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SA insurtech Inclusivity catches Lloyd’s attention in UK

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 12 Aug 2020

South African-based insurtech start-up Inclusivity Solutions has made it into the Lloyd’s Lab innovation accelerator programme.

Yesterday, UK-based Lloyd’s, an insurance and reinsurance market, announced its new cohort of 10 insurtech disruptors that will join its accelerator programme.

The cohort also includes start-ups focused on providing solutions to support the market to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inclusivity Solutions’ nomination comes three months after the insurtech secured an additional $1.3 million (R23 million) in the second tranche of its Series A round funding, bringing the total Series A round to $2.6 million (R45.8 million).

Inclusivity Solutions designs, builds, operates and innovates digital insurance solutions.

The Cape Town-based firm, founded by Jeremy Leach, partners with mobile operators, banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions to deliver simple and affordable insurance cover through mobile phones.

The start-up has already launched digital insurance initiatives in Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Kenya, in partnership with Orange, Airtel and Equity Bank’s Equitel.

More than 140 applications were received from across the world for the fifth cohort of the Lloyd’s Lab, which begins on 7 September.

According to Lloyd’s, the 10 teams were selected after presenting their ideas in a competitive process during a virtual pitch day on 29 July.

This is the second completely virtual Lloyd’s Lab cohort following the successful completion of cohort four. The new Lab teams will join Praedicat, Metabiota and Dialogue – three teams selected in June to work on the COVID-19 response, says Lloyd’s.

It adds the insurtech start-ups will focus on three key themes – data and models, new insurance products and markets, and response to COVID-19.

This year, the cohort will have a particular focus on COVID-19 products and solutions to help fast-track bringing these innovative solutions to market, looking at new types of insurance to support the COVID-19 response; helping the Lloyd’s market to assess COVID-19 risks; and helping Lloyd’s customers to adapt to a changing workplace.

In July, the Lloyd’s Lab ran its first “Fusion” programme, a new three-day event designed to test early-stage start-up ideas aimed at dealing with COVID-19 and other systemic risks.

Three of the teams who took part in Fusion − Ryskex, Hivemind and Geollect − have been successful in their application to the fifth cohort of the Lab.

In the first four cohorts, start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses have presented ideas ranging from live-streaming drones, to event-based parametric insurance solutions for catastrophic flooding and on-demand insurance for the gig economy.

Examples of success stories so far can be seen in alumni members such as ClimaCell, Parsyl, Layr and Flock, says the insurer.

Trevor Maynard, head of innovation at Lloyd’s, says: “This cohort of insurtechs will play an important role in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and help us develop the new models and insurance products of the future.

“We will, undoubtedly, need new products and services for insurers to deliver confidence and security against future waves of this pandemic and other systemic risks of the scale we have seen in 2020. I’m thrilled to have the best insurtechs across the globe join the Lloyd’s Lab and look forward to seeing the progress they make. Lloyd’s has thrived on its purpose of sharing risk and it’s as important now as it has ever been to combine minds and build a braver world.”