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London insurtech Laka scores €7.6M, acquires French e-bike broker Cylantro

London-based Laka, an insurtech focused on the green mobility space covering bikes, e-bikes, cargo e-bikes, has scored €7.6 million in funding. The round was led by French impact investor Shift4Good alongside existing investors Ponooc, Autotech Ventures, ABN AMRO Ventures, Porsche Ventures, Creandum known for investing in Unitary and Lindus Health, 1818 Ventures, Seedrs, and Elkstone Partners. Previous angel investors include Zwift CEO and co-founder, Eric Min.

The investment will be used to amplify Laka’s efforts to enable more customers to transition onto more environmentally friendly modes of transport.

Acquires e-bike broker Cylantro

In addition to the investment, Laka has announced the acquisition of French e-bike broker Cylantro with the aim to expand their presence in France.

Currently, Laka operates across 5 countries – the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The acquisition of Cylantro accelerates the brand’s expansion to France through an established customer base and strong partnerships. This adds well to Laka’s existing partnership with leading sports retailer Decathlon in the country.

As a result, Cylantro’s CEO and founder Thomas Arnou joined Laka to lead in France.

Collective approach to insurance

Founded by Ben Allen, Jens Hartwig and Tobias Taupitz in 2017, Laka provides a range of insurance and circular economy services to e-bike riders, enthusiast cyclists and companies.

Its main offering is collective-driven insurance. Laka uses a collective-driven insurance model to make insurance fair. Each month’s claims are shared amongst Laka’s collective of cyclists, so the monthly bill varies up to a guaranteed cap. Now cyclists only pay for what’s needed, not what’s expected.

It also offers other products such as personal liability, health and recovery and solutions for commercial partners.

With its approach, Laka has fixed what customers typically dislike about conventional insurance – long contracts, tons of fine print, and poor customer service. Whilst insurers benefit when a claim is rejected, Laka earns a success fee only when a claim is settled. This customer-centric approach comes with zero excess and monthly contracts.

Tobias Taupitz, CEO and co-founder of Laka, commented: “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 we look forward to working with them to expand our commitments to decarbonising 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, commented: “It is a great honour 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 incentivise positive behaviour 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, commented: “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.”

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