Insurtech Laka Secures US$8 Million Funding, Acquires Rival Cylantro to Fuel European Expansion
Insurtech Laka Secures US$8 Million Funding, Acquires Rival Cylantro to Fuel European Expansion
UK Insurtech start-up Laka has successfully raised US$8 million in a recent funding round, led by the French mobility fund Shift4Good.

The London-based company, specialising in providing insurance coverage for e-bike owners, has also acquired Cylantro, a France-based e-bike insurance broker.

Laka’s innovative approach to insurance is centered around a “collective-driven insurance model.” Unlike traditional premiums, where users pay upfront costs, Laka’s model is based on the actual cost of claims. E-bike owners pay no initial premium; instead, monthly claims are shared among a collective of cyclists. According to Laka, this approach ensures that cyclists only pay for the coverage they truly need.

In a statement released by the insurtech, the company aims were outlined. It read: “Through extra funding from the likes of Shift4Good & the acquisition of Cylantro, we’ll continue expanding beyond insurance, into a platform focussed on the Green Mobility transition. With ancillary services accounting for an increasing proportion of revenue, we’re committed to delivering value to our Collective. We centre our services around maximising value for customers whilst adhering to stringent ESG targets. For example salvaging damaged bike parts and recovering stolen bikes reduces the need for replacements and minimises our carbon footprint.”

The €7.6 million ($8 million) funding round saw participation from notable investors, including Autotech Ventures, Porsche Ventures, Creandum, Ponooc, and Elkstone Partners. The funds raised consist of a combination of debt and equity, reflecting the confidence investors have in Laka’s unique business model.

Tobias Taupitz, CEO of Laka, shared insights into the company’s expansion strategy during a recent interview with Forbes. He said Laka is actively pursuing a B2B2C (business-business-consumer) model by collaborating with retailers to broaden its reach among cyclists. This move aligns with the company’s vision of making insurance more accessible and tailored to the needs of its user base.

Taupitz noted there is significant opportunity within micromobility insurance, envisioning the potential for Laka to emerge as the leading player in Europe for insuring this relatively nascent form of transportation.

“I think there’s a big wide space in the European market for what we call a green mobility powerhouse. You have lots of individual local brokers that service one individual country, but nobody has solved the pain point for these bigger partners who sell bikes across territories, across borders with lots of challenges and regulatory perspectives and the like,” he said.

Laka’s existing partnerships with retailers, such as Decathlon, highlight its commitment to reaching e-bike owners directly through various channels. The acquisition of Cylantro is expected to further strengthen Laka’s foothold in the European market, consolidating its position as a leading player in the e-bike insurance sector.

“I think we’ve built a great infrastructure backbone to service a Decathlon for example in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and do so now increasingly with more and more partners.”

“You can of course go about [expansion] organically or you can find the right partners inorganically with the same mission. Our mission is to service a lot of customers across the European continent and at the point of claim where our model is strongest and we can we provide the full benefit to our consumers,” Taupitz said.

“By that I mean an increasing amount of our income is no longer insurance driven but auxiliary services. For example, when your bike gets stolen, I’ll send your new bike to your doorstep, I’ll source that for you. The same goes for salvaging damaged bikes and bike parts and giving the money back to the customer and other elements like that.”

As the demand for e-bikes continues to surge across Europe, Laka’s innovative and collaborative approach to insurance is well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of cyclists in the region. The recent funding and acquisition mark a significant milestone in Laka’s journey, propelling the company toward further expansion and industry leadership.

Laka currently serves customers in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany, and has set its sights on expanding into Denmark and Austria as part of its broader European strategy. CEO Tobias Taupitz revealed that Laka is open to exploring potential acquisitions in these markets to enhance its growth trajectory.

The funding round, which attracted participation from a range of firms and investors, featured notable contributors such as ABN AMRO Ventures, 1818 Ventures, and Seedrs. This diverse support further underscores the industry’s confidence in Laka’s vision and its potential for sustained success in the evolving landscape of e-bike insurance.

Author: Joanna England

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