Growing with Odie: Lessons from building an insurance company.


  • Product Management
  • Engineering
  • Design
  • Brand Strategy


  • Web
  • API


  • User Research
  • Branding
  • UI & UX
  • Product Development

About the Company

  • $6MM total funding to date
  • Series A
  • InsurTech

Picture this: you’re a pet owner, and your furry friend means the world to you. They’re your loyal companion, confidant, and source of endless joy. But as much as you love them, you know that unexpected accidents or illnesses can happen anytime. That’s where pet insurance comes in – giving you peace of mind and protecting your four-legged family member. But let’s face it – traditional pet insurance can be a headache. The claims process is slow and frustrating, premiums can be unpredictable, and many policies are inflexible and outdated. That’s why Miles Thorson and Zabrina Janda, the founders of Odie, decided to disrupt the industry and partner with Nolte to create a pet insurance digital product that truly addresses the needs of pets, their owners, and Odie’s business partners.

Setting The Course.

We took the time to validate ideas and concepts to build a viable, feasible digital product that Odie’s customers would actually love to use and that would compete in a crowded market. Interviewing pet owners allowed us to understand they weren’t looking for the cheapest insurance option; they wanted to avoid unexpected financial hardship and ensure their pets’ health and well-being in the long run.

And by analyzing the Pet Insurance ecosystem, we could consolidate the user needs into three themes of business opportunities: simple and easy-to-understand customer-facing processes, transparent and predictable premiums, and flexible coverage.

Through innovation workshops, we guided Odie’s team in defining the strategy to align their brand and product with what potential customers cared for; and helped them prioritize features based on differentiation, alignment with the product development roadmap, relevant initiatives, impact potential, and level of effort.

Evolution Is Disruption.

After a deep understanding of Odie’s category and customers, we guided its brand and product evolution to a highly differentiated refresh. The new brand direction took Odie’s position in the market from affordable to accessible to everyone.

By democratizing pet care, we introduced brand and company values of great importance for Odie’s customers, like unreserved love for pets and radical animal care responsibility. The new brand also incorporated a friendlier and warmer look but with an activist and advocative tone.

We also aligned Odie’s new values and brand messaging with their user experience and marketing website to drive profitable outcomes and solidify their position as a leader in the pet insurance industry.

Design System

Build Momentum.

We enabled the company to build traction, attract new customers, and scale revenue efficiently by streamlining multiple internal and customer-facing operations. Internally, we increased alignment and reduced deployment times by implementing real-time reporting, automating tests, builds, and deployments, building and iterating on lightweight product development processes, and opening sync and async communication channels. Externally, we helped Odie optimize their revenue operations by evolving claims, payments, and end-customer communications to handle higher volumes; and diversify their revenue streams by creating a white-label API for B2B clients. But at its core, breaking the debt cycle was what really helped Odie build momentum.

Low-code and no-code development were game-changers for Odie at the very early stages of the company. However, as the company grew, so did the complexity of its product management, and custom code became essential. We helped Odie move away from Caspio, a no-code solution and their primary product development environment. Caspio was hindering the product’s evolution as Odie’s need for customization increased. The costs of accessing Caspio’s broader functionality were rising quickly and disproportionately to the company’s stage. And Caspio’s integration capabilities fell short as we expanded Odie’s B2B offering. This shift was critical for Odie’s near and long-term success.

New Horizons.

Odie wanted to expand their business by tapping into the B2B market. Our team worked with them to make it happen and created the Pet Insurance Service API, a white-label multi-tenancy environment that allows for customized solutions per b2b2c client.

Partners can personalize their customers’ brand experience, segment payments, claims, policies, and customer support. Sales teams can generate quotes for group policies at scale based on pet, location, and other data, empowering them to quickly produce quotes for employers and employees. Partners can check out policy quotes and convert them into policies, including all documents. Policyholders also benefit from a customized claim system, which facilitates two-way communication with the claims team. Pet information and documentation are also included in the system.

Partnership Insights

For 3.5 years, our partnership disrupted the traditional pet insurance industry by quickly getting to market, focusing on differentiation in a crowded space, and co-creating agile practices. This approach helped Odie win new customers, solidify business relationships, and evolve their digital products while in-market helping to reduce business risks and increasing the positive impact across its value chain.

Together we launch!

We are deeply committed to empowering non-tech founders to build successful tech companies and have a strong track record of doing so.

Are you an early-stage non-tech founder with an existing product or looking to launch a new one?

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