Kenyan digital insurer Pula raises Ksh.660M in additional capital

Kenyan digital insurer Pula raises Ksh.660M in additional capital

Kenyan-based digital insurance Pula has raised Ksh.660 million ($6 million) in additional funding as it seeks to expand its footprint on the African continent.

The second level of funding for the start-up known as Series A investment was led by tech-centered venture capitalist TLcom Capital and follows Ksh.110 million ($1 million) in seed investment by a number of angel investors in 2018.

Founded in 2015, Pula seeks to power resilience and the profitability of smallholder farmers through insurance and digital solutions.

The start-up designs insurance products to manage farmers’ risks enabling them to invest more in their farms.

“Farmers in emerging markets face challenges with low productivity due to the risks they face from ongoing climate change, pests and diseases, farmers struggle to find financial stability,” Pula states on its website.

“We work with governments, seed/fertilizer companies, loan providers and other agriculture value chain partners to bundle insurance with farm input products or loan credit.”

The new financing is expected to scale up Pula’s operations in its existing 13 markets including Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Mozambique where it has insured over 4.3 million farmers.

Pula is a brainchild of Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru who previously worked in and around micro-insurance programs for farmers on the continent.

Their start-up has innovated insurance contractors with farmers as a solution to growers’ misconceptions on coverage against risks facing agricultural production.

“Some think a climate disaster wouldn’t hit their farms for a particular season; hence, they don’t ask for insurance initially. But if they witness any of these climate risks during the season, they would want to get insurance, which is counterproductive to Pula,” founder Rose Goslinga told technology-based news site TechCrunch.

“The unit economics doesn’t work for us to work with farmers directly. But with banks, we know they provide loans to farmers with much better margins to pay for insurance. Also, we work together with government subsidy programs since they’re also interested in protecting their farmers.”