• Thursday, 13 June 2024
Kenyan based insurance startup Pula seals ksh 2.6 billion funding deal

Kenyan based insurance startup Pula seals ksh 2.6 billion funding deal

Kenya-based insurance technology (insurtech) start-up Pula has closed a $20 million (Ksh.2.6 billion) series B funding round to scale its agricultural insurance product to farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The venture, co-founded in 2015 by Thomas Njeru (CEO) and Rose Goslinga (president), offers insurance covers to small-holder farmers in emerging markets to protect them from losses occasioned by pests, diseases, and climate-related events such as floods and droughts.

Pula partners with insurance and reinsurance companies to develop tailored insurance products through its digital actuary platform, which uses historical data, including weather patterns, frequency of events such as floods or droughts, harvests, losses, and input usage.

It taps into its network of organisations such as charities, banks, governments, and agricultural input companies to reach farmers by bundling insurance with farm input costs or credit services.

The new funding round was led by global investment manager BlueOrchard through its InsuResilience strategy, which seeks to shield vulnerable people in emerging markets from climate change effects by providing access to climate insurance.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) through its $225 million venture capital platform, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and Hesabu Capital also participated in the round alongside other existing investors.

Pula said the new funding will enable it to scale its operations and significantly expand its reach over the next five years. The venture says it is planning to introduce livestock covers in Kenya after a pilot program in Nigeria.

“Partnering with this group of like-minded investors to boost the growth of Pula globally is a very exciting milestone in driving our triple 100 vision, through which we intend to bring insurance to 100 million smallholder farmers. What started 9 years ago as an unconventional idea that many deemed un-scalable is now a proven solution that has solved real needs for millions of smallholder farmers across 22 countries,” said Njeru.

Richard Hardy, the Private Equity Investment Director Africa at BlueOrchard said Pula has an unrivalled track record in the agricultural insurance space and is aligned with the global investment manager’s mission.

“What sets Pula apart is their innovative business model, leveraging artificial intelligence, on the ground data collection mechanisms, mobile-based registration systems, remote sensing, and end-to-end automation tools. Their digital platform has enabled them to expand into new geographies with ease and efficiency, all while keeping setup costs low,” said Hardy.

Pula currently operates in Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. The start-up is also expanding its presence in Asia and Latin America.

These markets are managed from Switzerland and coordinated from the Kenya service centre.

 

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