Two years ago, Sten Nahrgang, Armin Molla and Dr. Matthias Uebig founded the startup Mailo - a commercial insurance for the self-employed and small businesses. Recently, they were able to announce that they have now received the BaFin license.
The trio tells us in an exciting interview how the path to the BaFin license turned out, what they can now offer their target group and what goals they have set for 2019. They also have a clear tip for founders who are also hoping for the BaFin license.
What is behind mailo Versicherung AG?
Sten Nahrgang: mailo is the new business insurer for the working world 4.0 in Germany. We are building the commercial insurance of the future for freelancers, the self-employed and small businesses, just as they need it: simple, digital, flexible. And that's exactly how we want to insure them. Whether bloggers, online retailers or startups - we know the risks of our target customers and provide them with tailored coverage.
mailo is a young and highly innovative insurance company backed by a network of strong, established and experienced partners and capital providers. On the one hand, there are the renowned reinsurers Munich Re and Deutsche Rück, who support mailo with their expertise in addition to a customized reinsurance program. Secondly, mailo has been able to attract financially strong entrepreneurs who contribute private capital and their entrepreneurial experience.
You have now received the BaFin license. How did you get there?
Dr. Matthias Uebing: The road to obtaining the BaFin license was of course very labor-intensive. But this intensive work was absolutely necessary and sensible and prepared us excellently for the market launch and operation of an insurer. In the course of the licensing process, we got to know BaFin as a very objective, critical, but also constructive discussion partner who thinks about the customer and the market. Our impression was and is that BaFin - despite the persistent factual and technical discussion - was sympathetic to our project. And: the supposed necessity of "delivering a truckload of documents" is a myth. There are, of course, a number of documents to be prepared, from strategy papers, guidelines, a business plan to a set of contracts with future business partners. However, the focus of the approval process is clearly on the soundness and quality of the submitted documents, which require seriousness and a lot of work.
What exactly do you offer your target group?
Armin Molla: mailo goes to market with a very clear concept: 100% commercial business with a focus on freelancers, self-employed and small business owners.
We want to solve problems for our customers. And we know from experience that many of them are underinsured because they cannot find a suitable insurance solution. This is because the insurance needs of these customer groups have changed significantly in recent years. Experts estimate that up to 50% of the existential risks in this segment are not adequately insured.
At the same time, the freelancer and self-employed segment is growing very strongly. In the course of digitalization, completely new professional worlds are developing, with new risk profiles. For our customers, concerns about a warning letter, a cyberattack or a breach of the DSGVO are more important than those about a classic fire or water damage.
Our goal is to provide our customers with all-round professional livelihood protection - business liability, property damage liability, property content, cyber and legal protection. Our needs-based offer can be adapted easily and quickly and concluded fully digitally.
Our first products to hit the market are custom-fit insurance solutions that we design using appropriate methods. To really understand the wishes and needs of our customers, we work with design thinking approaches. This is how we build truly custom-fit solutions. These can then be purchased as "complete solutions" - as multi-line products - or individually, depending on the customer's needs. What's more, our products can be cancelled on a daily basis and, thanks to their modular structure, integrate easily and transparently into any existing policyholder situation.
In addition, we offer services in cooperation with partners that go beyond pure insurance, for example our Quick Check for GDPR compliance.
What does 2019 have in store for you, what is planned?
Armin Molla: After the BaFin approval, we will fully dedicate ourselves to our target customers and sales partners in 2019, as well as to the improvement and further development of our technology and organization. We have ambitious growth targets regarding the acquisition of distribution partners, target customers and premium income. By the end of the year, we want to position ourselves among our target customers and sales partners as a customer-, performance-, and service-oriented service provider and commercial specialist. Only if our target customers and sales partners perceive us so positively will we also achieve the ambitious growth targets and bring about a real win-win-win situation: for our customers, for our partners, and for mailo as a brand and a company.
What tips do you have for founders who are also pursuing the big goal of obtaining a BaFin license?
Dr. Matthias Uebing: Dare! If you have a good business model, with a good coverage of customer needs, a sound business plan, as well as a realistic outlook and a required guaranteed capitalization, then dare it! In the ideal case, there is "only" one intensive work process between you and the approval, which is necessary anyway for the preparation of the market entry. Never try, never win.
What do you hope for in the future from InsurLab Germany and the cooperation with its members?
Sten Nahrgang: We hope that InsurLab Germany will continue to be a central point of contact and an active partner for exchanging ideas with the industry, gaining new ideas and partners, and networking in all directions. We are very pleased to have also gained FINTLV, an Israeli partner from the InsurLab network, as an investor. We look forward to such a fruitful exchange with InsurLab and the wider network in the future.
FinTLV is a strong partner of InsurLab Germany and invested in Mailo. Gil Arazi, Founder and Managing Partner at FinTLV, has known co-founder Sten Nahrgang for a long time and is very happy with him and the entire Mailo team about the development of the startup:
"When Sten first told me about the idea behind mailo, I already knew that the company would be a great success. I have known Sten for many years. Even during our time together at Generali, I admired his achievements, his entrepreneurial understanding and his professionalism. The entire mailo team is an absolute "dream team" of experts who are pursuing a common dream without losing their grip on the ground and who can deliver what they promise. Ultimately, as investors, we have found a great company with strong values that offers a fascinating business model and unique products for the European insurance market.
In addition, the synergies between mailo and FinTLV will enable us to look for new technologies and markets together, just as we do with our major partner InsurLab Germany. We were delighted to be involved as investors in their Series A round and wish the mailo team every success!"