An exit is when the rubber meets the road. All valuations up to that point are only on paper. So we like to track exits to see what they tell us about broader trends. Knip, one of the well known Swiss Fintech ventures, was recently acquired by Digital Insurance Group. It is also an “exit” for a Dutch venture called Komparu.
If you have never heard about Digital Insurance Group, don’t feel bad. It was formed from the merger of Knip and Komparu. The terms of the deal were not disclosed (which can mean it was not very much). It reads like the creation of a platform for a rollup and we believe it is the first rollup in Insurtech.
This does not seem like a cash out exit (which is why I call it an “exit” in quotes). It is probably more like a postponed exit. To get scale, a couple of ventures are brought together and the bigger entity can raise more money to do more acquisitions. In short this is the initial platform for a rollup. It makes sense as a strategy. One can find equivalents of both Knip and Komparu in virtually every market. Most of the things they need to do are the same in each market. Local nuance matters of course but it is likely to be 90% standard and 10% local (like changing the menu slightly in a fast food chain to accommodate local tastes).
It also makes sense because Knip is what we call a Robo Broker and Komparu is more of a comparison engine. A Robo Broker needs a comparison engine so the two are complementary. Comparison engines are easy to build and market but have low barriers to entry. So the combination makes sense.
Mergers always create a problem of who will be boss. It looks like they resolved that. Dennis Just will step down as CEO of Knip, while Komparu’s Roeland Werring will become Group CTO and Ruben Troostwijk remains CEO of Komparu, focusing on B2B business opportunities as well as launching Knip in the Netherlands. Ingo Weber becomes the new Group CEO of the Digital Insurance Group. Ingo Weber comes from the VC world. He seems like the architect of the rollup strategy. He comes with a strong background in insurance, technology and business building.
Bernard Lunn is a Fintech deal-maker, investor and thought-leader.
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