French travel tech startup Koala has closed a €1.6 million seed round led by London-based Insurtech Gateway, with participation from Playfair Capital, Techstars Ventures and private investors, including former CEOs of Air Malta and Brussels Airlines.

The service proactively alerts travelers to any disruption (bad weather, strikes, etc.) and pays out instantly, “no questions asked”. In a press release, the company says that compensation is available starting from a one-hour delay — although “travel partners can adjust the minimum number of minutes of delays and the amount of compensation granted”, so it seems booking agencies and airlines don’t need to adhere to the one-hour promise.

The disrupted flight product launched with in May, and Koala is currently working on integrations with two other partners who will be announced once the production is launched. In total, over the next three months, the startup will go live with two airlines and four travel agencies.

Founded in 2018 by Leo Tordjman, Ugo Weyl (CEO) and Antony Mechin, the startup participated in Techstars Paris accelerator in 2019. The fresh funding will help hire 15 more people in business and product development. Eventually, the insurtech startup aims to cover other forms of travel by land and water.

Photo: Koala co-founders

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