Orus, a Paris-based insurtech company that serves small businesses, has closed a €5 million funding round less than a year after it was founded. Having seen initial success in just a few weeks of operation, the funding will enable Orus to grow its team and expand its product range to meet the needs of a currently under-served sector.
The round saw investment from Frst, Partech and Portage Ventures, as well as investment from around twenty angels. The angels included names from the insurance and finance sector like Pierre-Olivier Desaulle, the former CEO of premier insurers, Hiscox, Raphaël Vullierme, CEO of Luko, Christophe Triquet, founder of MeilleureAssurance, and Arthur Waller, CEO of Pennylane.
Côme Dartiguenave, who started Orus along with Tom Le Bras and Samuel Rossille in 2021 told TFN the story behind the company and their plans
Spotting the small business opportunity
Dartiguenave, now CEO, and Le Bras, Orus’ COO, met while they were working together at Partech, the VC firm that’s now one of Orus’ backers. “During our time at Partech, we had the chance to analyse a large number of B2C insurtech companies,” said Dartiguenave. “We realised that while B2C insurance had begun its digital transformation a few years ago, the small and medium business market was still completely neglected.”
Part of the reason behind this was the complexity of the business market. While the consumer market was relatively straightforward, the needs of business were complicated by both the variety of companies and sectors they needed to serve.
Discussion with business owners convinced them there was a technical solution, and they joined with Samuel Rossille to found Orus.
A vital, and large, market
SMEs are often cited as the most important part of the economy. The sheer number and variety of them, there are 24 million SMEs in Europe, means they account for a significant portion of any nation’s employment and economy.
Dartiguenave sees insurance as a ‘social good’, helping protect this significant sector. “SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy and must be able to access the most suitable offer for their needs,” he said.
Orus have taken the approach of offering products dedicated to each sector in the €70 billion market. Their first was aimed at the restaurant sector. Partnering with the insurer Wakam, they offer an online product that can be purchased in just five minutes.
“Orus aims to revolutionise the way SMEs interact with insurance,” says Dartiguenave. Their insurance offers products that are tailored for the sector and cover the main needs of that business. But, alongside that, they offer the flexibility more often associated with consumer insurance.
“Policyholders can adjust their contract in a few clicks to make sure they always have the coverage they need,” says Dartiguenave. “And there is zero commitment, Orus’ customers can cancel at any time.” Orus also aims to combine this with excellent customer service. “Orus is one of the rare Neo-insurances to have a claims delegation. This allows for more flexibility and faster reimbursements when something happens,” Dartiguenave told us.
Partnering with clients
Orus wants to develop a long-term relationship with clients. Insurance, traditionally, has been an industry into which people pay, and then make claims when needed. Orus, however, can see advantages to working differently.
“We have a long-term strategy focused on prevention and assistance,” says Dartiguenave. “We can monitor certain risks in real-time and alert customers before damage occurs. And we provide assistance if it does, focusing on fixing the damage instead of simply paying for it.”
While this offers their customers a higher level of service, it also gives Orus a unique advantage. With the proprietary data they have collected, they can further refine their pricing engine to ensure they are offering the best products and managing risk at a competitive price.
Expanding the team and range
The Orus team is currently sixteen people, but Dartiguenave plans to double that headcount over the coming months. They aim to hire people who will support their goals of improving customer experience, accelerating their commercial development, and launching new verticals.
Orus is still to announce, and in many cases decide, what those verticals will be. “Orus creates exclusive products tailored to each sector,” Dartiguenave said, “so will roll out new products progressively.” The company is adopting a bottom-up approach in choosing those sectors, considering customer pain-points, market size, and risk.
But, despite the tailored approach, Orus’ ambition is not limited to certain sectors. Dartiguenave told us, “Our vision is to offer simple, affordable, and tailored insurance to all European SMEs.”