TLcom’s Senior Partner Omobola Johnson will join Pula’s Board.
Launched in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru, Pula will use the new investment to scale up operations in the company’s existing 13 markets across Africa to derisk millions of smallholder farmers across Africa.
According to Rose Goslinga, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Pula, “When Thomas and I launched Pula in 2015, we had one goal in mind – to build and deliver scalable insurance solutions for Africa’s 700mn smallholder farmers and with our latest funding, now is the time to break into new ground. In our five years since launching, we’ve built strong traction for our products but the fact remains that across Africa and other emerging markets, there are still millions of smallholder farmers with risks to their livelihoods that have not been covered.”
In 2020, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (FS), as implementing agency of the InsuResilience Solutions Fund (ISF) gave a grant to Kenya’s Pula and Tanzania’s Reliance Insurance Tanzania, to design and implement climate risk insurance products.
In 2018, Pula closed $1mn seed round from Rocher Participations with support from Accion Venture Lab, Omidyar Network and several angel investors. It has also raised funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mulago Foundation and Mercy Corps Social Ventures.
The startup is present in Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Some of Pula’s key clientele include the likes of the World Food Programme, Central Bank of Nigeria, Zambian Government and the Kenyan Government.
Pula reports to have impacted over 4.3mn farmers in its markets across Africa and this new funding will also help propel its expansion into Asia to power resilience and profitability for Asian smallholder farmers. It has amassed 50 insurance partners, as well as six reinsurance partners, and was named as the “InsurTech of the Year” at the African Insurance Awards 2020 held in Lagos, Nigeria in December 2020.
“In Pula, we found a company addressing a hugely underserved market in one of Africa’s key drivers of growth and with this, an opportunity for major economic upside,” said Maurizio Caio, Managing Partner and Founder at TLcom Capital.
“The potential for the insurance market for smallholder farmers in Africa is huge and under the leadership of Rose and Thomas, Pula has rapidly established a strong presence throughout the continent and has a number of high-profile clients on their books. We are confident of Pula’s potential for growth in spite of the pandemic and look forward to partnering with them as they execute the next phase of their journey.”
Pula uses satellite technology and farm-level yield data to structure insurance products for previously unbanked, uninsured and underserved farmers to insure their crops and livestock. The firm also uses the data and digital products to help smallholder farmers endure climate risks, improve their farming practices and bolster their incomes over time.
Pula’s Area Yield Index Insurance product uses machine learning, crop cuts experiments and data points relating to weather patterns and farmer losses to build products which caters for a variety of risks including drought, excessive rainfall, pests and diseases. Most of these smallholder farmers in Africa are women.
Christina Juhasz, CIO at Women’s World Banking, also states “Given the legions of women engaged in small-hold farming and securing the food supply for communities around the globe, Women’s World Banking is delighted to partner with Pula Advisors in providing them financial safety nets against the risks of pests, disease and climate change”.
Pula has recently launched an NDVI Livestock insurance as an offering for livestock farmers.