Turaco, a Nairobi-based micro-insurtech startup has raised $1.2 million in seed funding to further scale its operations across Africa.
Turaco’s round of funding was led by GAN Ventures, Mercy Corps Ventures and Musha Ventures alongside several angel investors.
The raise follows USD $40,000 received in grant funding late last year from Villgro Kenya and between $50,000 to $60,000 venture building support facilitated by inclusive fintech accelerator, Catalyst Fund.
In a statement, Turaco Co-founder and CEO, Ted Pantone, said: ‘For this round, we were blessed to be able to choose from a group of investors with different specialties. These range from social impact and value alignment to industry understanding and connections in Silicon Valley. In our next round of funding, we are looking for additional value-aligned investors who have the capacity to support us in our vision to insure a billion people.’
Launched in 2018, the firm frees its customers from the fear of unexpected financial shocks that come with health calamities via its quick, simple and affordable insurance cover.
Turaco offers life and health insurance products distributed through partnerships and issued on a subscription model. With over 30,000 users in Kenya and Uganda, Turaco will use the funds to cement it’s presence in new markets and further develop ongoing pilots and partnerships with businesses and fintech companies.
Working in financial services in sub-Saharan Africa, Turaco co-founders saw, from time to time, how expensive it was to see a doctor and how individuals could keep getting sick and sicker due to lack of health insurance as hospitals require upfront payments to attend to patients.
According to the World Bank, out-of-pocket healtcare payments in sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 to2014 rose to over 60 percent from 40 percent. Turaco is not the only one working in this $35 billion healthcare insurance market. There is MicroEnsure, AccessAfya, MTIBA among others. Safaricom had LindaJamii but shelved it after a miserable run.
Once they’ve saturated Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, Turaco is looking at launching in West Africa, South America and more.