Insurance is not attractive, the founders of Hakuna know. They want the product to be less obtrusive and complicated, following their investor’s example.
Insurance is not sexy. You don’t buy insurance, they sell it to you. Power on in the worst case. Perfect Startup Case: Here’s something that sucks, so you can do better. This works best if you already know a bit about the topic. Like Sebastian Jost, Orhan Köroglu and Rupert Mayer, who hail from different parts of the startup scene but met while working at Abracar, a used car agency and spinoff of Munich insurance giant Allianz. .
Can it be a little more?
So now the three insurance brokerage companies, but in such a way that customers barely notice. It should be nonchalant and incidental and without the feeling of “someone here is trying to talk me into something.” They call their integrated insurance product for e-commerce companies and retailers Hakuna. Here’s how it works: If you buy something, usually something valuable, on the Internet, you’ll be asked at checkout if you want an extended warranty on the product, the expensive watch, or the brand-name food processor. Customers can also insure these things against so-called “accidental damage,” meaning falls, theft, or natural hazards like fire or flood. The price of the insurance is adjusted to the value of the purchased goods, and the insurance is purchased with just a small click.
The founders describe how this little click is intended to create a win-win situation for all involved: the customer wins because if his Christmas gift wristwatch is stolen in the sauna during a skiing holiday, Hakuna will give him a new one. Without much effort, says Köroglu. All he has to do is contact Hakuna, who will arrange repairs or settle with the insurance company in case of damage. The process between the aggrieved customer and Hakuna is digital and largely automated. “Instead of waiting in lines, you can report the damage online at 11 p.m. and immediately receive a QR code as a shipping label, which you can use to send the faulty item in for repair.”
Online stores get commission
The insurance company, for its part, is pleased that the customer would not have thought to go to the trouble of seeking and purchasing insurance for the watch. According to the founders, Hakuna offers them access to target groups that they had not had before. And for the store operator, Hakuna is a big deal, because with the lovely add-on sale at the end of the checkout process, you don’t just have a competitive advantage. “The insurance offer increases the conversion rate,” promises Jost. With the sale of the insurance, the turnover also increases and, as a seller, the distributor even receives a commission from Hakuna.
Customer focus is not on the really big ones
In its B2B2C business model, Hakuna works with various insurance companies and its product targets online retailers with annual sales in the double digits of millions. The biggest ones like Otto or Amazon already have their own offers. Hakuna’s clients include watch store Watchmaster, office equipment supplier Office Partner, and Sushi Bikes.
In a pre-seed round at the end of 2021, the startup received €1.5 million. Visionaries Club and Discovery Ventures were already there at the time, as were well-known business angels like Sumup founder Marc Christ and Klarna founder Victor Jacobsson. All of them have now followed suit, and the insurers were also able to win over a new lead investor: Munich-based VC Earlybird leads the most recent €4m seed round.
The Klarna principle is something of a model for Hakuna, says Sebastian Jost. Because even though the degree to which the company is responsible for putting online shoppers into debt has been critically questioned again and again of late: “Klarna has made installment loans not feel like installment loans but as a product with great UX and branding.” That’s where he wants to go with Hakuna: “It shouldn’t feel like boring insurance.”