Australia’s newest connected car insurance company, Koba, has closed its angel round of funding for its 2021 launch.
Founded by Andrew Wong, Koba will use an established, best-in-class technology platform out of the UK to create a flexible, pay per kilometre car insurance offer.
The $250k angel funding round is led by Insurtech Gateway Australia and supported by local angels and the Hunter Equity Group.
Mr Wong said the first round of funding would secure go-to-market readiness and localization of international pricing/risk models based on mileage and driving data.
“Koba has chosen to partner with experienced and strategic partners who have proven success in scaling Australian insurance businesses. We have sourced best in breed technology from the US, UK, and Australia to create our unique offer, that deploys fast and is profitable for insurers,” Mr Wong said.
“These partnerships allow Koba Insurance to focus on customer engagement, service, value, the application of new data sets and getting it right with our customers during the MVP stage… rather than building new features from the ground up.”
Mr Wong said the company was planning to offer a truly connected customer experience for all drivers. Drivers can choose to connect directly through their driving ap, an on-board device, or even through your smartphone.
“Mckinsey has estimated that 90% of all new cars sold by 2030 will be pre-connected to the internet. We want to help Australian’s get ahead of the curve and show customers the amazing benefits and value you can gain from a connected car.
“We want to unlock the most relevant data that creates better risk models and use AI and machine learning to drive operational and efficiencies in claims, fraud detection, and risk segmentation”
He said Koba was still looking for underwriting capacity and was eager to work with innovative and forward-thinking partners to disrupt the personal car insurance market.
Insurtech Gateway Australia CEO Simon O’Dell said he was backing Koba and fast-tracking plans to bring the product to market because recent market research had demonstrated a strong appetite for new, fairer insurance offers.
“We are seeing global markets adopting the connected car faster than expected. All motor brands are focused on unlocking connected car services for customers; brands like Tesla, General Motors, and Ford have already launched insurance offers. We (Australia) are behind the curve on this one, we are near a tipping point in the car insurance industry and Koba is uniquely positioned to drive the change in Australia.” Mr O’Dell said.
“One in three Australian drivers surveyed during the design phase of Koba stated they would strongly consider switching to a fairer per-km motor insurance offering.”
In addition to the market demand, previous international applications have shown that the unique tech and insurance focussed approach which will be adopted by Koba, has proven to achieve sustained claims frequency at <50% of market rates.
For more information please get in touch with the Insurtech Gateway team.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER – ANDREW WONG
Andrew has international experience in developing start-ups and marketing consumer-led brands including RB, Nike and AAA. Recently based in the USA working in Silicon Valley in Insurtech, Andrew has a track record of backing companies that disrupt and change the industry.
“Koba came together from the desire to disrupt and change up the car insurance industry. At the beginning of this year when Covid hit, we realised that there was a flaw in the traditional car insurance offer. We were all locked down for months, not driving, and had virtually no risk to the insurer… yet we were still paying for insurance like we were. We scoured different international markets to find a solution that would be fairer and more transparent. For low usage drivers, Pay As You Drive car insurance gives transparency in the pricing, solves the desire for cheaper insurance, all while maintaining stable margins for insurers. It ticks all the boxes.”
Andrew is now based in Melbourne and building a team of highly skilled professionals to bring Koba to market. Koba’s founding team has worked across a number of corporates and start-up insurance brands in Australia, USA, and UK and understands the need for start-up style determination balanced with proven commercial scale and experience.