Start-up Coya raises $10m to launch digital insurer


Berlin-based digital insurance start-up Coya raised a seed investment of over $10 million from investors including Valar Ventures, the venture fund backed by Peter Thiel.

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

As part of this vision, Coya has filed an application with German financial regulator BaFin to become a fully licensed and regulatedinsurance carrier. Coya plans to launch its services in 2018, following the license approval.

Coya was founded by Andrew Shaw, former CIO of Kreditech, Peter Hagen, former CEO of Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), and Sebastian Villarroel, former data specialist at Kreditech, Allianz and Zenmate. Overall, Coya comprises a team of more than 30 employees.

“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,” said Andrew Shaw, founder and CEO of Coya.

The seed round’s investment volume of more than $10 million is one of the largest in the German start-up scene ever, according to the company.

James Fitzgerald, Partner at Valar Ventures, said: “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,” said.

Peter Hagen, founder of Coya, added: “Winning the backing and support of such big investors shows their trust in Coya’s vision and in Coya’s amazing team. Valar’s experience with PayPal, Transferwise and N26 already set an example for the disruption of outdated business models in financial technology.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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