With commuters wanting to avoid public transport and shifting to greener ways to travel during the pandemic, bike sales have soared. The UK’s Bicycle Association found that retailers saw sales of bikes grow by 60% between March and December 2020.
It seems the timing is just right for Laka, which has pedalled in with additional funding to the tune of $1.5 million. The funding from Porsche Ventures, the venture capital unit of Porsche AG, will protect customers from theft and damage. The London-based The bicycle insurance platform had raised $12 million in a series A funding round, led by Autotech Ventures and followed by Ponooc and ABN AMRO, in January this year. The new additional cash brings its Series A funding to $13.5 million.
Laka will use the new capital and network opportunities to facilitate its European expansion. It will also expand its product offering to e-scooters, e-mopeds and, eventually, e-cars to better serve Europe-wide partnerships, including manufacturers, retailers and leasing businesses.
Doing away with outdated traditional insurance, Laka offers a fairer, collective-driven approach to insurance. Laka customers pay no upfront premiums and are instead charged based on the cost of claims submitted by the collective the previous month. Fewer claims result in lower charges. The firm’s customers work together as a collective and share the cost of claims.
Going forward, the startup will explore opportunities with the Porsche Ventures portfolio to build the backbone to support the e-mobility segment. Initially it will partner with German cycling brand Cyklaer to offer new and existing customers built in digital insurance products. Cyklaer will be joining Laka’s partners, which include Decathlon, Raleigh and Le Col, Santander Consumer Finance and Monzo. The partnerships are expected to enable the brands to provide end-to-end digital experiences by immediately protecting their customers from theft and damage at the point of sale.
Tobias Taupitz, CEO and co-founder of Laka said: “2021 truly depicted an inflection point for Laka as we moved from a pure direct-to-consumer play towards retail and commercial partnerships. e-mobility is redefining transport globally, and Laka has set out to build the backbone to support the e-mobility segment at a time when net zero emission has rightly become front of mind for consumers, businesses and government policy. To support this shift towards a greener future, we have a bold vision to become the world’s largest e-mobility insurance partner.”
Patrick Huke, head of Porsche Ventures in Europe said: “The increasing digitisation and variety of sustainable mobility offers leads to the need for an innovative and customer-centric offer in the field of digital insurance. The platform is addressing the global insurance market with a highly adaptable and digital business model, which focuses above all on the customer experience.”