Paris-based cybersecurity insurtech Stoïk has raised €11m in a Series A round led by US investment giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) to roll out its hybrid insurance and cybersecurity product in European SME markets.
What does Stoïk do?
Stoïk is tackling one of the biggest risks facing Europe’s small businesses: cybersecurity. It’s doing so by providing companies with insurance coverage for cybersecurity attacks, which it underwrites in-house. It also has its own security software product.
While companies get this software for free when they purchase insurance, Stoik is able to use the data it collects through the software to better understand and underwrite the risks facing SMEs.
Stoïk is positioning itself as a "wholesale broker" which partners with insurance brokers that don’t have this specialist understanding of cybersecurity to sell cyber insurance through its platform. Its current broker partner count is in the hundreds.
Who’s investing in Stoïk?
- a16z (new)
- Existing investor Alven
- Existing investor Anthemis
- Henri De Castries (former CEO of AXA)
- Julian Teicke (CEO of wefox)
What’s the cybersecurity insurance market like?
- Cybercrime is a massive risk to Europe’s SMEs. Lloyd’s of London has estimated the cost of cybercrime to business to be $400bn a year.
- Incumbent insurers have been grappling with the question of cybersecurity insurance because they lack enough data to underwrite and price the risk properly.
- This hybrid approach of providing insurance as well as risk monitoring and prevention has been adopted by insurtechs in the last couple of years, who build a tech-first product rather than relying on traditional actuarial models.
- So far, these have been US-based and include companies like At-Bay, Coalition and Zeguro.
What’s next for the company?
- CEO and cofounder Jules Veryat tells Sifted that Stoïk has 200 active brokers on its platform, and is growing this so fast that it’s aiming to have 1,000 by the end of the year.
- Stoïk has grown from 12 to 28 employees in the last six months, and plans to double this headcount over the next year across its sales, cyber, marketing and product teams. But it’s only planning on poaching the crème de la crème from the insurance industry, Veryat says. “We need experienced people from the industry to sell our product so we want people from AIG, AXA etc who are cyber risk experts,” he says. “These are difficult hires to make, because we want the top guns from these companies. That will be the key to our success.”
- Stoïk also plans to expand quickly across Europe, although won’t specify exactly where first. “Of course, it makes sense to start close to France in southern Europe, and we’ve also got our eyes on Germany,” says Veryat. “We’ll be in numerous countries in the coming months.”
Veryat tells Sifted that it took just two weeks to win a16z’s backing when it began this round, which is interesting given that this hybrid cyber-insurtech business model exists in the US but hasn’t really been tapped in Europe before. If Stoik manages to poach those high-profile insurance hires, it could have a first mover advantage here.