Benoît Bourdel & Raphaël Vullierme
“For Benoit and I, creating a company is about leveraging the power of markets toward the “right” direction. In our case, we thought there was a clear path to help European households access safer and greener homes**“**
Our generation faces a tremendous number of global challenges and risks. Most of which we and previous generations created ourselves, when all the impact of our actions were overlooked.
As an entrepreneur, and like many of my peers today, I feel it is critical that anything new you bring to the world is impacting it in a positive way (believe me, it’s easier said than done!)
The fact that Luko is an insurance company probably makes it all the more obvious, as we are first faced with most of the risks and its impact on people. One of which being climate risks and its impact on building, thus on our homes, thus on our lives.
This is probably why we took Impact so seriously from the very beginning. One of our 4 key values is “we are serious about impact”. Both these words, which are rarely put together, are important to me, and emphasise the complexity of the topic. Good intentions, nice speeches, even great-looking reports are insufficient without the same level focus and quality of execution that any other business topic requires.
Of course, it starts with the vision. For Benoit and I, creating a company is about (modestly and slightly) leveraging the power of markets toward the “right” direction. In our case, we thought there was a clear path to “help European households access safer and greener homes”. Homes are a huge part of our lives (where we spend most of our time, all the more so with remote working), of our finances (they are our biggest spending or asset), and of our environmental footprint. Yet, no impact-driven, technological company was tackling this topic in an ambitious way. That is also what makes this mission so exciting and important.
As we quickly discovered the home insurance business was suffering a deep misalignment of interests: any euro the insurer would not conceal to reimburse to its policyholder would end up being one euro of additional profit for the company in the end of the year. How can you trust a company in such terms? So we started by implementing trust by design into our business model. The Giveback mechanism allows us to keep our remuneration independent from our users’ compensations: premiums left after refunding claims are given back to associations.
But then only the real work starts. It’s about being serious about it. Not only related to your core business model or offer, but as a company, with employees, partners, providers, customers, etc. Even with the best intentions, reality also makes it hard, because everything you do would naturally consume resources and contribute to waste, carbon emissions, etc. That is where setting the right goals and being able to measure and track performance is key. In what is probably an ever-going effort, with constant room for improvements.
Luko is a technology company that has greatly benefited from the increased appetite from investors. In 2022, the massive switch in investors’ appetite urged Luko to adapt quickly and pause some projects. Some projects that were very important to our mission, but that could no longer be financed in the current market. We had to pause or stop our work around accident prevention and reduced our investment around energy monitoring. It does not mean we stop forever, it means we first need to get stronger as a company to then be able to invest much more resources in those fields to be successful.
In this long journey, becoming a B Corp certified company was a big step in 2019. This first impact report is another one. In this exercise of transparency and knowledge sharing, we highlight initiatives that have been taken since our inception, and share how we worked to develop our positive social & environmental impact by embedding it into our structure and goals.
Raphaël Vullierme, CEO
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