5 minutes with… Cenk Tabakoğlu, CEO at Lumnion
Cross-industry innovation: as in other industries, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are creating breakthrough innovations in the insurance sector. This is because, especially when it comes to pricing, manual methods are often still used here, which are firstly susceptible to sources of error and secondly require a high level of staffing. The Turkish start-up Lumnion, which has settled in Munich as part of Invest in Bavaria's “Ois Easy” programme, develops state-of-the-art, AI-based pricing platforms for the insurance industry. The young company from Istanbul has been able to win major customers such as Allianz and HDI after just one year. Now Lumnion is planning to expand at the Bavarian location and is currently looking for new employees.
Some time ago, you had already lived in Germany for several years and later chose Bavaria as the destination for Lumnion’s expansion. What were the reasons for this step?
Firstly, it is the number one location in Germany for insurance and number two for banking and as we are an insurtech company this fits us very well. Also, Bavaria is really one of the leading areas that has a strong culture of collaboration between start-ups, established companies and universities. And there are so many tech companies that we can have collaborations. Last but not least, Bavaria hosts many internationally recognized events and is a central location to reach out to potential clients in Switzerland and Austria.
As I lived in Germany in the past, Munich was always one of my favorite cities as well, hence we are very happy to have settled here, enjoying the life and Bavarian heritage.
What support services in Bavaria have you been able to benefit from so far and how have they influenced your choice of location?
We were warmly welcomed with the “Ois Easy” Programme, Invest in Bavaria meets our needs in every aspect and we feel the strong support. With the help of BayStarUP we receive a broad support for potential entry strategies for the German market and to find investors for our growth plans. BayFOR helps us with the German and EU grant programs, investor relations.
As Munich has one of the two hubs in Germany specifically for Insurance, we have met with potential customers, investors and strategic partners on the technology side through the NXT:Enterprise Program. As part of the alumni, we are still getting support in building our network and reaching to potential customers through InsurTech Hub Munich (ITHM).
In a way Bavaria is our gateway to the rest of the world. Expanding to find new customers, developing our technology and products is also very crucial. We want to use the advantage of being in Bavaria in our strategic relations with both global and local partners.
– Cenk Tabakoğlu, CEO Lumnion
You have been active in Bavaria for over a year. Have you already been able to acquire local customers and if so, how does the collaboration work?
We have run many POCs and signed partnership agreements with important companies. Being close to the customers and the opportunities provided by the Invest in Bavaria and ITHM on particularly networking helped us get in contact and present our solutions to a wider audience. We are very happy about the collaboration and vast opportunities that come with it.
How do Turkish business partners differ from European ones? Are there any peculiarities in the Bavarian way of doing business?
In Turkey we have many German insurance companies, and they are very active, so we are familiar with the way business is done in the German insurance industry.
Time management is a very different story though, meetings in Turkey occasionally start right on time, but in Germany it is more punctual. On the business side things move a bit slower, in Germany companies take longer in trying to understand the products and what it is bringing and this maybe because they are great listeners. However, once things get going, everything really goes according to the planned schedules and that is great.
Turkish people are quite emotional and instinctive. Negative feedback might probably be taken as personal, but in Germany people usually don’t take critical views as personal, and communication is more direct.
What goals are you pursuing in the near future at the Munich location? What potential do you see for your start-up in Bavaria and Germany?
Our goal is to grow in Continental Europe and in Middle East through our company Lumnion GmbH established in Bavaria. In a way Bavaria is our gateway to the rest of the world. Expanding to find new customers, developing our technology and products is also very crucial. We want to use the advantage of being in Bavaria in our strategic relations with both global and local partners.
Bavaria is the leading location for the insurance sector in Germany with approximately 60,000 employees and good schools, so this gives us the chance to hire new employees and get new customers.
Bavaria is very popular because of its high quality of life. Where do you prefer to relax in or around Munich?
I like sports, I run and walk around the parks in Munich when I find time, I also like watching football games and after the Covid is gone I am planning to be a frequent visitor at Allianz Arena. Skiing is also one of my favorite sports, and the mountains are very close by, so a great location overall. I also love the Weizen Beer and the local food at the beer halls and gardens – so pretty happy to be settled in Bavaria.
InsurTech, Artificial Intelligence
In Bavaria since
Department represented in Bavaria