Insurtech startup, Turaco raises $10m in series A to fund expansion

Turaco, a leading insurtech driving mass market insurance adoption across Africa, has announced the close of a $10 million Series A equity round.

The round which saw participation from Enza Capital, Global Partnerships, Zephyr Acorn, Operator Stack, Asi Ventures Limited, and Push Ventures, was led by AfricInvest, via the Cathay Africinvest Innovation Fund, and existing investor, Novastar Ventures.  

With over 500 million mobile subscribers in Africa, most of whom are uninsured, the latest round of funding places Turaco in a strong position to address this untapped market, doubling down its expansion efforts through strategic partnerships.

As a result, Turaco will continue to power innovation in inclusive insurance as well as stand firmly at the forefront of the continent’s rapidly growing insurance sector.  

Read also: Fintech startup, Kippa raises $8.4m funding to expand offerings

Ted Pantone, CEO and co-founder Turaco

Commenting on the raise, Turaco CEO and co-founder Ted Pantone said the “investment enables us to scale our business to serve millions of insurance customers across our current markets and beyond. We are thrilled to have these great new investors join our team for this next season of growth.”

We are proud to help drive insurance adoption, especially among low-income earners. 90% of our customers have never had insurance before, but the surprising thing is that people really want to buy insurance! They just don’t have easy access to products that really work for them.

In a continent where 90% of people have no formal safety net to catch them if they get sick or are in an accident. Insurance is still very much in its infancy. Most African insurance underwriters and intermediaries use rigid systems that do not allow for integration with external partners, with many still using paper-based processes.

Turaco is building in a largely untapped sector, opening up an extremely large market and innovating for mass market consumers by providing a cutting-edge solution that will drive inclusive insurance.

One of Turaco’s partners, AfricInvest has expressed satisfaction with the company’s model and drive to promote and meet the unmet demands of insurance in Africa.

Patricia Rinke, Investment Officer at AfricInvest commented:

“In our interactions with Ted and his team, we could see a great vision and flawless execution coming together. The company’s innovative distribution model responds to the unmet demand in the African insurance sector, and we look forward to working with Turaco as they continue to build on their early success.”

Also, Yassine Oussaifi, Partner at AfricInvest and co-head of CAIF while commenting on the raise said that a major factor that influenced their support of the company was its push to help cover low-income earners against shocks and disadvantages they face from unforeseen circumstances in the financial system.

“As the insurance penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa remains below 3%, one of the lowest rates globally, we believe Turaco has developed the tools and know-how to fill this gap and reach low-income earners with products adapted to their needs, thus being a critical part of the push to help shield the most disadvantaged from unforeseen financial burdens and shocks. We are pleased to support Turaco as it scales further and has a positive impact on the continent.”

Olúwatóyìn Emmanuel-Olubake, Investment Director at Novastar Ventures also added:

“Turaco has grown over 300% since Novastar’s initial investment in 2020. We are excited to continue partnering with the exceptional team at Turaco and welcome new investors including AfricInvest, Global Partnerships and Enza Capital to this journey. This capital will help the company to further grow its world-class team, develop new products, accelerate partnerships and access new markets in service of its goal to mitigate the impact of daily shocks for millions of vulnerable people across Africa.”

About Turaco

Targeted at underserved customers and low-income earners, Turaco embeds its service as a white-labelled offering that is bundled with a partner’s core product or service while integrating with their existing payment processes to collect premiums.

Founded in 2019, the company is a distributor, broker, and key customer interface between the underwriter and the end consumer. According to its website, the company’s mission is to free people from the fear of financial shocks caused by unexpected health risks.

Turaco is able to achieve much of its objective through a B2B and B2B2C business model, forming partnerships with top tech-enabled companies with a large pool of customers or staff in emerging markets, including some of the continent’s most trusted brands such as Sun King, One Acre Fund, Tugende, M-KOPA and VisionFund.

Turaco has a suite of bespoke medical, life, asset, and vehicle insurance packages with about half a million users in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. 

Other major achievements by the Insurtech

Since its launch, the technology-enabled insurance platform has grown to become a market leader at the forefront of innovative insurance solutions.

Turaco products are priced at ~$2/month, with straightforward terms & conditions and a fully digitized claims process that allows claimants to file via WhatsApp or phone call, paying out in less than three days via mobile money. 

With a robust API integration which allows for easy collaboration with its external partners, Turaco enables companies to integrate insurance into their products and services efficiently and at no additional risk or cost.

In 2019 for instance, the company partnered with M-KOPA, a fintech platform that provides digital financial services to underbanked customers, to embed insurance with M-KOPA’s products for the company’s customers and direct sales representatives.

Now active in three countries, insurance is used to drive revenue, as well as customer and agent retention and resiliency. 

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