Estonian insurtech startup Cachet, which has thus far offered financial services to gig workers on ride-hailing platforms, secured €1.1 million in seed funding to expand to other sectors of the sharing economy and into new markets. Led by Icebreaker.vc, the round included previous investors like Techstars, Barclays and Lemonade Stand, plus some angel investors. Cachet’s goal is to come up with financial services that match the flexibility (read: fluctuations?) of a gig worker’s income. In Estonia and Latvia, around 25 percent of all drivers on Uber, Bolt, and Yandex Taxi are using the platform to find affordable insurance, sometimes half the price of traditional providers. The company serves as a “unique ‘trustee’ data layer between the ride-hailing platforms operating in a market and insurance providers,” according to CEO Hedi Mardisoo. And the benefits aren’t just for workers. “Cachet is part of a high growth vertical called ‘embedded finance’ and helps opens up a market to financial service providers that have been struggling to price services in this new, fast-growing part of the economy,” explains Chris Adelsbach, a founding partner at Outrun Ventures who participated in this round as an angel investor.
As for the Baltic business' expansion, urban mobility and vacation rental marketplaces are the next sectors to tackle. The Nordics, Poland and the UK are the next markets to enter. The startup was founded in 2018 by Mardisoo and Kalle Palling. Mardisoo was previously a head of corporate affairs at Swedbank and CMO at Starman, a large telecom in Estonia. Her co-founder Palling, COO, was a member of the Parliament of Estonia from 2007-2019. During his time in office, the country was the first in Europe to regulate ridesharing platforms like Uber and Bolt.
Photo: Co-founders Hedi Mardisoo (CEO) and Kalle Palling (COO)