UK-based Laka secures €10.6 million to build European e-mobility insurtech solution

On a mission to build the leading e-mobility insurtech offering in Europe, London-based Laka has secured over €10.6 million for its unique insurance model. 

The funding for the pioneering startup is coming from leading e-mobility and cycling industry investors, reflecting the potential Laka has to become the leading player in the market. 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, alongside ABN AMRO Ventures of leading European bank ABN AMRO. 

Existing investors including Creandum, LocalGlobe, 1818 Ventures and Elkstone Partners followed on. Notably, confidence in Laka was shown by global cycling industry leaders, with angel investment coming from Zwift CEO and co-founder, Eric Min. 

E-mobility is one of Europe’s hottest industries at the moment and there’s no doubt been an explosive growth in ownership of bicycles, scooters, and other two-wheeled e-transport options in recent years. It’s a trend spurred by the move to more environmentally transport options, the pandemic, and increased use cases for e-mobility in business spheres. 

However, while e-mobility is booming, there’s still space in the cycling and e-mobility insurance sphere – Laka is uniquely placed as one of the first to market with an insurance model that has customer interest built-in to the core. 

CEO and co-founder, Tobias Taupitz, said: “2021 truly depicted an inflection point for Laka as we moved from a pure direct-to-consumer play towards retail and commercial partnerships. 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.” 

Founded in 2018, Laka offers insurance for retail and commercial customers ranging from enthusiast cyclists and commuters to e-cargo bike drivers and delivery fleet riders. With bespoke cover, flexible pay as you go policies covering the bike per day, and pricing based on the actual cost of claims, Laka is able to offer much fairer pricing across Europe. However, price isn’t everything, service is. Laka’s tech platform delivers a fast and straightforward user experience for businesses and consumers; from set-up to making a claim. Whilst its in-house claims team provides award-winning service to get customers back on their bike quickly. 

The innovative company works as a collective insurer, meaning that community members pay into a collective pot each month (instead of paying a premium), and whenever they need to claim for a lost, damaged or stolen bike, the insurance funds come from this communal pot they pay into – taking away the insurer’s incentive to limit claims by bringing in the shared ownership model. 

With the e-mobility sector set to grow further as consumers and commercial businesses turn to cleaner forms of transport, Laka aims to capitalise on this and will expand its product offering to e-scooters, e-mopeds and, eventually, e-cars to better serve Europe-wide partnerships including manufacturers, retailers and leasing businesses.

To support rapid growth, Laka will double its remote-first workforce and provide collaboration hubs across Europe, scale its award-winning customer experience, place a heavy focus on introducing deeper API and ecommerce integration options and drive innovative pricing through its AI behavioural risk modelling capabilities. 

Already insuring many of the UK’s leading last-mile delivery companies, such as Zapp, Jiffy and Urb-it, Laka will now expand to cover commercial fleets Europe-wide, where companies who are shifting their fleet to greener transport and e-mobility are underserved by traditional insurers.

Laka will use the new capital to rapidly expand across Europe, launching in Belgium, France and Germany in the first half of 2022 to service retail partners on the back of recently won partnerships including global giant Randstad, iconic cycling brands Raleigh and Le Col, as well as a leading international consumer bank and the world’s largest sports retailer, Decathlon.  

Eric Min, Zwift CEO and co-founder said: “The shift to greener transport is happening fast, and it needs a forward-thinking and highly adaptable insurer to help power that change. That’s why I’m excited to be a part of Laka’s growth across Europe as they leverage tech, data and their in-house claims expertise to lead in the e-mobility insurance space with their unique model”.