Kenyan startup receives $6m funding to insure smallholder farmers across Africa

Kenyan agricultural and tech-based insurance startup, Pula, has secured a $6 million investment fund to scale up its model to insure smallholder farmers across Africa.

According to media reports, the received Series A funding from Pan-African early-stage venture capital firm, TLcom Capital, in collaboration with Women’s World Banking, a women-centric investment firm.

Through the new financing, Pula is set to enlarge its footprints, with plans of expansion in more African countries, Asia and Latin America.

“With our latest funding, now is the time to break into new ground, Rose Goslinga, the Co-founder of Pula noted.

“In our five years since launching, we’ve built strong traction for our products. However, 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.

Access to agricultural insurance is relatively low in Africa. According to the World Bank, the continent’s value of agricultural insurance premium is less than one percent compared to the world’s total, as of 2017.

Founded in 2015, Pula has developed a sustainable business model and also designed digital products that have helped to insure over 4.3 million smallholder farmers in more than 10 African countries to date.

The agritech company uses machine learning, crop-cut experiments, and data points relating to weather patterns and farmer losses, to design products that cater to various climate risks such as droughts, floods, pests, and diseases.

To give farmers access to these insurance products and services, Pula partners with banks, government, and agricultural input companies.

Some of its notable partners include the World Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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