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What is Signal Iduna?

Through the merger of Hamburg insurer IDUNA NOVA and Dortmund-based SIGNAL Versicherung in 1999, the Signal Iduna Group combines more than 100 years of expertise in insurance. With roughly 10,000 employees and €5.6 billion premium revenue from more than 12 million customers, Signal Iduna is one of the largest insurance companies in Germany. By integrating new technologies and solutions, Signal Iduna generates growth and positions itself in the market as a service insurer. In doing so, the group not only relies on its own innovations but also on collaboration with strong digital partners on the market.

What is signals Startup Client?

signals Startup Client is the Venture Client unit of the Signal Iduna Group. In practice, this means that Signal Iduna becomes a startup’s client when it is still in the venture stage. This is because the solution and company are not yet as mature and stable as incumbent partners. We buy the first unit of a startup’s product, service, or technology. We do not invest.

Working with signals Startup Client provides a startup with a gateway into the German insurance industry. Our model involves a no-strings-attached partnership to integrate and validate a startup’s product, service, or technology, as well as a highly beneficial pairing of entrepreneurs with top insurance experts and managers. Our goal is to build long-term partnerships between startups and Signal Iduna.

signals Startup Client focuses on startups that help the Signal Iduna organization to solve critical challenges across all business areas and functions.

What startups are you looking for and what are the must-haves for potential partners?
  1. 1. Relevance
    Your solution (product, service or technology) has a compelling use case to solve a critical challenge at one of Signal Iduna’s business divisions. We are particularly interested in solutions that can improve processes and services in various departments (sales, HR, IT), prepare or analyze data, and solutions that add value for our customers. Your solution should be an improvement on those we currently have in our ecosystem.

    2. Product maturity
    You have a working product and initial customers.

    3. Funding status

    Your startup has graduated from an equity accelerator or has funding from a professional venture capitalist.

    4. Full-time team

    Your team is fully committed and the essential responsible positions (CEO; CTO; CMO, etc.) are staffed with full-time employees.

    5. Legal entity
    Your startup must be a legal entity.

What is the process and how is the timing?
  1. 1. Your Startup – your story
    You have a great product and match our focus criteria? Then tell us about it!

    2. Our evaluation – our challenge:
    We assess your solution and evaluate whether it’s relevant to one of our current challenges. If so, we will invite you for a demo meeting to discuss your solution in depth with the respective business unit.

    3. Project definition – together:

    If your solution has convinced us, we will mutually define a pilot project in which we can apply and validate your solution in a real life scenario.

    4. Mutual agreement – let’s get started:
    Once we are both happy with the proposal, we can kick off the collaboration and get to work. In other words: Congrats, a leading German insurer is now your client!

    5. Long-term business – let’s grow:
    After a successful pilot project, our goal is to build on that success, have a long-term partnership with you and, if it makes sense, scale your solution within Signal Iduna.

Timing: The process can take between 4 and 24 weeks, depending on the case.
Deadline: There is no deadline. We are always interested in learning about exciting solutions from startups.

Is the signals Startup Client an accelerator?

No, the signals Startup Client is not an accelerator. The signal Startup Client is the Venture Client unit of Signal Iduna.

As a Venture Client, we focus on validating startups’ solutions, helping them learn about the insurance and financial services industry, and connecting them with decision-makers for business development. Startups work directly with our engineers and managers on real business projects. They are given a supplier number and purchase order, and they invoice us for their work and expenses.

By contrast, accelerators help entrepreneurs to get their businesses started, for instance building first prototypes and business models, establishing a legal structure, identifying target clients, and raising seed funding. Are you a young startup looking for an accelerator program? Check out our Pre-Seed program.

When and how can I join?

We are always on the lookout for great startups. We have no deadlines.
Please provide some details about your startup here.

Is there a deadline?

There is no deadline.

What happens during a pilot project?

During the pilot project you:

  • 1. Sell: Your main task is to adapt your solution to our use case for validation. To achieve this, you receive specific requirements before the start of the project. You will be paid for your efforts and compensated for your expenses.
  • 2. Learn: You will learn how to succeed in the world of insurance. We teach you the industry dynamics and how purchasing works.
  • 3. Scale: Together, we will create a compelling roadmap and refine your business model with Signal Iduna, to ensure that your solution can be applied and scaled throughout Signal Iduna. You are connected with key people, who help you to grow your business within Signal Iduna and the German insurance market.
What happens after the signals Startup Client?

After successful validation of your solution, Signal Iduna aims to become a long-term client of your startup.
Usually, your solution needs further development following the pilot project before it can be applied operationally.
You will negotiate further development and supplier agreements directly with your client business unit and our purchasing department. These negotiations will ideally start during the pilot project.

Are startups paid or funded?

Signal Iduna becomes your client, not your shareholder. Once you become a supplier, you are given a supplier number and a purchase order.
You will receive payment for the pilot. How much we pay, depends on the pilot project.
All costs related to the integration and validation of your solution are covered, including materials, travel, working hours, etc. You can propose a budget based on our requirements.
Having gained Signal Iduna as a client should make it easier for you to raise venture capital and increase your valuation.
Independent of the signals Startup Client, Signal Iduna may offer to invest in your startup.

Do you also invest in startups?

Independent of the signals Startup Client, Signal Iduna invests in startups. Startups that are evaluated for the signals Startup Client may also be assessed for potential investment.

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