[Inside] Why did we launch astorya.vc Office Hours ?

Since astorya.vc inception, we’ve been discussing with many startups in the insurance space. Many of them directly contacted us, and we reached out to several other ones.

Each discussion was structured around the same three topics:

  • What’s going on in the insurance technology market ?
  • How to structure the company to better grow ?
  • Is there any opportunity to make business with insurers ?

For months we had these discussions on an opportunistic basis meaning that we scheduled calls or meeting any time during the week. Most of the time those discussions were shortened due to delays in meetings, transportation, etc.

That’s why we decided to dedicate a full day (every Friday) to our discussions with startups to be more effective and most of all dedicate more time to each startup. We now plan 45–60 minutes discussion with each startup to have enough time to go in detail.

As a reminder, we focus on insurance technology, but to make sure we have the same broad definition of that scope, here are the 6 areas we are interested in:

  • InsurTech
  • FinTech
  • Digital Health
  • Cyber Security
  • Mobility
  • Smart City

Being involved in the insurance startup scene for many years, we had the opportunity to spot and meet thousands of startups in Europe and Worldwide. This helps us have a broad vision on: which technologies are currently being developed or what kind of business models are being implemented. This helps as well build a huge data base on insurance-related startups and ease any comparison between companies addressing the same part of the value chain or addressing the same pain point.

To strengthen that value proposition, we recently unveiled our automated sourcing technology that helps us scout startups in Europe. We spot ~100 new startups every week, covering the 6 areas detailed earlier. Watching so closely the insurance technology space, we try to share our views on the market with startups we meet, especially in their early days to better assess their key differentiation and fine tune their go-to-market.

That’s where our vertical positioning — focused on insurance — , helps !

Focusing on seed and early-stage startups means that we often meet teams that are very small (2–5 cofounders, usually <10 people overall) and often miss skills as it’s impossible to cover each and every aspect of growth structure with so few employees onboard.

Having worked closely with many startups over the last years in scaling, fundraising and exiting, helps us have a better view on which are the best practices to apply and what is requested in the early days of a venture. For instance, due to our focus on technology, we often identify a need on product management to make sure tech skills could be converted into a great product that is then sold to customers. Structuring the sales process is as well a need for small teams especially when discussing with corporates, to make sure you are not wasting your time and increase your effectiveness. We could have the same feedback on HR, fundraising, …

That’s where our network of mentors — with people dedicated to each part of the growth journey — , helps !

Very interested in B2B models, we often meet startups that are seeking their first Proof of Concept (PoC), customer or to grow their pool of clients. They need to meet insurers that might be interested in their product or solution.

Due to our numerous connexions with most of the insurance players in Europe, we have a detailed vision on what are the main projects / goals of each player. It’s easier then to make relevant introductions between a startup offering a product and a corporate that is looking for this kind of solution. It doesn’t mean though that a contract will be signed at the end but it avoid as much as possible to waste time by addressing insurers too far from your topic. And having the right entry point is also a way to accelerate discussions, which is important when you have in mind a 9-12 months sales process.

That’s where our broad ecosystem of insurers helps !

Long story short, these Office Hours illustrate the way we see our role as a VC: work closely with startups and leverage our ecosystem to accelerate their growth.

You are a startup in the insurance technology space ?

>> Book a slot to meet at our next Office Hours

Co-founded by Florian Graillot and Jan Kastory, astorya.vc invests in tech startups to build the next insurance generation.

Leveraging its own sourcing technology astorya.vc identifies promising startups, structures their growth through its extended network of mentors, and develops new business opportunities with its insurance investors.

Raised from insurance players, astorya.vc is the first early-stage investor in Europe, focused only on the insurance industry.

Learn more on http://www.astorya.vc


VC fund investing in early-stage / insurance startups all over Europe.