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Legal Tech
Closes Jan 02, 2023 23:59
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Refundor

Refundor is a fast-growing legal tech company with ambitions to become a market leader in Europe. We help people get money from airlines easy and efficiently. We work with airlines from all around the world.

10 200 € (7%)

of 150 000 - 500 000 € goal funded

25 days to go


400 € minimum investment
Invest

Quick Pitch

Here is the big thing - right now, air passengers are more protected than ever. If there is a problem with a flight, you can get compensation. At the same time, very few people know about it.

For example, did you know that you can get up to EUR 600 from the airline if your flight has been delayed or cancelled? Or, if you have been denied boarding? Yes, that is correct. There is a Regulation (EC) 261/2004/ UK261 which sets forth these passengers’ rights and airlines are legally obliged to comply. However, airlines don’t want passengers to use these rights and claim compensation, because it leads to additional expenses for them.

Here Are a Few Examples

Imagine a situation when there is a family of five waiting in the airport for their long-haul connecting flight when the airline suddenly announces that their flight is cancelled due to technical issues. They are offered some food vouchers and replacement flight later on, but did you know that the family is actually entitled to a fixed EUR 3000 (EUR 600 per person) compensation for the inconveniences and loss of time? They probably don’t know it and the airline probably won’t tell them, but this is what they are rightfully entitled to!

And, yes, mostly they are entitled to food vouchers and replacement flight too.

Now imagine a line of passengers waiting for boarding, but the boarding is postponed several times due to some issues with airline’s employees and flight organization. That is not your fault, but still everyone is forced to wait without knowing what will happen. The gates are finally opened and the flight arrives with a 3+ hours delay, causing unexpected inconveniences and disrupting everyone’s plans. Do you think it is okay for the airline just to say “sorry?”

No, it is not. Everyone on this flight, all these 100, 200 or 400 passengers, is entitled to a compensation up to EUR 600. Every single passenger. The amount of compensation depends on the distance of the flight. However, most probably it won’t be mentioned at all, and most of them won't get it. That is why air travellers need accessible and trustworthy legal consultants.

This Is Where We Come Into Play 

We believe that everyone deserves to feel safe and protected when travelling.

It should be easy to find someone to turn to – one who knows the laws and regulations, is always available, can consult and answer questions, has power and capacity to represent passengers in communication with the airlines and collect payments. This is exactly why we are doing what we are doing. This is why we have created Refundor.

We Are Ready to Take It to the Next Level

The market potential is huge. The more so after the pandemic, when so many companies closed down. That's why we are looking for extra financing to be able to expand and reach a completely new level.

Problem & Solution

There are around 24 000 flights every day either arriving or departing from European and UK airports. Approximately 1% of them gets delayed by more than 3 hours or cancelled at the last minute. That means there are hundreds of thousands of passengers, who have to suffer the consequences. Every single day. Hundreds of thousands of people lose time and money every single day.  

There are two big problems in the industry.

Problem 1 - Most People Don't Know About Their Rights

Many are entitled to compensation, most - don't know about it.

Many could be receiving up to EUR 600, most - will never learn of this.

Even though, the European Parliament and the Council have issued a special flight compensation regulation which states that every single air passenger who has suffered from a long flight delay, flight cancellation or denied boarding has rights to receive a so called “moral compensation” from the carrier in the amount ranging from EUR 250 to EUR 600 due to the inconveniences he or she had to experience. The exact amount of European flight compensation depends on the flight distance.

Problem 2 - Claiming Flight Compensation Is Hard 

First of all, most people don't know that they have these rights.

We have conducted market research and have analysed the situation in more detail and have found that around 80% of air travellers do not know about such Regulation and their rights to receive compensation. That is the reality - 80% of people don't know about their rights.

Second - it is very hard for a regular person to get compensation from airline. If you don't have a legal background, dealing with airlines is tough. So, even those who know about this Regulation and claim the compensation directly from the carrier, often face difficulties to receive the compensation payment they are entitled to. Very often airlines make excuses blaming “extraordinary circumstances” and use other technical terms just to avoid making these payments.

