Founders Talk: Gabi

Gabi’s founder talks about InsurTech, startups, and customer love

What brought you to the US?

I had founded the company builder HitFox in Berlin, and I was helping kick-start one of our portfolio companies AppLift. We were reaching out to a lot of business partners based in the Bay Area, and it was super tough to convince them to work with us when Skype was always breaking up. So I went to San Francisco after a conference in Las Vegas, and I only had 24 hours in town, but we had a great meeting with a company that would become one of the biggest clients of AppLift — that would have been impossible just via Skype. Also, I fell in love with the city when I woke up early the next morning because of jet lag and walked into the sunrise at Golden Gate Bridge. When I came back from the trip, I told my co-founders that we needed an office in San Francisco asap and I volunteered. 🙂

What did you do before founding Gabi?

I had studied business in Cologne and founded two companies during that time. One is still around: the career network The other was basically “Groupon via SMS” — but much too early in 2001. After finishing my studies, I consulted corporates on online and media strategies at McKinsey. I also did my Ph.D. during that time. After having learned the ins and outs of business from a more theoretical perspective, I wanted to jump into being an entrepreneur again and co-founded HitFox with a great team in Berlin. After moving to San Francisco, I started the VC arm for ProSiebenSat.1 in the valley and was able to build a great network of entrepreneurs and investors. This would become a great asset when I started Gabi in summer of 2016. 

What’s exciting about the InsurTech industry?

It is such a great industry for entrepreneurs because it has so much potential for disruption. For example, this is one of the few places where people still need to send faxes to do business. It is also a huge industry, and we found that there is so much inefficiency. In the US people are overpaying $50 billion every year because the market is so amazingly intransparent and the incumbents have managed to keep the shopping process so confusing that nobody wants to compare prices. So bottom line a great place for disruption and to create real impact for people.

“If the customer loves what you do, you are doing the right thing.”

What are your biggest challenges?

You can imagine that an industry that relies on old systems like faxes or proprietary systems that are 20 years old is hard to work with. So integrating with those systems while creating a fast and flexible user experience on the front end is very challenging — especially across 50 states with different systems :-).

What do you like most about your daily business?

We have a Slack channel where we share every customer that saves money with us (they save money because we switch them from their old insurance company to a new one with a more attractive price). It is fulfilling to know that our customers save on average $460 per year!

What’s your advice for other founders?

Think of the customer. If the customer loves what you do, you are doing the right thing.

Gabi is our first InsurTech investment. Learn more why we find this industry exciting here and check out Gabi’s website at