Closing Europe’s pension gap — why we invested in Degura

Johanna Junkermann
b2venture (formerly btov Partners)
4 min readFeb 9, 2023

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With a rapidly aging population and rising living costs, most public pension systems in Europe are under stress, and many observers fear that citizens across Europe increasingly will not have saved enough for retirement. Although the FinTech revolution has made private pension provisions and investment opportunities more accessible via neo-brokers and robo-advisors, a very important component of our pension system has been neglected: Company Pension Provisions (in German: Betriebliche Altersvorsorge). According to German law, every German employer is obligated to offer a company pension scheme to its employees and subsidize 15% of the costs. Yet only 32% of all employees in Germany utilize this offer.

Company HR departments, especially among Small- and Midsized Enterprises, often lack the expertise to effectively manage company pension plans and create efficient processes to offer legally compliant in-house solutions; thus they rely on external insurance brokers who offer a non-digital experience. Not only do SMEs lack the resources to create processes to adequately provide company pension plans, but employees are also not sufficiently informed about how the many company pension plans on the market can help them save for retirement.

That’s why we are excited about Degura. With its unique cloud-based software solution tailored to both B2B and B2C sides of pension plan provision, the company makes discovering, offering and managing company pension plans (bAV) as easy as online shopping. Its Pension Cloud provides SMEs with a tool to make company pensions a hassle-free, transparent, and digital experience for both employers and their employees. With its HR Pension Management Platform, Degura supports HR departments to automatically onboard (new) employees, creating an overview of progress and automating the contract admin workflows. The digital pension plan for employees allows for customized pension plan information, a selection of digital consultation channels, as well as a digital signing process.

Here are some more reasons why we believe in Degura:

💪🏼 Strong and complementary team with relevant expertise: The team behind Degura consists of experienced executives and managers from both the insurance as well as digital business space. Stephan has 10+ years of experience as a broker in life insurance, while Christian brings 15+ years of experience as a consultant and various management roles at Migros. The two are complemented by Jannik who is an expert in marketing and sales analytics. Considering these diverse backgrounds, we deem the team as very complementary with first-hand industry expertise.

💯 Fully digital process replacing the traditional broker: Degura is replacing traditional brokers, who are often mistrusted by employees, especially among a younger generation. Employees are seeking an end-to-end digital journey from personalized pension information to digitally signing the pension contract. The modern competitors in the space are trying to digitize the operations of the broker, while Degura acts as an independent agent, integrating within the existing HR structure in a more seamless way.

✅ Very capital-efficient business model: Degura has shown impressive traction and is trusted by Startups, Scale-Ups to Fortune-500-Companies. More than 120 companies use Degura including Fritz Cola, XFab, Amorelie, Aroundtown, adjust, Contirpark, apetito and more. As of today, more than 15.000 employees are serviced through Degura’s digital pension cloud. While these numbers speak for themselves, it is noteworthy that the team accomplished this without any prior VC funding.

🔄 Sales Flywheel opening up new B2B clients: Degura is currently focusing on scale-ups which allows them to grow with their customer base. While we usually deem this target group to be volatile due to the current market dynamics, a certain employee churn can be beneficial for the company to close new B2B customers. When an employee leaves the current employer, the existing pension contract is usually directed to the new employer. Once the latter engages with Degura it often leads to a new sales opportunity.

Overall, we firmly believe that Degura has what it takes to close the pension gap and unlock new possibilities for Europeans’ future financial and social prosperity. We are super excited to be part of this journey 🔮

For more info about Degura: check out their website: https://www.degura.de/de/

To all fellow entrepreneurs and investors: Feel free to reach out to us (johanna.junkermann@btov.vc & jochen.gutbrod@btov.vc) if you are interested to learn more about our view on the market or if you would like to get in touch with the founders.

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