London-based Laka, a peer-to-peer bicycle insurance platform that insures bicycles and cycling equipment against theft or damage, announced on Wednesday that it has raised $12M (approx €10.6M) in its Series A round of funding. Prior to this, the company had raised €4.29M in funding, in February 2020.
According to a statement, the e-mobility sector is set to grow further as consumers and commercial businesses turn to cleaner forms of transport. With 19 per cent of commuters now likely to cycle to work after the lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the retail mobility market has a strong growth outlook. Laka aims to capitalise on this year-on-year sector growth.
Investors in this round
The round was led by US mobility investor Autotech Ventures with participation from sustainable mobility and energy fund Ponooc, a Dutch sustainable mobility investor with close ties to the world’s largest bike seller Pon. In addition, ABN AMRO Ventures of leading European bank ABN AMRO also participated in this round.
Existing investors, including Creandum, LocalGlobe, 1818 Ventures, and Elkstone Partners, joined in as well. Confidence in Laka was shown by global cycling industry leaders as well, with angel investment coming from Zwift CEO and co-founder, Eric Min.
Burak Cendek, Partner at Autotech Ventures, says, “As a transportation-focused fund, we’ve been witnessing the explosive growth in personal ownership of two-wheelers – especially in light of the pandemic – as well as increased business use cases within logistics. Not only is Laka’s innovative product line answering unmet needs of the market but we believe that Laka has the potential to transform the insurance industry as a whole.”
Rui Li, Investment Manager at Ponooc, adds, “We are convinced that insurtech will play an important role in accelerating the adoption of sustainable mobility. In this space, LAKA offers an exceptional proposition for both the B2B and B2C markets.”
Funds to expand in Europe
Laka says the raised capital will help it to expand across Europe, launching in Belgium, France, and Germany in the first half of 2022. The company will also expand its product offering to e-scooters, e-mopeds and, eventually, e-cars to serve Europe-wide partnerships including manufacturers, retailers, and leasing businesses.
Laka will be able to provide the service through its recently announced partnerships with global giant Randstad, iconic cycling brands Raleigh and Le Col, as well as the world’s largest sports retailer, Decathlon.
To support its rapid growth, the company will double its remote-first workforce and provide collaboration hubs across Europe, focus on introducing deeper API and e-commerce integration options, and drive ‘innovative’ pricing through its AI behavioural risk modelling capabilities.
Currently, Laka is already insuring many of the UK’s last-mile delivery companies, such as Zapp, Jiffy and Urb-it, and now aims to cover commercial fleets Europe-wide – where companies are shifting their fleet to greener transport and where e-mobility is underserved by traditional insurers.
Tobias Taupitz, CEO and co-founder of Laka, says, “E-mobility is redefining transport globally, and Laka has set out to build the backbone to support the e-mobility segment at a time when “Net Zero Emissions” has rightly become front of mind for consumers, businesses and government policy. To support this shift towards a greener future, we have a bold vision to become the world’s largest e-mobility insurance partner.”
A peer-to-peer bicycle insurance platform
Founded in 2017 by Ben Allen, Jens Hartwig and Tobias Taupitz, Laka has a fresh take on insurance. The company created an insurance model by connecting passionate cyclists all over the UK to form a community and protect their bikes.
Laka offers insurance for retail and commercial customers ranging from enthusiast cyclists and commuters, to e-cargo bike drivers and delivery fleet riders. Customers don’t have to pay upfront premiums and are instead charged based on the cost of claims submitted by the collective the previous month. Fewer claims result in lower charges.
Laka customers work together as a collective and share the cost of claims. The company handles all claims, divides the cost fairly, and limits each customer’s maximum monthly spend with a cap based on the value of the equipment insured by each individual member.
The members fully benefit from lower costs but are also protected if there are a high volume of claims in any given month. The company claims that its platform delivers a fast and straightforward user experience for businesses and consumers – from set-up to making a claim.