French insurtech Luko has been acquired by FTSE 100 insurance giant Admiral Group for an undisclosed sum, marking the end of a weeks-long process as the startup searched for a buyer.
It comes a week after Luko filed to begin bankruptcy procedures in France. The new entity will continue to operate under the Luko brand, Admiral said in a statement on Friday.
It’s a sharp turn of fate for Luko, which had enough cash to acquire insurtech rivals Coya, based in Germany, and France's Unkle in 2022.
Luko had raised $75m to date, $55m of which it raised in its last funding round in December 2020 from top investors including Accel, Speedinvest, Founders Fund and EQT Ventures.
“Winning in this market requires time and money: it takes 8-10 years and €100m-150m to build a sustainably profitable B2C insurer in the P&C [property and casualty insurance] space,” Luko’s CEO Raphaël Vullierme wrote in a LinkedIn post on Thursday.
“In an economic downturn, we have been working to define the optimal strategy to continue growing and achieve scale & profitability fast. Admiral has emerged as the best partner to pursue Luko’s vision.”
Luko had tapped both incumbent insurers and neo-brokers to try and find a buyer, according to a person familiar with the matter.
In a statement announcing the news, Admiral said the acquisition would accelerate its growth in France, where its existing French business, L'olivier Assurance, already offers customers motor and home insurance.
Luko currently has more than 450k customers, according to Vullierme’s post.
Investment bank Lazard advised on the deal.