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IPO Watch: Digital insurer Getsafe raises $93m in fresh funding as it eyes listing

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CEO Christian Wiens. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK
Getsafe CEO and co-founder Christian Wiens. Photo: Getsafe

Digital insurer Getsafe said it could be set for an IPO within the next 36 months, as it expanded its series B funding round from $30m (£22m) to $93m. 

It said the most recent round of funding will back its application for an insurance licence by the end of the year and accelerate its European expansion into territories such as France, Spain and Italy.

The platform, which targets millennial insurance buyers in Germany and the UK, now serves a quarter of a million customers and is making moves to consolidate its position as Europe’s largest "neo-insurer." It is looking to become the "Aviva (AV.L) or Allianz (ALV.DE) of the digital era." 

CEO and co-founder Christian Wiens told Yahoo Finance a listing in Frankfurt or London looked likely in the next few years, adding that other players in the market, such as Lemonade (LMND), had also been quick to go to public markets due to the fact that insurance tends to be a tried and tested business model. 

The platform is digitising the entire insurance process and making it accessible through its smartphone app. Via the app, customers can buy, manage, and adapt their policies as well as file a claim on the go.

Wiens says the app helps first-time insurance buyers to take one of the “big steps of adulting." 

Read more: What are share repurchases?

Among first-time insurance buyers, who are mostly millennials, the app is already leading the German market, and that customer retention is down to higher engagement with the product. Some 30% of customers use the Getsafe app every month — a much higher engagement than that of traditional insurance companies or brokers.

It more than doubled its UK footprint between June and August, rising from 10,000 users to 25,000 over that period. Wiens told Yahoo Finance that uptake in the UK market has been faster than Germany due to a more liberal attitude to financial products and groundwork laid by challenger banks such as Revolut and Monzo. 

Currently, one quarter of Getsafe’s total growth is already generated through the British market.

Getsafe interface. Photo: Getsafe
Getsafe interface. Photo: Getsafe

The insurtech launched in the UK back in February 2020 and has teamed up with GoCompare to bolster its presence.

Among its new investors are some of the largest family offices in Germany, who have asked not to be named, and the likes of Earlybird and Abacon Capital. Existing investors CommerzVentures and Swiss Re also participated. 

Getsafe declined to comment on how much the funding round would value the business at. 

The company began offering renters insurance in Germany in late 2017, and has expanded its product portfolio to car insurance at the end of last year. It also launched its renters insurance product in the UK in 2020. 

“The insurance brands we know today have been founded in a totally different era,” says Wiens. 

“But insurance, more than many other products, can be much better when powered by technology and machine learning. This is why we believe that insurance companies built from scratch, on their own digital platform, are set to become the dominant insurance players for the generations to come.”

Read more: Tesla Model 3 tops UK's best selling car in September

Before the series B funding round, Getsafe had raised a total of $53m to date since being founded in May 2015.

"The disruption of the insurance sector is well underway and holds lots of growth opportunities. Getsafe is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between traditional insurance distribution and the needs of a new generation of customers across Europe," said Christian Nagel, partner at Earlybird. 

“We don’t only want to do insurance differently, but we want to make it unconditionally better. The innovations in the insurance market we’ve seen so far are merely the tip of the iceberg. Becoming a full-stack carrier will give us the necessary freedom to take unconventional paths and to realise innovations quicker than before,” says Wiens.

In the long term, Getsafe wants to offer holistic insurance coverage for people across Europe, including life insurance. Getsafe’s proprietary infrastructure is inherently geared towards multiple product lines, languages, and markets.

Watch: Will Interest rates stay low forever?

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