Solution - Refundor, a One-Stop Legal Tech Platform for Air Travellers

Our solution for this problem is Refundor - Legal Tech platform for air travellers.

It's a website where you make a claim and actually receive compensation.

We work with air travellers from all around the world and have already created our “know-how” by successfully operating in this field for 4 years. We have gathered a team of legal and customer care specialists, created a special IT platform, have successfully established our brand in the market and have won numerous legal battles with major European and international airlines. 

We know how to get clients and how to serve them well.

For the air traveller it is very simple - it only takes about 3-5 minutes to complete our online form and authorize us to take over the case in exchange for a reasonable commission fee. After receiving authorization, we prepare all the legal claim documents and submit them to the airline. For the client, it is much faster and easier than doing it by him-/herself and much more cost-effective than hiring a lawyer.

And for us - it is an opportunity to earn while providing help to others.

Product/Service Details

To put it simply, we help people get money from airlines.

Because we believe that everyone should feel safe and protected when travelling, and that legal help should be easily accessible and affordable.

​Our service is a collection of compensation from the airline in favour of the passenger in cases when their flight has been disrupted. In other words, we act as an agent / legal representative of air travellers by explaining their rights, compiling necessary documents, making claims to the airlines, filing complaints to civil aviation authorities, representing air travellers at alternative dispute resolution bodies and in courts and collecting rightful compensation payments that passengers are entitled to.

We Have Built an All-in-One Claim Management Tool

Together with cooperation partners we have developed a unique IT system for claim processing and management, have polished our approach and created a workflow where we are able to process hundreds of claims every day without a need for extensive manual work.

All administrative and time-consuming activities are either eliminated or kept at minimum thanks to automation, which include such things as electronic document signing, automatic claim letter generation, semi-automatic case preparation for National Enforcement Bodies and / or courts, semi-automatic payments management and much more.

Refundor – this is an innovative approach to legal services where clients can afford to use a personal lawyer at a fraction of a cost and our company can fully benefit from the potential of automation and IT systems which allow processing hundreds of claims every day and create great added value.

Business model

We charge a 25% commission for each successful case (collected compensation) plus EUR 25 per passenger as an administration fee.

Compensation amounts are set forth by Regulation (EC) 261/2004:

  • EUR 250 compensation shall be paid to each passenger if the distance of the disrupted flight* is less than 1500 km (25% * EUR 250 + EUR 25 = EUR 87.50 our commission and EUR 162.50 is paid to the passenger);
  • EUR 400 compensation shall be paid to each passenger if the distance of the disrupted flight is 1500 - 3500 km (25% * EUR 400 + EUR 25 = EUR 125 our commission and EUR 275 is paid to the passenger);
  • EUR 600 compensation shall be paid to each passenger if the distance of the disrupted flight is more than 3500 km (25% * EUR 600 + EUR 25 = EUR 175 our commission and EUR 425 is paid to the passenger).

Our effective average commission is 31.81%. That is including our base rate and administrative fees. Our average claim amount (receivable compensation) per passenger is EUR 428. That makes the average earnings for our company EUR 136.15 per passenger.

With minimal investments (EUR 1500 per month) in online advertising, we have been able to generate around 100 leads/ cases, which is on average 160 passengers, giving our company a portfolio worth EUR 21 784, which is 13.52 times the investment.

We have several sales channels, both organic and paid:

  1. B2B cooperation agreements with 30+ travel agencies;
  2. Website with around 35000 unique monthly visitors (organic traffic);
  3. Paid advertising with Google and social media channels;
  4. Strong offline F2F (face-to-face) sales with sales agents;
  5. Network of owned niche websites that generate leads.

In overall, we have already gained recognition on the market and we are planning to continue our growth to become one of the top flight compensation companies in Europe.

One of our biggest advantages that differentiates us from the competition is an extensive offline sales experience. Our sales agents have worked in most of the largest European airports. Equipped with our custom-made flight delay monitoring tool, that allows us to check flight delays in real time, they were approaching passengers as soon as incoming or outgoing flight was delayed by more than 3 hours. This allowed us to collect applications for tens of passengers from a single flight. 

