Kenyan Insurtech Pula Closes $6M Series A to Boost Profits for Small-scale Farmers Across Africa

Gbemileke Babatunde

Kenyan insurtech startup, Pula has raised $6 million in a Series A funding round to increase profitability for small scale farmers across Africa through its tech-driven insurance products and solutions.

Pan-African early-stage venture capital firm, TLcom Capital led the round with participation from nonprofit Women’s World Banking. Pula’s latest funding follows a $1.2 million grant secured from the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity and $1 million raised from Rocher Participations, Accion Venture Lab, Omidyar Network and other angel investors in 2018.

Pula Advisors | Fund for Rural Prosperity

Speaking on the funding, Pula co-founder and co-CEO Rose Goslinga disclosed that the multimillion-dollar funding will be leveraged to scale up its insurtech solutions to reach more smallholder farmers across Africa.

When Thomas and I launched Pula in 2015, we had one goal in mind – to build and deliver scalable insurance solutions for Africa’s 700mn smallholder farmers and with our latest funding, now is the time to break into new ground.

Rose Goslinga, Pula co-CEO

“In our five years since launching, we’ve built strong traction for our products but the fact remains that across Africa and other emerging markets, there are still millions of smallholder farmers with risks to their livelihoods that have not been covered,” she added.

Founded in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru, Pula applies machine learning and data analysis techniques to provide insurance and digital products to support smallholder farmers against climate change effects in emerging markets and help them bolster their income through refined farming practices.

Making it rain for smallholder farmers: How Thomas Njeru capitalised on a gap in the agricultural insurance market

Thomas Njeru, Pula co-founder

Many small scale farmers in Africa have no simplified access to requisite capital and are usually at risk of being exploited by loan sharks. Pula addresses this issue by working with governments, banks, seed/fertilizer companies and other agriculture value chain partners to provide farmers with low-interest loan credit or farm input products. It also provides insurance coverage against risks faced from climate change, pests, drought and diseases.

Currently operational in 13 African countries – Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, Pula plans to expand to Asia and Latin America.

Since its inception, the Kenyan insurtech says it has insured over 4.3 million smallholder farmers across Africa and worked with over 50 different partners.

In the words of Pula’s co-CEO Rose Goslinga: “In the midst of a global pandemic, farmers need assurances now more than ever and with this in mind, it’s time to scale up.”

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