Paris-based Koala, a travel insurtech company, announced on Tuesday, March 28, that it has secured €2M in a fresh round of funding to accelerate its growth in Europe.
The company says the funds will also help it to grow its tech and sales teams and build brand-new travel protections.
The round was led by Insurtech Gateway, Koala’s existing investor that has its own FCA-authorised incubator + fund.
Koala aims to innovate in travel insurance
Léo Tordjman, co-founder of Koala, says, “Covid-19 was a real eye-opener for the travel market but also for travel protections which showed many of their limitations with messy exclusions and very long reimbursement processes.”
“Post-Covid, travel agencies and operators are more than ever looking for solutions to allow their users to travel with peace of mind. But traditional insurers have done very little to innovate since then, and that’s where Koala comes into its own.”
Founded in 2018 by Antony Mechin, Léo Tordjman and Ugo Weyl, Koala builds modular travel insurance policies from the ground up, adhering to the same guiding principles – remove exclusions, fully automate all operations, and provide insurance that doesn’t require evidence.
The company offers two products – a Cancellation for Any Reason (Koala Flex) and a Trip Disruption for Delays, Cancellations and Missed Connections (Koala Trip Disruption).
Koala helps travel companies and operators customise travel insurance and provide their clients with unmatched security and the best possible customer service without the need for justification or evidence.
Tordjman adds, “All of our products are unique, automated and customisable to enable an unprecedented customer experience. And thanks to our data-driven approach, we enable our partners to generate much more revenue than with their current offers.”
Koala says the raised funds will be invested in data and machine learning to continue optimising the company’s pricing and protection details, in particular with the contribution of Slimmer AI, an AI-specialised venture studio.
The funds will also allow the startup to create brand-new protections, continue growing its commercial team and fuel Koala’s growth.
Koala aims for growth in Europe
Koala began its commercialisation in the first quarter of 2022 with the signing of more than 30 agreements, including some well-known names in the market such as Direct Ferries, Pelikan, and Vola.
With more than 100,000 travellers being safeguarded by Koala in 2022, the company says its B2B2C approach was successful. It now aims to safeguard 500,000 tourists by 2023 and claims that it will already surpass its 2022 numbers by March.
Koala says it has made its product flexible enough in order to continuously improve its selling price and security details through data analysis, thereby increasing the income of its partners.
The company claims that with this data approach it is able to accomplish conversion rates up to 2.5 times higher than the industry standard.
Marion Doucet, CPO of Koala, says, “Unlike any other travel insurer, at Koala we continually A/B test our prices, protection details, visuals and even content.”
“A traveller leaving last minute in the South of France and another one preparing their trip in 5 months for the US does not have the same expectations or sensibility to protect themself, that’s why our technical solution automatically adapts our product to the travellers.”
“We are convinced that hyper-specification is a golden opportunity in the travel protection market,” adds Doucet.