German Startup Insurance Carrier Coya Raises $10M Seed Investment

Coya’s stated aim is to become Europe’s leading digital insurer adopting a customer-first approach and a tech-driven insurance business model.

(Image source: Coya homepage.)

Coya AG, a Berlin-based digital insurance start-up, reports that it has raised a seed investment of over $10 million from notable global investors including Valar Ventures (New York), e.ventures (San Francisco), and La Famiglia (Munich). Coya’s stated aim is to become Europe’s leading digital insurer adopting a customer-first approach and a tech-driven insurance business model. The company has filed an application with German financial regulator BaFin (Bonn) to become a fully licensed and regulated insurance carrier. Coya plans to launch in 2018, pending license approval. The current investment will be used to expand the Coya team and develop product.

Coya founders Sebastián Villarroel, Andrew Shaw and Peter Hagen. (Click to enlarge.)

Founded by Andrew Shaw, former CIO of Kreditech; Dr. Peter Hagen, former CEO of Vienna Insurance Group (VIG); and Sebastian Villarroel, former data specialist at Kreditech, Allianz and Zenmate; Coya comprises a team of over 30 employees with insurance, technology and data science backgrounds with experience at companies such as AXA, Citi, HUK-Coburg, Oliver Wyman, Rocket Internet, Wimdu and Zurich.

“From day one, we have always focused on hiring the best people, all as ambitious as the founders and all eager to revolutionize the insurance industry,” comments Andrew Shaw, co-founder and CEO, Coya. “With our unique mix of insurance, tech and data science expertise, we are rethinking the insurance business model from scratch. We put the customer first in all that we do, while building up cutting-edge proprietary technology.”

Christian Miele, principal at e.ventures, says the venture capital firm has been screening the insurance market for many years. “As the global addressable market exceeds a trillion dollar in premium volume, it’s truly one of the most exciting industries to be disrupted by superior technology within the next decades,” he comments. “Coya’s exceptional team and complex technological vision convinced our partnership to back Coya early on and help them to become a leading insurance carrier.”

James Fitzgerald, Co-Founder, Valar Ventures.

Frictionless, Moble and Web-First Experience

From onboarding to claims processing, insurance carriers have failed to embrace 21st century technologies, either because they don’t want to or they can’t, or both, according to James Fitzgerald, partner, Valar Ventures. “Coya is going to implement into every aspect of its customer journey the basic technologies that consumers have come to expect in their digital life—a frictionless, mobile and web-first experience, powered by machine learning. In short, Coya is going to revolutionize the insurance industry in Europe.”

“Winning the backing and support of such big investors shows their trust in Coya’s vision and in Coya’s amazing team,” comments Peter Hagen, co-founder of Coya. “Valar’s experience with PayPal, Transferwise and N26 already set an example for the  disruption of outdated business models in financial technology. This investment will allow Coya to further extend our team and build up an exceptional product for our customers.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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