Penbox confirms its ambition to be the leader in insurtech
Founded late 2019, Penbox is a Brussels-based tech start-up specializing in the collection of documents and structured information. Today, the company effectively reduces the administrative burden of more than 130 insurance brokers, helping them focus on their advisory business. Penbox has just finalized two agreements which consolidate its leading position on the Belgian Insurtech market: (i) a partnership with the largest brokerage software in Belgium, Portima and (ii) a €1.5m funding round led by two private funds, Fortino Capital and The Faktory Fund, with the participation of the regional financial arm Finance & Invest Brussels.
Penbox, the first insurtech solution integrated into Portima
Portima has been the IT partner of insurance brokers and companies for 35 years, with 3,200 active clients and over 11,000 users. Penbox was selected among more than 50 insurtechs present on the market as the first ideal solution to integrate into their brokerage management platform named ‘Brio’. The integration was completed in a record time of 4 months. "The strong attractiveness of Penbox on the market, thanks to their customer data enrichment service, and the ease of setting up the partnership appealed to us from the start," explains Jan Peeters of Portima. Over 80% of brokers were interested in having a service like Penbox integrated into their management software.
Fundraising successfully closed with three key partners
In order to accelerate its growth, Penbox has just completed a fundraising of €1.5m in less than 2 months. Fortino Capital, The Faktory Fund and Finance & Invest Brussels were convinced by the insurtech’s vision, business model and the very positive feedback from early customers.
Renaat Berckmoes, Founding Partner of Fortino: “With their complementarity and business expertise, the Penbox team solves a critical problem in the insurance sector - the collection of structured customer data - with an intelligent and very intuitive solution to the different users. We are convinced that this technology can play a key role in other sectors such as the public sector, banking or healthcare.”
Simon Alexandre, Managing Partner The Faktory Fund: “Within The Faktory Fund, we were impressed by the vision as well as the quality of execution of the team, with very complementary profiles and experiences. Their innovative solution fits at the heart of companies' digitalization strategies. Efficiently obtaining quality data allows users to focus on high value-add tasks. We are very happy to invest alongside this team with Fortino and Finance Brussels.”
Pierre Hermant, CEO of Finance & Invest Brussels: “Penbox is a Brussels-based start-up that tackles an important business issue: facilitating administrative procedures for clients through smart forms. We were won over by the qualities of the management team and are convinced of the company’s potential.”
Emile Fyon, co-founder of Penbox is delighted: “This fundraising allows us to develop our model and consolidate our presence on the Belgian brokerage market. We plan to double the size of our workforce from 11 to 20 people by June 2022 and increase our customer base by the end of 2022." Penbox has many other projects such as attracting larger players in Belgium and expanding its expertise to the French market.
The inception of Penbox at the heart of the insurance industry
While in charge of digitization at AXA, Emile and Christophe (co-founders of Penbox) identified a gap in the market. There was no solution that could simply and quickly improve information and document collection for insurance processes, which are often complex.
After analysing the problem in detail, they decided to launch Penbox by surrounding themselves with two other complementary co-founders, Ben and Matt. Their expertise in digitization, technology and insurance allowed them to quickly convince their first clients and build partnerships with the largest players in the Belgian market, after only 2 years of existence.
Penbox, a start-up born in the midst of the pandemic
Founded in November 2019, the Penbox team is forced into lockdown after signing its first two clients. Nevertheless it succeeded in convincing 25 clients during the year 2020 and now has more than 130 clients. First launched in the Wallonia-Brussels region, Penbox has just opened to the Flemish market in September 2021. More than 100,000 Belgian residents have been invited to use Penbox to share information with their brokers.
Since its inception, Penbox has made a name for itself in the entrepreneurial and insurance world. Incubated at KBC Start-it, the company quickly obtained a grant from Innoviris before winning the Fintech Pitch Award 2020. Penbox was nominated for the Vivium Digital Awards and her work to help brokers and disaster victims after the July floods was relayed by Feprabel (broker federation) and AG Insurance. The startup was selected and was able to take advantage of the Amplitude + and PwC Scale programs to accelerate its growth in 2021.
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About Fortino Capital
Fortino Capital Partners is a European investment firm specializing in B2B software and based in Antwerp and Amsterdam. Through a growth capital fund and two early stage venture capital funds, Fortino Capital partners with exceptional entrepreneurs in North Western Europe. The investment portfolio includes MobileXpense, Efficy CRM, Teamleader, Salonkee, SimplyDelivery, iObeya, Zaion, Oqton, among others.
About The Faktory Fund
The Faktory Fund is an early-stage private investment fund founded by Pierre L'Hoest, former CEO and founder of EVS Broadcast Equipment, and Simon Alexandre (CETIC, Nest'Up). The Faktory Fund supports start-ups developing disruptive technologies that allow new products to take global leadership in B2B markets, mainly in the Internet of Things and in Software as a Service (SaaS), in BeNeLux and in France. For more information, visit www.thefaktory.com