A few weeks ago, we announced our investment in Orus, a company that is offering modular insurance solutions for SMBs in Europe. This was an €11 million Series A which was led by us at Notion Capital and followed by VR Venture/Redstone, as well as prior investors including Frst, Partech and Portage.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the economy in Europe, with almost two-thirds of employees in the EU working for an SMB. There are just under 25 million SMEs in Europe and more than 90% of them have less than 10 employees. Orus is empowering these micro-businesses by providing them with the insurance products that they need to grow and succeed. It is a large and underserved market that is looking for products that are better suited to their needs.
Orus changes the way SMBs interact with insurance – offering innovative products with better UX, increased transparency and better assistance. Current insurance products are designed for medium to large companies that require complex solutions and need to go through long procurement processes. Current products in the market provide a poor customer experience for SMBs and freelancers. References with experts in the insurance industry confirmed that it takes over a week to get a quote and sign with an existing insurance provider and that any future policy amendments are often timely and manual. Orus can provide customers with 100% coverage in less than 3 minutes, with no paperwork involved. Through their modular product, customers can also modify their insurance packages online and can process their claims quickly, through their online portal. That is why their Trustpilot score is 4.8 ⭐️.
The easy onboarding and self-serve nature of the product strongly resonates with the new wave of business managers. According to Statista, 90% of individuals who wanted to create a company in 2020 in France were less than 35 years old. These business managers are tech-savvy and are eager to establish and operate their businesses online. This is the market that Orus is targeting: the young and digitally knowledgeable individuals who prefer an experiential and self-service approach to purchasing, avoiding direct interactions with sales representatives i.e. a PLG (Product-Led Growth) approach.
I met Côme Dartiguenave in Paris in March. My colleague Melissa had been tracking the company for several months and she was excited for me to meet them. After my investment in YuLife, I had been looking to invest in the insurance and SMB space, but I hadn't yet found a business that had all the "winning ingredients" in place. Although not from the industry, Côme and his co-founder Tom Le Bras had looked at numerous businesses in the insurance space while they were at Partech. They had a good understanding of the market and of what a winning GTM strategy could look like, as well as a best-in-class product, led by the co-founder and CTO Samuel Rossille. They had also joined forces with Amin Toussi who comes from the industry and spent over 10 years at Generali. Their determination and drive compelled me to invest in Orus.
Côme, Tom, Samuel, Amin and the whole Orus team, welcome to the Notion family. I am incredibly excited to be working with you and to help you build the biggest SMB-focused insurance business in Europe!
Why Notion? A note from the Founders…
Insurance is a long-term and complex business; we are building this company for the coming decades to have a long-lasting impact on the industry. More than in any other business, it is very important for us to surround ourselves with people who believe in our vision and who can support us along the way.
One thing we learned as former VC investors at Partech is that the relationship with board members is what matters most. When we met Itxaso and Melissa, it immediately clicked; they took the time to build the relationship and understand the business, shared feedback and suggestions candidly, and challenged us on our approach when necessary. Instead of us pitching, we were brainstorming collaboratively. We simply wanted to work together.
Finally, we knew Notion from its founder reputation and, as a fund, it was the perfect fit for us thanks to their B2B focus, strong operational support, and international footprint.