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The founders of Hellas Direct, the first 100% digital insurance company in Greece share their amazing story of transforming a particularly difficult industry. Competition, regulation and customer perception were only a few of the obstacles they had to tackle. Armed with a total funding of €23.8M, Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou start a crusade to rethink insurance from the ground up and are making big waves. Since launching in 2011, they have acquired tens of thousands of clients and have expanded in home insurance.
The ex-Goldman Sachs Executives that quit their job to start a new company is not your typical startup story. Alexis and Emilios have built a company against all odds in Greece and Cyprus at a time where digital was not well understood by policy makers and clients. By cutting out commissions and adopting the latest web technology, Hellas Direct offers safe drivers policies at a 15-35% discount to comparable coverage options and superior customer service. With its scientific approach to risk and its user-friendly interface, the company offers fast and easy quotes; clear choices with transparent pricing; and competitively priced policies for safe drivers.
Hellas Direct is part of Endeavor Greece, a global non profit organization that selects and supports high impact entrepreneurs through strategic guidance, access to markets and capital.
Alexis is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Hellas Direct, a digital insurance company founded in 2011 with the view of changing the way Greek car insurance companies service their clients. The company specialises in car insurance, selling policies directly via the web and over the phone. Prior to Hellas Direct, Alexis was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs where he led principal investing and new strategic initiatives for the firm in the European investment management field. A former strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, Alexis also worked for Miramax Films in New York and the Competition Directorate General of the European Commission in Brussels. Over the past few years, Alexis has privately invested in a number of different ventures, focusing on angel financing and the strategic use of technology in the financial services space. He has held advisory roles and participated at Board level across a number of different start-up companies. Alexis graduated with a BA(Hons)/ MA(Cantab) in Economics from the University of Cambridge and holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Fulbright and British Chevening Scholar, a Robert & Diane Levy Fellow and an Endeavor Global Entrepreneur.
Emilios graduated from Manchester University and earned a Masters in Actuarial Sciences and Finance from the London Business School. He went on to work for Goldman Sachs, and Barclays, heading its European insurance structuring team. Alexis followed a similar trajectory, studying at Cambridge, followed by 12 years at Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and BCG. He completed an MBA from Wharton and became an executive director at Goldman. Since 2006, the two have been angel investors and have funded numerous start-ups.
Emilios and Alexis realized that the car insurance industry was set up to service the broker, and that an online direct-to-consumer insurer could positively disrupt and survive a recessionary market. Both left their jobs in 2009 to found Hellas Direct. The company launched in 2012 and began marketing in mid-September.
Hellas Direct specializes in online car insurance, offering both basic legally-mandated insurance and tailored coverage products. With its scientific approach to risk and its user-friendly interface, the company offers fast and easy quotes; clear choices with transparent pricing; and competitively priced policies for safe drivers.
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