Feather raises €6 million to go pan-European with its insurance coverage platform for expats | TechCrunch


As a foreigner, navigating medical health insurance methods can usually be troublesome. German startup Feather thinks it has an answer and raised €6 million to assist among the 40-plus million expats working and residing in Europe.

It isn’t that there are not any choices for international nationals to get insurance coverage; there are a lot. However it’s exactly as a result of the provide is fragmented and laborious to match with particular person wants that Feather thinks it might probably carve an area for itself regardless of heavy competitors from incumbents.

With expats usually gaining access to the general public well being system of their host nation, an enormous a part of the query is the place they fall into, particularly through the transition intervals which can be more and more widespread with the rise of distant work. 

It’s this degree of element that the startup needs to get proper, Feather CEO Rob Schumacher advised TechCrunch. As an example, it offers a suggestion device to assist people perceive what sort of protection they may want, beginning with medical health insurance, but additionally together with extra choices comparable to life, pet, automotive and private legal responsibility insurance coverage.

Feather’s fast evaluation device.
Picture Credit: Feather

“The funny thing is, everyone who’s an expat immediately gets it,” Schumacher stated. That helped Feather get angel checks from former founders who gained information of the problem by way of their startups, comparable to GoCardless, Monzo and N26, the place Feather CTO Vincent Audoire was an early worker. 

Smart co-founder Taavet Hinrikus additionally invested in Feather by way of the VC fund he co-founded, referred to as Plural. Feather’s lead investor, Eager Enterprise Companions, even got here inbound: It was affiliate Abdul Afridi, an expat himself, who approached the startup, and never the opposite approach round, Schumacher stated.

Nevertheless, fundraising has been something however painless for insurtech startups within the post-2021 hype, and Schumacher is cautious of creating the method sound simpler than it was.

With French neoinsurer Luko coming undone within the background, and different very public insurtech woes, getting late diligence was no simple feat. With conversations dragging on, Feather’s founders thought-about merely going again to pursuing profitability. “And I think that was the key thing that made us really interesting again,” Schumacher stated.

Worldwide enlargement

Feather went alongside as a result of its new backers introduced experience on a variety of matters, together with branding, however largely as a result of the capital will assist enhance its inside enlargement. The startup presently serves expats in Germany, France and Spain, with three extra international locations set to launch by the tip of 2024. 

It wouldn’t have accomplished this with out extra funding, Schumacher stated. “We would have just done more incremental stuff.” That may in all probability have been a wasted alternative: The startup says it achieved extra in its six months post-launch in Spain than in its first 18 months in Germany.

Regardless of the worldwide viewers it serves, an enlargement roadmap wasn’t apparent for Feather, whose founders thought they may go for a broader viewers in Germany first. Nevertheless, they quickly realized that the expat area of interest was notably fascinating for a digital-first providing like theirs. 

In comparison with the identical age cohort of locals, expats are more likely to favor not coping with a dealer. However they do nonetheless need assistance; as a French nationwide, Audoire is aware of this first-hand, and so does Schumacher, who relocated to Germany after spending most of his life overseas.

Whereas they’re scratching their very own itch, the duo is conscious that the market they’re going after is very massive, and rising. Whether or not you name them expats or immigrants, the very fact is that Europe’s economies appear set on hiring extra international employees to compensate for his or her ageing inhabitants.

Discovering steadiness

To its finish customers, Feather guarantees a greater expertise consisting of clear insurance policies, unbiased suggestions, and easy digital claims processes, all in English. With its new funding, additionally it is taking a “big bet” on worker profit insurance coverage that corporations hiring a number of expats might need to present.

Whereas it’s as bullish on tech as any insurtech participant, Feather can also be eager to not badmouth legacy gamers, which it companions with, and has a pair senior insurance coverage executives on its cap desk. 

This, and its measured strategy to fundraising and spending, might repay, or a minimum of assist the businesses keep away from the scrutiny new insurtech partnerships are dealing with. “For the last six years we’ve been doing healthy, sustainable business, and this allows you to unlock new things, even with incumbents,”Schumacher stated.

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