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INTERVIEW - Sofia-headquartered start-up Colibra plans EU-wide coverage by end-2020

INTERVIEW - Sofia-headquartered start-up Colibra plans EU-wide coverage by end-2020 Photo: Colibra logo, Facebook/All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), February 17 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria-headquartered flight compensation service Colibra, founded in late 2018 and already operating in several EU member states, plans to cover all of the EU countries by the end of 2020, co-founder and CMO Miroslav Zaporozhanov told SeeNews. 

Colibra also intends to enter the Turkish and Canadian markets where flight compensations are on the rise, Zaporozhanov told SeeNews in a recent e-mailed interview.

The company, which launched its application for instant flight compensations in June 2019, hopes to reach 1 million downloads and service 2 million trips by the end of this year.

"Colibra has audacious goals when it comes to growth. The market of flight compensations is 10 billion euro ($10.8 billion) annually, covering more than 30 million air passengers in more than 8 million flights," Zaporozhanov noted.

The start-up's goal is to become the number one solution for frequent flyers around the globe and one of the few travel apps that pays money for delayed or cancelled flights.

"We strongly believe that there's great market demand," Zaporozhanov noted. "Hence having the right team, investors and big drive to change the flight compensation industry will help us make the life of millions of air travellers richer and more convenient."

With the company growing by 100% on weekly basis in terms of downloads, its team believes it is on the right track to fulfilling its expansion objectives in the short term.

Colibra, which was registered in Malta due to the island's friendly regulation and developed ecosystem of fintech start-ups, has been present in Bulgaria ever since the launch of its product and has managed to maintain a solid local user base of frequent air travellers using Colibra on every flight, the CMO said.

Since the closure of a seed round in 2019, the company has entered several EU markets, including neighbouring Romania and Greece. Colibra also operates in the UK, France, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.

"All those markets show great interest in Colibra's 1+ hour flight delay compensation payout because it's a unique value proposition," Zaporozhanov added. 

Colibra, which was founded with a 200,000 euro investment from its founders, fully closed its seed round following a 1.75 million euro investment from US-based investment company Asterion. Prior to the Asterion investment, at the beginning of last year, Colibra attracted 250,000 euro from Bulgarian venture capital fund Eleven Ventures, its first outside investor at the time, Zaporozhanov recalled.

In October 2019, Colibra reached number one downloaded app in both iOS and Google Play's stores in Bulgaria and later, in January 2020 alone, it reached the number one travel app in the Czech Republic and Cyprus and was ranked among the top five in Greece, Zaporozhanov said.

"We have more than 50,000 downloads and more than 10,000 weekly active users," the CMO noted.

The company currently employs 17 people. Via its travel application, Colibra offers instant compensations under the EU's flight compensation regulation, EU261, for flights that get cancelled or delayed by an hour or more.

($ = 0.922542 euro)

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