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Already profitable, Koala raises 2m. euros to accelerate its growth

  • Koala team

Designed for the ultimate experience, Koala creates travel protections from scratch to offer a 100% automated claim process requiring no proof or justification. Since its creation, Koala has partnered with 30+ travel distributors in Europe including Direct Ferries, Pelikan and Vola.

PARIS – Koala, the travel insurtech, announces the successful completion of a 2 million euros fundraising round led by its existing investor Insurtech Gateway and welcomes 3 new investors: Uneti Ventures, Slimmer AI and Sterling Oak.

This round will fuel Koala’s growth in Europe, enabling it to continue growing its tech and sales teams, and building brand-new travel protections.

Innovating in travel insurance? Koala takes on the challenge

The travel insurance market is challenging to break into: products that traditionally require a lot of human operations, no subscription model, and distribution channels that have been locked up by the same insurers for years.

Add to this, Covid-19 that changed the expectations of travellers and distributors, who are now more than ever looking for simple, flexible solutions that allow them to book their travel with peace of mind. That’s where Koala comes in.

Founded in 2018 by Antony Mechin, Léo Tordjman and Ugo Weyl, Koala builds modular travel protections from scratch, always with the same philosophy: remove exclusions, automate 100% of the operations and offer protections requiring no proof. To date, the startup has developed 2 unique products: a Cancellation for Any Reason (Koala Flex) and a Trip Disruption for Delays, Cancellations and Missed Connections (Koala Trip Disruption).

With Koala, travel agencies and operators can tailor their travel protection and offer their customers unparalleled protection coupled with an optimal customer experience that requires no proof or reasons.

“Covid-19 was a real eye-opener for the travel market but also for travel protections which showed many of their limitations with messy exclusions and very long reimbursement processes. Post-Covid, travel agencies and operators are more than ever looking for solutions to allow their users to travel with peace of mind. But traditional insurers have done very little to innovate since then, and that’s where Koala comes into its own. All of our products are unique, automated and customizable to enable an unprecedented customer experience. And thanks to our data-driven approach, we enable our partners to generate much more revenue than with their current offers” says Léo Tordjman, Co-founder of Koala

Koala wants to become a European reference in travel protection

After years of development, Koala launched its full-scale commercialisation in early 2022 with over 30+ partnerships signed including some market references like Direct Ferries, Pelikan and Vola.

This B2B2C strategy bore fruit with more than 100,000 travellers protected by Koala in 2022. The startup, which has been profitable for several months, has big ambitions and is aiming to protect 500,000 travellers in 2023. The year has got off to a great start, by March Koala had already exceeded its 2022 figures.

The key to Koala’s success: making its product so modular that it can continually optimise its selling price and protection details through data analysis, thereby increasing its partners’ revenue. Thanks to this data strategy, Koala is able to achieve conversion rates up to 2.5 times higher than the market average.

“Unlike any other travel insurer, at Koala we continually A/B test our prices, protection details, visuals and even content. A traveller leaving last minute in the South of France and another one preparing their trip in 5 months for the United States does not have the same expectations or sensibility to protect themself, that’s why our technical solution automatically adapts our product to the travellers. We are convinced that hyper-specification is a golden opportunity in the travel protection market” comments Marion Doucet, CPO of Koala.

“Koala grew significantly in 2022. With their unique customer experience, they continually gain traction among travel providers in Europe. We have high hopes for Koala, we are excited to be a part of their journey and to support their vision for the future” says Richard Chattock, CEO at Insurtech Gateway.

The 2 million euros fundraising round will enable Koala to invest in data and machine learning to continue optimizing Koala pricing and protection details, in particular with the contribution of Slimmer AI, an AI-specialized venture studio. It will also allow the startup to create brand-new protections, continue growing its commercial team and fuel Koala’s growth.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.