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Home Tech Kenya’s Lami raises $1.8 million to make insurance accessible for underserved populations in Africa

Kenya’s Lami raises $1.8 million to make insurance accessible for underserved populations in Africa

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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Lami, a Kenyan digital insurance technology (insurtech) startup has raised $1.8 million to democratize insurance products and services for low-income Kenyans. 

The round was led by Accion Venture Lab’s seed-stage investment initiative that funds innovative fintech startups that are improving financial inclusion for the underserved.

According to Jihan Abass, CEO, Lami, “This funding will allow us to invest in hiring more people, improving our technology, and growing our presence across Africa as we can continue to address the persistent insurance gap. At Lami, our vision is to help improve the financial resilience of millions by making insurance products more accessible and affordable for underserved populations. By enabling our business partners to offer customized insurance solutions, we are helping them provide more value to their customers, while enabling large volumes of users to access insurance, often for the first time.”

Founded by Jihan Abass in 2018, Lami enables its customers to offer and manage digital insurance products to their users via its API. Counting banks, telcos, and other entities as its customers, Lami connects partner organizations, such as e-commerce platform Jumia, with underwriters and allows them to offer a superior customer journey. Through its API, users can get a quotation for motor, medical, or other tailored insurance products in seconds, then customize the benefits and adjust the premium to suit their needs, get their policy documents instantly, and claims are paid in record time.

Lami’s services are enabled by its flexible insurance rating engine and direct integration with several parties and insurance companies. Lami co-designs innovative products with its underwriting partners to enable businesses to offer unique insurance products to their underlying customer base, with flexible options that meet their needs and cash flows, such as monthly medical policies for startup employees.

Jihan Abbas – Founder & CEO

Africa’s insurance market currently stands at a 3 percent penetration rate, expect for South Africa, and is facing modernization and innovation challenges. Most insurance providers on the continent fail to offer flexible, affordable and tailored insurance coverage that can provide a safety net for the African consumer. Low insurance uptake is partly due to the traditional distribution and administration of policies, which mainly still relies on brick-and-mortar channels where policies are sold and processed manually. This results in a longer processing cycle, poor customer satisfaction, and higher distribution costs. 

Lami’s digital insurance platform leverages cloud computing, automation, and third-party service providers such as emergency and valuation, or identity and asset verification databases, to offer a comprehensive ecosystem for the businesses they partner with to develop, distribute and manage highly streamlined and competitive insurance products that are designed to meet their customers’ needs. 

Since its inception, the insurtech startup has sold more than 5,000 policies and has partnered with more than 25 active underwriters, including Britam, Pioneer, and Madison Insurance, distributing more than 30 products available including medical, motor, employee benefits, and device insurance. As an innovator in the digital insurance space, Lami aims to continue diversifying its business by looking for new partners and building on its core technology. 

Michael Schlein, President and CEO, Accion Venture Lab, said: “Ninety-seven percent of Africans lack access to insurance – a financial safety net that can help them build resilience against economic shocks. Lami helps address this need for consumers across Africa through its innovative approach that leverages technology and partnerships to help any business develop and sell insurance.”

 “At Accion Venture Lab, we’re excited by how Lami is using technology to create a pathway for customers to purchase insurance that is specific to their needs. By embedding customized insurance within businesses that customers know and trust, Lami is making insurance accessible for underserved populations in Africa and enabling them to build financial resilience. “said Ashley Lewis, Africa Director, Accion Venture Lab.

This investment highlights the strong commitment of all organizations to ensuring that financial services are made accessible and affordable for the underserved. 

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