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Naked Insurance wins MTN App of the Year

Johannesburg, 25 Oct 2019
The 2019 MTN Business App of the Year winner. (Source: MTN Business SA Twitter)
The 2019 MTN Business App of the Year winner. (Source: MTN Business SA Twitter)

Artificial intelligence (AI)-based insurtech firm Naked Insurance was the overall winner at the MTN Business App of the Year Awards 2019 last night.

In addition to the top honour, the prize includes a trip to Silicon Valley valued at R200 000 to connect with other start-ups.

Naked launched in April 2018 with an AI-driven car insurance offering.

According to the company, its car insurance product is built on three core principles: ensuring a fair and transparent insurance process for customers, putting them firmly in control of their insurance experience, and using AI and automation to lower costs.

Naked customers can also lodge claims on the app. The AI system approves some claims within seconds. If a customer is stuck at the side of the road or needs a tow, they can click on the emergency assist icon to be connected directly to the Naked Assist line, it states.

Commenting on the win, co-founder Ernest North said: “There were so many great apps on show tonight; it is inspiring to see how many entrepreneurs are using technology to change lives. We are truly humbled that from 600 entries we won the overall app of the year.

“I’m so proud of the team that had the courage to build our system from scratch, with the clear goal of transforming car insurance from a grudge purchase into a transparent, convenient and simple customer experience.

“But this is just the start for us – we’re not only growing our car insurance business at a rapid pace, but will soon launch exciting new products in other categories of the short-term insurance market.”

Now in its eighth year, the app development competition celebrates talent and out-of-the-box thinking. This year, MTN Business received more than 600 app entries for categories ranging from enterprise, healthcare, gaming, educational and financial solutions.

MTN Business chief enterprise officer Wanda Matandela said: “Our congratulations go out to Naked Insurance for taking the top spot this year. They join a club of elite previous winners whose apps have gone on to become household names.

“This competition is about creating platforms that enable innovators and entrepreneurs,” he added.

The night’s other winners included:

  • Best Enterprise Solution: Digger, which uses data science to “connect the right people to the right job”.  
  • Most Innovative Solution: SI Realities, which uses augmented reality to teach science to students that don’t have real-life science labs.
  • Best Health Solution: Vula Mobile, a free app that connects primary healthcare workers in rural or under-resourced areas directly with medical specialists in urban centres.
  • Best Agricultural Solution: Hydra Farm Awareness helps farmers manage and monitor all aspects of their operations, including livestock tracking, and water, feed and fertiliser use.
  • Best Educational Solution: The Matric Live platform supports over 16 subjects in the school curriculum.
  • Best South African Solution: Franc, which provides stokvels with mobile access to high-performing, low-cost investments, and gives them the flexibility to withdraw their money at any time.
  • Best Consumer Solution: Over, a text over photos app that allows users to upload pictures and get creative with titles, layers or their own branding.
  • Best Women in STEM Solution: LocTransie and My Pregnancy Journey were joint winners of this award.
  • Best Financial Solution: Naked Insurance
  • Best Incubated Solution Award: LocTransie
  • Best Gaming Solution: Loot Defence, a tapper-style game that challenges players to fight and collect treasure in over 100 different environments.
  • Best Breakthrough Developer Solution: MoWash, which allows customers to order a wash via the app, listing their location. “MoWashers” also remind clients when it’s time to renew their car licence disc.
  • App of the Year: Naked Insurance

* ITWeb sponsored the best breakthrough developer award.