Getsafe: The German scale-up marketing insurance at millennials

15 Mar 2021

Christian Wiens. Image: Getsafe

With a foothold in the UK and fresh investment for further expansion, Getsafe is growing its insurtech tailored for tech-savvy consumers.

Getsafe was “built on the belief that the world deserves a better insurance experience”. That’s according to CEO Christian Wiens, who founded the company in 2015 along with CTO Marius Simon.

The digital insurance provider has set out to make the processing of getting covered easy, flexible and even – if possible – enjoyable.

“We are on a mission to reinvent how Europeans think about insurance and how they interact with it,” said Wiens. He set out on this mission following a mishap of his own. A broken landlord’s vase made him realise just how complicated the world of insurance was.

Rather than leave it at that, though, he paired up with a like-minded entrepreneur to devise a solution to the problem.

Wiens is a mechanical engineer by training while Simon is a physicist. They also had potential start-up strengths between them. “I have a strong background in entrepreneurship and product development; Marius is a passionate growth hacker and data cruncher,” said Wiens.

‘The new generation of customers demand a digital experience that reduces complexity’

With Getsafe, Wiens believes he is tapping into an enormous opportunity with millions of potential customers. “Europeans in their twenties will purchase 1bn insurance policies in this decade alone, amounting to a market volume of around €300bn,” he calculated.

The key to targeting this millennial market is technology. “Many of the new generation of customers demand a digital experience that reduces complexity – without piles of paperwork and long conversations with brokers,” said Wiens.

“This is exactly what we do. We digitise core aspects of insurance, such as documentation and claim filing. We also offer our customers the opportunity to cancel their policy at any time – removing long-term contracts and reflecting the lifestyles of customers in the digital age.”

Getsafe started out as an insurance broker reselling insurance from other businesses. The pivot to become a “full-stack insurance carrier” was a challenging one.

“This transition meant that we had to let some people go, because we needed completely different know-how, and that was tough,” said Wiens.

But after setting out on this new direction, the team has doubled in the past year. Scaling during a global pandemic, however, came with its own challenges.

“Some new Getsafees have never seen their colleagues in person,” said Wiens. “It takes plenty of creativity and lots of communication to foster our great company culture while everyone is working fully remotely.”

‘In the capital-rich US and China, Heidelberg is better known than most major German cities’

Getsafe is a German start-up but it’s not based in the lively start-up scene of the capital, Berlin, or in the second city of Munich. “Heidelberg is a nice university town, known for its castle and its excellence in life sciences,” said Wiens of his start-up’s home.

“For an insurtech, it’s not a typical place to be. There are fewer investors and big competitors from the tech industry here. It’s also harder to get creative people like designers,” he conceded.

However, Wiens still attests that Heidelberg is a great location for more than just life sciences and biotech start-ups.

“In the capital-rich US and China, Heidelberg is better known than most major German cities,” he said. “It is one of Europe’s leading science locations with many bright minds and, last but not least, the home of Europe’s largest IT company: SAP.

“The entire region between Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Mannheim is home to numerous large, established companies from different sectors, including automobile, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and tech, as well as Germany’s best universities for engineers, scientists and business economists. And we are of course also growing our team in London as our second hub.”

This London team is leading Getsafe’s launch in the UK, which kicked off last year. The company also announced Series B funding of $30m in December. “The fresh capital will be used to expand to other European markets besides the UK as well as to ramp up hiring,” said Wiens.

With Getsafe targeting millennials, many of its customers are buying insurance for the first time. Something must be going right with that experience, though, as Wiens previously told Reuters that 30pc of customers have signed up for a second product.

With more than 150,000 customers in Germany and the UK and a team of more than 120 people, Getsafe has scaled significantly in the past year. And further growth and fundraising is planned for 2021.

Want stories like this and more direct to your inbox? Sign up for Tech Trends, Silicon Republic’s weekly digest of need-to-know tech news.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.