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Kenyan Insurtech Startup, Pula Secures $6M Series A Led by TLcom Capital

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Pula, a Kenyan insurtech startup that specialises in digital and agricultural insurance across Africa, has closed a Series A investment of $6 million.

The round was led by Pan-African early-stage venture capital firm,  TLcom Capital, with participation from nonprofit Women’s World Banking.

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.  

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.

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As part of the new fundraise, TLcom’s senior partner Omobola Johnson will join Pula’s board.

Founded by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru in 2015, Pula uses insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers endure climate risks, improve their farming practices and bolster their incomes over time.

Through its partnerships with banks, governments, and agricultural input companies, Pula is at the center of an ecosystem that provides insurance to smallholder farmers and has amassed 50 insurance partners and six reinsurance partners. 

Its clientele includes the likes of the World Food Programme and Central Bank of Nigeria as well as the Zambian and Kenyan governments. Social enterprises like One Acre Fund, startups like Apollo Agriculture, and agribusiness giants like Flour Mills and Export Trading Group are also among Pula’s clients.

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Commenting on the new funding, Maurizio Caio, the firm’s managing partner said: “The potential for the insurance market for smallholder farmers in Africa is huge, and under the leadership of Rose and Thomas, Pula has rapidly established a strong presence throughout the continent and has several high-profile clients on their books.

“We are confident of Pula’s potential for growth in spite of the pandemic and look forward to partnering with them as they execute the next phase of their journey,” he said in a statement.

For Christina Juhasz, CIO at Women’s World Banking, the other investor in the round, explained that the organisation cut a check for Pula “given the legions of women engaged in small-hold farming and securing the food supply for communities around the globe.

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