* Disrupted flight – cancelled less than 7 days before the scheduled date of departure, delayed by more than 3 hours at destination or denied boarding against passenger’s will.

Market

Our market is all disrupted flights that fall under the scope of Regulation (EC) 261/2004 and they include:

  • All flights between European countries (incl. UK, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland);
  • All flights departing from European countries (incl. UK, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) and flying to third countries;
  • All flights arriving to European countries (incl. UK, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) from third countries when they are operated by a European (incl. UK, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) carrier.

One Billion and Growing by 14.6 Million Daily

According to publicly available information on disrupted flights, affected passengers, terms for claiming compensations and proportion of claims already made, the total market size with unpaid compensations (that can still be claimed) is around EUR 1 Bn. At the same time, if we look at the daily statistics, there are around 24 thousand flights performed every day to, from and within Europe/ UK from which 0.3% are delayed by >3 h and 0.9% are cancelled, meaning that 1.2% of all flights (293 flights) every day are eligible for claiming compensation, creating new daily market opportunity of EUR 14.6 million.

This table below comprises only flights that fall under Regulation (EC) 261/2004 and are eligible for compensation. As it can be seen, the market grows rapidly every day and taking into account that the period for claiming compensation is up to 6 years (depending on the country), the market is vast and needs claims agencies such as Refundor to stand for the rights of passengers and collect these still unclaimed compensations.  

To check if your flight is eligible for compensation, please fill in your details here: refundor.com.

Targeting Certain Airlines and Languages

We have currently selected certain airlines and languages for targeting to be more effective with the existing resources. For example, the largest part of our client portfolio is comprised of passengers who speak English, Spanish and Russian languages. At the same time, we have clients who are from the US, Canada, Egypt, Kenya, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, etc.

With additional financing, we will be able to expand and be able to claim the aforementioned compensations from as many airlines, flights and passengers as possible.

We Know How to Get Clients & How to Serve Them Efficiently

In 4 years, we have tried and tested several sales tactics and built our own tools.

We have an extensive direct face-to-face sales experience and presence in the airports. We have built a custom-made mobile tool with live flight disruption data from the airports. And we have built a sophisticated claims management system called Claimotion, which allows us to automate most of the work related to compensation claims management.

Since 2021, we have been building a network of niche websites, targeting specific airlines and airports, which at the moment generates around 50 organic leads a day (1500 leads a month, with a total value of EUR 645 000/ month). This allows us to work with minimal investments in marketing and online advertising.

It allows us to get the customers we want and can serve the best.

Traction & Accomplishments

   1. We have built a sophisticated IT platform that helps us handle high volumes of passengers. It takes our client about 3-5 minutes to fill in an application and authorise us to represent their interests against the airline.

    2. We have won court cases against Air Baltic, SmartLynx Airlines, Ryanair and after starting litigation have received full settlement offers from Saudi Arabian Airlines and Iberia.

    3. Several thousand clients from all over the world have come to us and entrusted us with their claims against airlines.

    4. We have built up a claims portfolio worth ~EUR 5m. 50% of the clients are ready to litigate. This is one of the areas where we plan to invest.

    5. We have established successful cooperation with law firms in several EU countries (e.g. Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Latvia).

    6. We currently have a 100% success rate in litigation. 

    7. Thanks to our active work with SEO and focus on content marketing, organic traffic to our main website is growing rapidly. Currently it is approximately  35000 unique monthly visitors.

How We’re Different

Our business model is quite unique, yet proven. If comparing to similar service providers, we have numerous advantages:

  1. Strong offline sales team;
  2. Our own network of niche websites that generates leads organically (without ads). We know how to grow it fast, cheap and efficient;
  3. We purchase credit collection rights - conclude an agreement with the passengers that rights to collect compensation are transferred to us. This way we are able to claim compensations, turn to National Enforcement Bodies and courts without necessity for notary. All of which ensures a faster claim process and better cashflow;
  4. Strong team and external consultants who are experts in the field;
  5. Cooperation with established law firms in a number of European countries;
  6. Our own unique and sophisticated IT system for claims management.

