Pula an insurance technology startup based in Kenya has recently closed a $6m series A round investment led by TLom Capital an early stage pan African VC firm. A startup targeting small farmers who make up 80% of the food supply across Africa and Asia.
The raise comes after Pula closed $1 million in seed investment from Rocher Participations with support from Accion Venture Lab, Omidyar Network and several angel investors in 2018.
Pula was founded in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru with the intent of providing smallholder farmers with agricultural insurance and other digital products. Pula is at the center of an ecosystem that helps them manage their risks with insurance and digital solutions.
Most farmers lack any form of insurance for their produce, meaning any loss in crops results in the loss of a similar amount. Insurance cover on crop produce leaves most farmers at the mercy of unpredictable climatic conditions. They are more likely to invest in better inputs and farm equipment to increase their yield.
The startup is banking on a large wiggle room for growth given the continent has 17% of the world’s arable land yet lags behind in the value of agricultural insurance premiums – less than 1%.
According to Goslinga, the COVID-19 pandemic helped Pula double its footprint and size as rural farming activities and operations continued despite pandemic-induced lockdowns.
Therefore, the new financing will scale up operations in its existing 13 markets across Africa, where it has insured over 4.3 million farmers.
They include Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Likewise, the Kenyan startup hopes to propel its expansion for smallholder farmers in Asia and Latin America.