Laka, a dynamic insurtech company with a laser focus on green mobility, including bicycles, e-bikes, and cargo e-bikes, has secured a substantial €7.6 million in funding. The funding round was spearheaded by the prominent French impact investor, Shift4Good, and enjoyed the continued support of existing investors, including Ponooc, Autotech Ventures, ABN AMRO Ventures, Porsche Ventures, Creandum (known for their investment in Unitary and Lindus Health), 1818 Ventures, Seedrs, and Elkstone Partners. Laka also boasts previous angel investments from the CEO and co-founder of Zwift, Eric Min.
This significant investment will turbocharge Laka's mission to transition more individuals towards environmentally friendly modes of transport.
In addition to this financial boost, Laka has made headlines with its acquisition of the French e-bike brokerage firm, Cylantro. This strategic move is set to significantly bolster Laka's presence in France. Currently, Laka is operational across five countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The acquisition of Cylantro promises to expedite Laka's expansion efforts in France, thanks to an established customer base and strong partnerships. This development complements Laka's existing collaboration with the renowned sports retailer Decathlon in the French market. Thomas Arnou, the CEO and founder of Cylantro, has joined the Laka team and will spearhead the company's initiatives in France.
Founded in 2017 by Ben Allen, Jens Hartwig, and Tobias Taupitz, Laka offers a broad spectrum of insurance and circular economy services designed specifically for e-bike enthusiasts, cyclists, and corporate clients. Laka's flagship product is collective-driven insurance, a model aimed at introducing fairness and transparency into the insurance landscape. With this model, each month's claims are shared among Laka's community of cyclists, ensuring that the monthly premium remains flexible, with a guaranteed cap. In other words, cyclists pay for what they need, not for what is anticipated.
The company also provides additional products such as personal liability, health and recovery coverage, and solutions tailored to commercial partners. Laka's innovative approach addresses some of the most common pain points associated with traditional insurance policies, including lengthy contracts, convoluted fine print, and subpar customer service. Unlike traditional insurers who may benefit from rejecting claims, Laka only earns a success fee when a claim is successfully settled. This customer-centric approach eliminates excess fees and offers monthly contracts, enhancing the overall experience for policyholders.
Tobias Taupitz, CEO and co-founder of Laka, expressed his enthusiasm for the new chapter: "We're excited to welcome onboard the Cylantro team to Laka. Thomas and his team have built up a fantastic offering in France, and we can't wait to ramp up our presence across the country. E-bikes are expected to outgrow car sales by 2025 in Europe, and we see huge potential in France, where the sales of bikes and e-bikes are growing at double digits. We are also excited to welcome Shift4Good as an investor and look forward to working with them to expand our commitments to decarbonizing mobility by making it easier for consumers to insure and protect their bikes or e-bikes."
Matthieu de Chanville, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Shift4Good, added, "It is a great honor to assist Laka in accelerating within the highly promising market of smart mobility. Laka returns insurance to its pure, mutual heritage. Laka's members and their shared interests incentivize positive behavior, which, in turn, benefits the entire community. We have full confidence in the team, their tech stack, and the momentum of Laka."
Thomas Arnou, CEO and founder of Cylantro, echoed the sentiment, stating, "Cylantro was in the unique position of having a lot of acquisition interest and, therefore, able to get a clear vision of the competitor landscape. We chose to join forces with Laka because of their aligned core principles – customer first and best-in-class claims handling. We're ready to build the European leader together."
Laka's recent funding and strategic moves have propelled the insurtech company into the fast lane of the green mobility revolution, redefining how people protect their two-wheeled investments and furthering their commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly transportation solutions. The future of green mobility looks promising with Laka leading the way.