We currently hold one of the top positions in the market by website traffic (almost 100% organic) and expect to increase by 1 or 2 places as soon as we start paid advertising campaigns and / or start investing more into our own network of niche websites. 

Run by a Seasoned Entrepreneur (Vladislavs Šulja)

Last but not least, the key founder of the company is a well-experienced and successful serial entrepreneur who has successfully launched and grown several businesses. He has been the “Salesman of the year” in a telecommunications company IZZI SIA (2010-2012), leading the company to very good sales results resulting in a sale of the company to Baltcom SIA (2013). In 2012, he created his own electronics brand TOP3 in cooperation with major manufacturers in China and sold his business to a partner in 2014.

Later, he started a new business in wholesale of building materials and doors having made partnerships with manufacturers in Ukraine. The company became the largest doors wholesaler in the Baltic states, leading to a sale of the business to a Ukrainian supplier Steelguard. In parallel, he also started a small side project birste.lv selling baboo toothbrushes – created a brand and a well-working operations system and later sold it to a bigger company.

In 2019, Vladislavs joined a paving stones factory Raunas bruģakmens SIA as an advisor, helped to save it from bankruptcy and to increase its revenue by more than 300% in one year. At the moment, he has left the company. In 2020 - 2021, during the pandemic, he decided to take on the opportunity that more people are spending time at home, and started a company manufacturing innovative BBQ tables - My BBQ Table, now being exported to Europe and the US.

And, of course, let's not forget about Refundor. In 2018, by investing his own private capital, he also co-founded Refundor, and led it through the pandemic. Now, when the market is quickly recovering, he is ready to use this opportunity and lead the company to top positions in the industry.

Uses of Funds & Timeline

The goals of this investment round are as following.

Raising EUR 150 000

  • Investment in IT system improvement and further automation;
  • Increase our collections (legal), IT and customer service teams;
  • Investment in sales and marketing activities;
  • Filing a set of court cases with problematic airlines;
  • {artial long-term creditor settlements;
  • Investment in office;
  • Agreements with external service providers.

This amount will allow us to break through the pre-pandemic results and gain one of the top positions in the European / UK market with a potential to become a market leader in the upcoming years.

Raising EUR 500 000

Raising additional funds will allow us to expand even further and gain a well-established market position for long-term work. In addition to system and efficiency improvements, we will be able to enter new markets. If raising this amount, we will: 

  • Invest significantly more in customer acquisition;
  • Strengthen our presence in new markets (starting from German speaking countries);
  • Translate our website, forms and other information into German;
  • Expand our customer service team by ensuring client support in the German language;
  • Run lead campaigns in the German market;
  • Start partnerships with German travel agencies and hotel chains.

Raising this amount will give us a significant competitive advantage and will make us a loud voice fighting for the rights and interests of mistreated passengers with a potential to change the industry and make sure passengers rights are well respected.

Obligations to Investors, Profit Distribution

We plan to continue the steady growth of Refundor to raise its revenues and value for the shareholders as well as establish Refundor as a leading flight compensation company in the European market and beyond.

Exit potential

In case of the successful development scenario, it is expected that the exit may occur in 5 to 7 years.

Risks and Mitigation

There are several risks which include COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on air traffic as well as airlines’ financial stability and also risks associated with new competition and changes in legal acts:

  1. Due to COVID-19 air traffic has not reached its pre-pandemic levels yet, so some airlines are facing financial difficulties. There is a risk that we won’t be able to collect some payments. However, we have a very diverse airline portfolio which gives us extra safety and minimizes the potential amount of un-recovered compensations.
  2. New competitors may enter this field and create extra competition. Although, there is always such a risk, the market size is around EUR 1 bn, which is more than enough for numerous companies to work with. Moreover, building a successful automated compensation claims agency of a reasonable size requires significant human, experience and capital resources.
  3. There may be new regulations taking away these rights of the passengers to receive such compensations. Such a possibility exists, however, much has been done in this field to ensure these rights. Starting from Montreal convention in 2003 in the US, then Regulation (EC) 261 in 2004 in Europe, then several proposals on expanding air carrier’s liability even further. So the future outlook is very positive for our operations.