Kenyan agriculture insurance startup Pula has raised $6 million (Sh660 million) from global venture capital backers for Africa and Asia expansion.
The funding round was led by Pan-African early-stage venture capital firm, TLcom Capital, with participation from nonprofit Women’s World Banking.
The Nairobi based Pula that specialises in digital and agricultural insurance to derisk smallholder farmers across 13 markets in Africa said the funding will help boost its local expansion in Kenya and beyond the African continent.
“With our latest funding, now is the time to break into new ground," said Pula cofounder Rose Goslinga in a statement.
Founded by Goslinga and Thomas Njeru in 2015, Pula says it delivers agricultural insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers navigate climate risks, improve their farming practices and bolster their incomes over time.
Small farmers produce up to 80 percent of the food supply in Africa and Asia, and face a 90 percent chance of crop loss due to factors outside of their control, such as pest outbreaks and severe drought.
But most of these farmers don’t have any form of crop insurance. If they lose their crops, they lose their income, and can only pray for a better harvest next season.
Pula says it provides farmers with insurance bundled with inputs (such as seeds and fertiliser) and farmer advisory services to help increase their yields and boost (and protect) their income.
"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,” said Goslinga.
Last year, Pula won the InsurTech of the Year Award during the sixth annual African Insurance Awards at an event held in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Kenyan company, which operates in 13 African countries, won the award for its role in managing over 4.3 million smallholder farmers through their Area Risk Index and yield insurance product.