EBRD supports tech-driven insurance company Hellas Direct

By Olga Aristeidou

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  • EBRD supports innovative digital-driven insurance company in Greece
  • Mandatory convertible debt facility of up to €10 million to Hellas Direct
  • Funds will support growth and boost the company’s solvency capital

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a mandatory convertible debt facility of €10 million to Hellas Direct Insurance Limited, a fast growing, tech-driven insurance company, to support its growth and provide the company with solvency capital. The debt facility is part of a larger financing round of €32 million.

Existing shareholders of Hellas Direct, Portag3, a Canadian venture capital investor specialising in fintech opportunities, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, are also investing in this fundraising round alongside the EBRD.

Hellas Direct is a digitally enabled insurer established in 2011. It specialises in private motor vehicle insurance and residential property insurance in Greece and Cyprus.

The funds will support Hellas Direct’s growth, enabling the company to scale up its operations, increase its market share and continue offering innovative insurance products and digitalising the motor and home insurance value chain in Greece, where the insurance penetration ratio is one of the lowest in Europe.

It will also provide the company with the necessary solvency to fund insurance premia it expects to underwrite.

The EBRD’s participation comes in the form of a mandatory convertible debt instrument, which is expected to qualify as unrestricted Tier 1 capital under the European Union’s Solvency II Directive, which is a novel financing instrument tailored for this investment.

Andreea Moraru, EBRD Head of Greece and Cyprus, said: “We are delighted to support Hellas Direct, a technology-driven insurance company offering innovative products and digitalising the insurance value chain in Greece. Accelerating digital transition, unleashing the power of technology to bring changes for the better, is among the top priorities for the EBRD. We are very proud to support the growth of an insurance market player with a unique, digital business model well-positioned in the post-Covid-19 world in scaling up its operations. We are confident that EBRD funding, know-how and strong presence on the Greek market will help Hellas Direct to continue improving its cutting edge service offerings and increase its market share.”

“We are really proud to welcome the EBRD into our group of investors at Hellas Direct. EBRD’s funding, support and know-how will enable us to accelerate some of our longer-term strategic goals, as we expand to other blindspot markets in Emerging Europe, in order to replicate the multi-product, multi-channel approach we have successfully deployed in Greece. We are super excited and can't wait for the following months", said Alexis Pantazis, Executive Director of Hellas Direct.

Emilios Markou, Executive Director of Hellas Direct, added: “Our aspiration at Hellas Direct is to become the dominant player in the wider region’s mobility ecosystem. And we are really excited to be teaming up with one of the world’s leading investors, the EBRD, who will support us in our effort to pursue our strategic goals. This is a great opportunity for us to further optimise the service we offer to the consumer, by expanding our activity to multiple sectors.”

The EBRD started operating in Greece on a temporary basis in 2015 to support the country’s economic recovery. To date, the Bank has invested more than €4.6 billion in over 75 projects in the corporate, financial, energy and infrastructure sectors of the Greek economy.

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