Europe's leading insurtech wefox, has rewarded its workforce by making them all shareholders in the company.
The move followed wefox's US$650m record Series C investment round that resulted in the company raising the largest capital injection for any insurtech globally.
The funding round has also resulted in wefox reaching a valuation of $3bn - a remarkable feat for an insurtech that has been in operation only since 2014.
wefox founders Julian Teicke and Fabian Wesemann took measures into their own hands following the extraordinary round and awarded every member of the wefox staff share options worth €5000.
Speaking about the generous move that came as a surprise to wefox staff, CEO Julian Teicke said, “We couldn’t have achieved our success without the talent, knowledge, commitment and sheer hard work given by our colleagues around the world."
He continued, “Our record series C funding round is our success, collectively. Everyone has played a part in securing it. Now everyone is a shareholder in this incredible business.”
wefox share option buyback
The decison to reward wefox employees was a unanimous choice by wefox executives. Fabian Wesemann, CFO explained, “The question isn’t why have we made everyone a shareholder. The question is why wouldn’t we make everyone a shareholder? We have, since our inception, looked at ways in which we can reward all of our teams with shares. But it's not easy to make it work favourably for employees because share options are usually taxed in the same way as salary is taxed."
He continued, "They should be treated as capital gains which would be way more beneficial to employees. Governments in Europe must work fast to improve this crazy situation. In so doing, they will without doubt support innovation across the region.”
Teicke said it was important that employees benefitted as much as possible from the shareholder opportunity, so options were available to help them make the most of the move. “We weren’t prepared to wait for Governments to catch up. So as well as making everyone a shareholder, we also set up a buyback scheme too. It gives our colleagues the choice to keep or sell their options back to the business."
He added, “We want everyone at wefox to share in our success as we work to become the leading personal insurance company within the decade.”
Image credit wefox: Fabian Wesemann, CFO and Julian Teicke, CEO