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Pula, a Startup Providing Nigerian Farmers Insurance Against Robbery & violence, Raises $20 million.

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Pula, a Kenyan-based Agric insurance technology company, raised $20 million in a Series B funding round.

The company asserted that the new funding will be used to create new partnerships in its expansion to include livestock insurance. 

About Pula

Thomas Njeru and Rose Goslinga founded the Kenyan based company in 2015. Pula was created to focus on providing African small-holder farmers with access to agricultural insurance. The insurance provides protection against losses caused by pests, diseases and extreme natural events like floods and droughts. 

Pula Raises $20 Million In a Series B Funding Round

The funding round that awarded Pula was led by BlueOrchard through its insuresilience strategy. The strategy aims at providing vulnerable people access to climate insurance. The provision is mostly done in emerging markets. There were other participants in the funding round, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Hesabu Capital. 

Pula CEO Thomas Njeru, at the funding round, said partnering with BlueOrchard was going to boost the growth of the company. He further asserted that it was a milestone in driving up the company’s vision. 

He said, “What started nine years ago as an unconventional idea that many deemed un-scalable is now a proven solution that has solved real needs for millions of smallholder farmers across 22 countries.”

Pula Distribution Channel To Ensure Wide Reach

Pula has built up a distribution channel of over 100 partners, including charitable organizations, agricultural companies and government. This channel guarantees the company is able to reach far and wide. According to the startup, it has helped 15.4 million farmers across Africa, Asia and Latin America get insurance. 

Additionally, the startup says its products have been suited to the demands of its consumers as well as aligned with the needs of the benefiting farmers. The products are underwritten by insurance and reinsurance companies.

These companies are designed through Pula’s digital actuarial platform based on historical data. The data includes weather patterns and the frequency of events like floods or droughts, harvests, losses, and inputs used.

Benefits of Insurance In Emerging Markets Like Africa 

Furthermore, Pula highlighted that agriculturalists using these products have witnessed increased investment, yields, and savings. This emphasizes the benefits that agricultural insurance could hold for emerging markets like Africa.

Additionally, it would be successful if small-scale farmers contribute 70 percent of the food supply yet only 1 percent of them are covered.

Thomas Njeru said, “Some research were carried out by Pula in some African countries where we have delivered insurance. The result shows that agricultural insurance helps smallholder farmers to on average increase investment in their farms by 16 per cent. Also, improve yields by 56 per cent, and increase household savings by up to 170 per cent. Also, an impact on farmers’ livelihoods can be seen through our partner insurer’s payouts. The payouts have reached close to over US$40 million to 900,000 farmers since Pula’s inception to date.” 

Furthermore, he said his startup’s impact is reflected in renewal rates and growth. Additionally, he points out that 80 percent of the farmer groups that buy Pula-developed insurance products from their partner insurers renew the following year. Finally, he stated that this rate is above the industry average and reflects customers’ satisfaction with their comprehensive products.

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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