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Home Startups Turaco raises $2 million led by Novastar Ventures to scale its operations in sub-Saharan Africa

Turaco raises $2 million led by Novastar Ventures to scale its operations in sub-Saharan Africa

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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Turaco has closed $2 million in equity led by Novastar Ventures, with participation from Mercy Corps Ventures, Musha Ventures, GAN Ventures, Zephyr Acorn, alongside some existing angel investors to further grow the business and scale its operations in sub-Saharan Africa.

Today’s announcement comes a year after the company’s raised $1.2 million in seed capital. For Turaco, these investors share in their belief that the best way to achieve impact is through profitable, high-scale ventures.

In a statement, Turaco Co-founder and CEO, Ted Pantone, said, ‘We are thrilled to partner with Novastar Ventures and all of our other great investors to help build Turaco to the next stage of growth. Our vision is to insure a billion people in the next 25 years. Investors like these will help propel us to that reality.’

The company launched in 2018 to free people from the fear of unexpected financial shocks caused by health risks. They work towards this by providing simple, useful and affordable health and life insurance products to emerging market consumers for as little as USD $2 on flexible monthly payment plans. To date, Turaco has insured over 70,000 people and almost 2,000 claims paid in an average turnaround time of less than 3 working days.

This latest investment will be used to drive growth in their current locations (Kenya and Uganda) and facilitate the business’ expansion into a third market next year. The financial support will also facilitate development of the next stage of Turaco’s proprietary technology and recruitment of key hires to position the business for continued growth in 2021.

For now, Turaco is expected to launch several major distribution partnerships as they collaborate with more leading companies in sub-Saharan Africa to deliver innovative insurance products to their end-users.

Last month, Turaco was named part of the 2020 Inclusive Fintech 50 cohort after an independent panel of 35 experts from venture capital, technology, and financial services firms evaluated a pool of 403 eligible businesses operating in 111 countries.

The applicants were assessed based on four criteria: inclusivity, innovation, scale potential, and traction. The 2020 IF50 recognition also shined a spotlight on innovative solutions provided to populations that are particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Turaco had launched an insurance offering earlier in the year designed to ease the financial burden associated with hospital admissions of any kind, including Coronavirus. The cover (Hospital Cash), which is underwritten by Prudential Life Assurance Kenya Ltd., is a safety net for the insured in the event that they fall ill and are hospitalized for 3 nights or more as a result. It is available in Kenya as an individual and family cover that retails for as little as USD $10 a year.

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