Featured companies Pula
“Pula is introducing a new approach to enable the benefits of insurance services to reach the underserved market of smallholder farmers, and to enable insurance companies to penetrate the largest sector in Africa – agriculture.”
Pula is an insurance and technology company with a radically different approach – it targets people who have never bought insurance before, starting with smallholder farmers. We develop and distribute insurance products and tailored agronomy advice that protects farmers from risk and grows their incomes. 99% of our customers cultivate 0.6 acres and pay less than USD 1-3 in premiums per year.
Pula’s insurance covers a wide range of farmers and crops spread across ten countries: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Mali. We do not take on insurance risk, instead, we work with insurers to cover farmers. We combine actuarial and agronomic expertise with management of multi-stakeholder partnerships (e.g. seed and fertilizer companies, credit institutions, governments) to offer insurance to smallholders at scale.
What are your fundraising plans in the next 12 to 24 months?
Pula is a start-up that has so far raised USD 3 mn in a first seed round from a group of eight impact, venture and angel investors. These included Rocher Participations, Accion Venture Lab, Omidyar Network, Mercy Corps Social Venture Labs, and Mulago Foundation. We plan to raise a series A funding in Q2 of 2020 with a target of raising USD 3-5 mn. This funding will help us expand to the Asian market and go deeper into our existing ten countries.
What are your venture’s key achievements to date?
After only five years, we are already serving 1.5 mn farmers. We also have established partnerships with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Zambian government, the Kenyan government, Corteva, ETG, and Safaricom.
Media attention for our work includes The Economist and BBC. Awards and recognition of our work and founders include Awarded Bayer Social Innovation, Women’s World Banking Finalist, Africa 3.0 Speaker, TED talk, and Rainer Arnhold Fellow.
What are your plans for future development?
Pula plans to reach 13 mn farmers in the next three years across ten countries through partnerships with:
- Governments – Pula helps governments to improve, food security, climate resilience, financial inclusion, and agriculture insurance penetration
- More seed and fertilizer companies – Pula’s insurance data provides a unique insight into smallholder farmer end-users, which they leverage to grow their revenues, increase their market share, and improve their customer retention rates.