Frank Birzle (Co-Founder, CTO), Sebastian Scheerer (Co-Founder, CDO) and Roman Rittweger (Co-Founder, CEO) Louisa Summer


The Insurance that Makes it Easy

Founded in 2015
100 employees
Funding: €40M
Stage: Later Stage

ottonova is the first fully digital private health insurance in Germany. By combining state of the art technology and outstanding customer service, ottonova supports and empowers its customers in all things related to their health and health insurance. This leads to a delightful and simple customer experience that is unparalleled in the industry. Website
Highlight of the year: Making the Digital Doctor’s Call available to their customers.

Interview with ottonova

What inspired you to found your startup?

As a licensed physician, people have always come to me, asking for all kinds of medical advice. One of the main drivers behind founding ottonova was to provide exactly this service for all our customers – to have your health partner in your pocket.

How are you different? What is your unique value proposition?

We are simplifying the entire customer journey: from signing up without a middleman, to dealing with all aspects of your health insurance via an easy to use app, and even enabling patients to have video calls with doctors to get a diagnosis and prescription when you are sick.

How do you define success for yourself and your company?

We want to provide the best customer experience, and to ignite the transformation of the entire industry by spearheading innovation in a market that hasn’t seen much advancement in recent years.

What do you want to achieve next year?

We will continue to deliver on our promises and provide a delightful customer experience. Additionally, we want to extend our range of services to further empower our customers. This differentiates us from other players in the market and is the foundation of our goal to reach more and more people.

Why do people want to work at your company?

Our goal at ottonova is compelling: we want to change the German health insurance system, and make it simpler, more transparent, and more innovative. The opportunity to help us achieve this goal, to make a difference, and to create something valuable, is the biggest motivation for people to join us.

What has been the most important milestone so far?

To be accredited as a private health insurance company by the German BaFin — something which hasn’t been done for almost two decades.

Looking back at your whole development story — what makes you most proud?

We grew the company from 3 employees to nearly 100 incredibly talented people, and we raised three financing rounds of 40 Million Euros in total.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

As the most-loved and fastest-growing private health insurance company, we want to become the platform for personal digital health in Germany, as well as to enable other companies in the health insurance sector to profit from our advanced technology.

What is your impression of launching a startup from your based city?

The proximity to many companies working in the insurance sector has been proven to be a big advantage from the get-go. Munich also offers an amazing pool of talented people, which is crucial for the growth-phase we’re currently in. The sorrounding area also has a lot to offer outside of work.

What is your impression of the german startup scene? Would you change anything?

The whole startup scene in Germany has matured a lot. We’ve seen unicorn valuations and rather successful IPOs within the last couple of years but Germany is nowhere near the amazing level of innovation we’re seeing in countries like China or the US due to a lack of talents and at times courage.

ottonova was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Germany“, November 2018.

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