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SA insurtech start-up bags additional R23m funding

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South African-based insurtech start-up Inclusivity Solutions has 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.

In a statement, the company says after the first tranche investment, the uMunthu fund, managed by Goodwell Investments, led the round with follow-on investment from UW Ventures (in partnership with Allan Gray).

It notes that MFS Africa, a leading Pan-African fintech company, joined the round as a new investor.

According to the insurtech start-up, the timely move underscores the commitment by investors to the growth of inclusive digital insurance solutions dedicated to addressing risks, such as COVID-19, faced by the majority underserved consumers in emerging markets.

Inclusivity Solutions has already successfully launched digital insurance initiatives in Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Kenya, in partnership with Orange, Airtel and Equity Bank’s Equitel, respectively.

It notes that collectively, a range of hospital cash and simple life products have provided protection to more than 700 000 people.

The investment will be used to deepen the company’s footprint within its existing markets, support further international expansion, as well as accelerate innovation in the backbone technology platform, ASPin, which underpins the three existing products.

“As the humanitarian and economic disaster that is COVID-19 unfolds, we are reassured that there could not be a more important time for insurance solutions such as ours to play a role in protecting the vulnerable,” says Jeremy Leach, founder and CEO of Inclusivity Solutions.

“This investment provides the endorsement and support that we need as an organisation to continue our work in designing and scaling products that address the risks that really matter and can play a real role in adding value to consumers, as well as offering a digital-ready solution to insurers during operationally challenging times.”

Wim van der Beek, managing partner of Goodwell Investments, says: “We are excited to lead this second tranche and make this additional investment from our uMunthu fund, especially in these challenging times.

“Our investment focus is inclusive growth, and we believe that collaborative insurtech solutions like Inclusivity Solutions are best positioned to reach large numbers of underserved consumers. Their model bridges the insurance protection gap for the underserved through products that are designed to be simple, affordable and accessible, even on the most basic mobile phone. It is a perfect fit with our mandate, and we look forward to continuing to support Inclusivity Solutions in its next stage of growth.”

Harry Apostoleris, director of UW Ventures, says: “We could not think of a more relevant time for this additional support to Inclusivity Solutions to further their mission of designing innovative and inclusive financial products while developing insurance markets to protect and serve vulnerable communities across the developing world.

“We believe there is a huge opportunity to bring affordable health and life insurance to those communities that may be the most ill-equipped to deal with catastrophes such as COVID-19, and we are excited to partner with Jeremy Leach and his exceptional team to help achieve their ambitions.”

Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of MFS Africa, comments: “I’ve known the Inclusivity team for many years, and as players in the fintech space ourselves, we have had the opportunity to collaborate with them on a few exciting opportunities.

“We share a passion for impact through technology, and a drive to innovate and implement. We at MFS Africa are very proud to be part of their next stage of growth,” Okoudjou adds.

He notes the investment was made through MFS Africa Frontiers, a vehicle dedicated to exploring opportunities in the greater fintech ecosystem.

“Through MFS Africa Frontiers, we invest in select ventures with whom we feel we can go further – and faster – together.”

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