It’s not easy for young financial companies right now. Swedish payment services provider Klarna received $800 million in capital from investors on Monday, but had to give them so many shares in return that the total value of the company is just $6.7 billion. In June 2021, investors valued the startup at $45.6 billion: Klarna lost 85% of its value in a year.
Insurance start-up Wefox in Berlin bucks the trend. Investors led by Mubadala Invest, the sovereign wealth fund of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, have invested another €400 million in Wefox, bringing the total to $1.3 billion. Wefox was valued at $4.5 billion, significantly more than 2021’s $3 billion.
Most young companies aspire to go public after three big rounds of financing. “But that currently doesn’t make sense in view of the stock market environment,” said Wefox co-founder and boss Julian Teicke of SZ. His company focuses on delivering what was promised. “We make money even without an IPO,” he said confidently. The company currently had no need, “we were well financed.” But there are many opportunities for growth. Wefox is now well prepared, “no matter what storm comes.”
The company wants to use the new money to invest in other countries.
The Wefox Group includes a small insurer in Liechtenstein and brokerage firms in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Total turnover last year was €310 million, and Teicke wants to almost double it by 2022. 800 representatives and other exclusive intermediaries work for Wefox, plus 5,000 brokers. The company speaks of two million customers. In 2021, the company had 550 employees, and by the end of this year it is expected to have a total of 2,000.
Teicke wants to use the new money to expand to other countries. “Holland is next,” he said. However, he wants to invest most of the money in the development of his own digital insurance platform. “Over time, the platform may also be used by other insurers.”
The company, which was founded in 2015, is currently expanding partnership business with auto dealers and electronics distributors, who also offer insurance with the sale. “We’re also talking to automakers,” Teicke said. He did not want to give names. Sooner or later, Teicke will have to address the issue of going public again; after all, investors want to see their money again after a few years.