N’Golo Kanté, augmented reality… Alan, the start-up that wants to revolutionize health insurance

Blaise Matuidi, N’Golo Kanté, Benjamin Kayser… it’s an amazing transfer that the French unicorn Alan has negotiated. The start-up specializing in health plans announced with great fanfare, earlier this week, a partnership with renowned athletes who will offer master classes and professional advice in the app. A strategy reminiscent of Gafa’s.

The American tech giants have understood, in fact, in recent years, that healthcare could offer them a very profitable new outlet if they could differentiate themselves with very playful tools focused on prevention. That’s why a Google or an Apple invest so much in their connected watches and offer, in their health apps, advice and personalized sports training. And it’s this same strategy that allowed Alan to impose himself in the very tight health insurance market.

The start-up, therefore, has designed its application with extreme care so that even administrative phobics enjoy using it. Third-party digital payment card, online currency exchange, refund history… no more looking for papers, everything is centralized in the app and easy to find. And the experience is fun, with options like trying on glasses in augmented reality.

Limited offer. 2 months for €1 without commitment

The central element of Alan’s strategy, however, is to expand the offer so that users are interested – and willing – to consult the application daily: this is the sine qua non condition for carrying out prevention with them. Alan is, therefore, responsible for alerting users when it is time to resume consultations with the dentist, the ophthalmologist, to make their vaccination reminders or the medical follow-up of children.

Virtual clinic and mental health

The start-up also built a virtual clinic on the app, where customers can ask questions seven days a week to healthcare professionals from 10 different specialties (general practitioner, dermatologist, pediatrician, nutritionist, etc.). Alan’s brilliance may still be the acquisition of the American company Jour, a year ago, for 20 million dollars. This is what allowed him to invest in the area of ​​mental health by launching Alan Mind, a personalized support service and exercises in this area.

“Mental health is a very important area where it is sometimes difficult to take the first step, we wanted to demystify all that and make these tools more accessible”, explains Jean-Charles Samuelian-Werve. This strategy appeals to its target audience, namely companies seeking health coverage for their employees. Prevention is, it is true, a win-win approach: members avoid health failures and companies avoid the health costs they incur.

results ? Six years after its creation, Alan has convinced more than 18,000 companies in France, but also in Spain and Belgium, and secures a total of 340,000 employees. The start-up now generates over 220 million in revenue and employs 530 people. The unicorn still has challenges ahead, however. “Industry giants have decades of reward history, so they maintain a decisive advantage over these new entrants,” says one venture capitalist.

Industry giants on the lookout

Although they are less agile than start-ups, incumbents monitor the innovations they build very closely and will not hesitate to replicate the options they most appeal to. In the banking sector, for example, traditional institutions have been slow to offer apps and websites worthy of the name, but since they made the switch, their digital products have nothing to envy to those of many neobanks. Result: after a promising start, many of them have all the difficulty in the world to transform the test.

In Alan, however, optimism reigns. “We are convinced of our ability to be one step ahead of the competition”, assures Jean-Charles Samuelian-Werve with confidence. Even the drop in technology investments in 2022 does not worry the team: “We had anticipated this dark context and we organized ourselves so that the fundraising last May was the last necessary to reach the profitability that we project in 2025.”. With the 183 million euros raised in the spring, Alan the unicorn now has enough to gallop for a long time.


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