5 min read

Daily Markup #122: Insurtech company Laka launches crowdfunding campaign for next-stage of growth…

500 Southeast Asia Team



Join the Laka tribe

  • In preparation for the next phase of development, 500-backed Laka is rallying support from the public through a crowdfunding campaign.
  • The insurtech company announced the campaign on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs. Currently in pre-registration, potential investors can put in their interest for as low as £10 per investment. The pre-registration phase closes at 10:00 GMT on 4th November 2020.
  • “Crowdfunding gives you the opportunity to invest in and own a share of our business as we scale across Europe and beyond. You can invest from as little as £10 and as much as £100k+. And, as an investor, you’ll be even more involved in Laka. Plus, there’ll be an enviable rewards list for investors,” reads the official announcement here.
Credit: Evening Standard
  • Crowdsourcing is a familiar concept to Laka. The company goes against conventional norms by using a community-approach to insurance.
  • Based on the “collective”, customers are charged a share of the cost of claims submitted in the previous month — up to a capped fee. 80% of those premiums go towards paying for other customers’ claims, and Laka said it then gets paid when the claim is settled.
  • Laka has insured over 10,000 bicycles with an accumulated value of £26 million. Having established a name in the UK, Laka is ready to enter Europe and expand into wider mobility categories.
  • More on the crowdfunding campaign here.

Doom to bloom

  • The coronavirus crisis spelled doom for 500-backed BloomThis, the company synonymous with its range of curated flower bouquets.
  • But they managed to increase their sales revenue by 155% from March to May this year, compared to the same period last year. Here’s how they did it.
  • The team expanded the business beyond flowers by offering toys, chocolates, balloons, and cakes, which are packaged in gifting bundles.
Credit: Vulcan Post
  • To bring attention to the new product range, BloomThis used Google Shopping Ads to drive awareness, displaying attention-grabbing visuals to appear first during search.
  • BloomThis also took active steps to keep its customer base up to date via Google MY Business, a feature allowing businesses to better manage their online presence across Google platforms like Maps.
  • “Our ads on Google, specifically Shopping Ads quickly became the primary driver of our business, substantially contributing to our growth and doubling our online sales in this challenging time,” said Giden Lim, CEO of BloomThis.

Australia’s largest satellite

  • 500-backed Australian rocket company Gilmour Space announced a partnership with Griffith University to launch the country’s largest satellite into orbit by early 2023.
  • The five-year agreement will see engineers and researchers from Gilmour Space and Griffith University developing a 100-kilogram prototype that will orbit 500 kilometres above Earth, according to ABC.
  • Besides, the satellites will be also equipped with applications for different needs, such as the observation of natural disasters and weather, mining, urban planning, thermal imaging, and communication.
Credit: Gilmour Space
  • CEO and founder Adam Gilmour said Australian-made satellites are “lacking” due to its shoebox-size as compared to other commercial satellites that are about the size of a fridge.
  • “That’s really lacking — that capability in Australia to make these bigger satellites that the rest of the world is using,” he said.
  • In 2016, Gilmour Space successfully launched a sub-orbital rocket. A full-orbital launch is scheduled for 2022.
  • Most recently, it achieved a milestone when a hybrid rocket engine test clocked at 110 seconds, surpassing the last test of 45 seconds.

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Southeast Asia family of funds. The 500 Southeast Asia funds have backed over 240 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

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500 Southeast Asia Team