Assurtech Alan is growing fast ... but it's hard to seduce big business

According to Jean-Charles Samuelian's latest post on the Medium blog platform, 2018 was an excellent year for his startup Alan. Created in February 2016 with Charles Gorintin, the current technical director, the young Parisian push offers a health insurance and insurance 100% online for businesses. His posters displayed in the Paris metro promise "Zero paper health insurance and a simple and clear contract. "

Alan was the first independent company to obtain an insurance license in 30 years in 2016 from the Prudential Supervisory Authority (ACPR, backed by the Banque de France). The company, which closed a fundraising of 23 million euros last April (an amount which raises it to the third rank of the largest fundraising of the French Fintech in 2018), is pleased to have, in one year, multiplied by 5 its number of insured, from 5,000 people covered last year to 25,000 today, divided into 2,000 companies.

On the revenue side, growth is also at the rendezvous with a recurring turnover (that is to say the turnover of January 2019 multiplied by 12) announced 20 million euros, against 3 , 5 million a year ago. The numbers, too, swell. Alan now employs 65 people, up from 14 twelve months ago. Assurtech has also focused on bringing new services and features online, such as Alan Map, which can be used to visualize the health professionals available around you, a telemedicine service or even Alan Blue, a higher health care offer. range.

Resistance to change

All indicators are therefore green ... to a detail. Transparent, Jean-Charles Samuelian recalls in his blog post that early 2018, Alan had set a goal to attract 1,000 large companies (between 20 and 400 employees) within 18 months. At six months from the deadline, Alan is very far from the account, with 260 corporate clients of this size (against 40 at the beginning of last year). Among them: My Little Paris, Ledger, specialist in securing cryptocurrency accounts, or October (ex-Lendix). Big startups that grew up

"We set ourselves extremely ambitious goals, but not necessarily to achieve them. It is rather to have a 'North star'. So we do not see it as a failure at alltempers the entrepreneur.

Nevertheless, Jean-Charles Samuelian admits having encountered difficulties in building an ad hoc sales team to fulfill this mission. "We did not have commercials until 2018 and we set the bar very high on the talents we recruit. Recruitment is a key step here. We have two people in-house in charge of the talents and each member of the team dedicates time to this task »explains Alan's general manager.

Other disruptive elements: longer "processes" in larger companies and, of course, resistance to change.

"The hard part is to open the discussion. People are so used to a change of mutual is a hell, without even perceive real differences in fine, they do not see the interest to change at the beginning. But once the discussion is open and the company is registered, our interlocutors are very satisfied »he says.

Alan, who initially targeted high-growth start-ups for their appetite for new products and uses, will have to find ways to attract more traditional companies. "In our customer portfolio, we still have a large majority of technology companies, but our offer also works very well elsewhere. For example, we have a metallurgy company, " He noted.

Target 100,000 users in 2020

In 2019, Alan plans to expand his teams to bring together 150 to 200 employees. In contrast, Assurtech, yet inflated with new capital, does not intend to attack immediately new geographical areas. "We will go to Europe of course, but the market is so big in France that we are waiting for a few steps". Over the next few months, the startup wants to focus on satellite services of the fitness trail, and in particular on prevention: "It can be things related to stress at work, nutrition or health check reminders at the right time", details the entrepreneur.

By 2020, Alan hopes to count 100,000 users, four times more than today. A new round in the coming months can not be ruled out (the acquisition of new customers is deemed very capitalistic) even if the startup ensures burn very little cash. "The budget acquisition of new customers is in the hundreds of thousands of euros", says its managing director.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the 100% digital insurer Oscar Health, positioned in a similar niche, was aiming for $ 1 billion in premiums in 2018. Supported by Alphabet (Google's parent company), among others, the nugget New York is valued at $ 3.2 billion.