience as a founder. At the time I moved into the entrepreneurship space in 2020, the world was transitioning and thinking about women's role, inclusivity, diversity and female leadership in workplaces.

Today, there is a profound recognition of the invaluable contributions women make, particularly in tackling the urgent crisis of climate change. We cannot afford to marginalise half of the population; inclusivity is imperative.

The overwhelming support evident in funding initiatives is testament to this shift. Notably, our early backers were all women, a powerful testament to women empowering women. There is now a widespread acknowledgment that female entrepreneurs are at the forefront of innovation, capable of not only building successful companies and unicorns but also steering companies to unparalleled success in solving some of the biggest environmental challenges we face.

What challenges do you foresee for women in entrepreneurship?

We need more role models. The scarcity of female role models in certain fields, such as female developers, poses a recruitment challenge for startups. Encouraging more women to pursue careers in tech is essential for creating a balanced and inclusive workforce. Also, we need more women in STEM studies.

How do you promote diversity and inclusion within your company?

We currently have two roles advertised on ADEM, the development employment agency in Luxembourg, and I remember writing to them about promoting more women in tech. Diversity and inclusion are integral parts of our company's HR policy, which we recently formalised. It is also part of our values and principles to have that culture.

As we develop our product and team, we prioritise addressing gender gaps, recognising that both men and women play pivotal roles in purchasing decisions.

Where do you envision iWarranty in the next five years?

We want Luxembourg to serve as our European home as we expand into markets like Germany, Italy, France, and the Netherlands.

We plan to launch a fundraising round in Luxembourg, and probably in another country later this year or early next year. Our goal is to raise $5 million for scaling our business.


Our product also complies with the Right to Repair Regulation, supporting businesses and consumers repair rights. Our vision is to help consumers extend the useful life of products they already own, and we also want to build a successful and inclusive business.

In five- or ten-years’ time, we want to look back and say we simplified warranty management and product lifecycle management for consumers and businesses.


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