Naked, a fully digital insurance platform that offers comprehensive and instant cover for cars, homes, contents, and standalone items in South Africa, has raised a ZAR160 million (US$11 million) Series A fundraising round led by Naspers Foundry to help fund its expansion goals.
Naked, which launched in 2018 and is co-founded by actuaries Alex Thomson, Sumarie Greybe, and Ernest North, leverages AI and automation to provide a new type of insurance experience.
Consumers benefit from lower costs as well as more control over – and convenience in – their insurance experience, as they can get a final insurance quote for their home, its contents, standalone items, or car in less than 90 seconds, as well as switch or pause their coverage, all without having to speak to a contact center agent.
To help it speed its growth, Naked has raised a ZAR160 million (US$11 million) Series A funding round. The round is led by Naspers, which has invested ZAR120 million (US$8.3 million), with the balance of the round funded by existing investors Yellowwoods and Hollard. It is the largest investment yet made by Naspers, which is one of the largest technology investors in the world, via its ZAR1.4 billion (US$96 million) Foundry fund, launched in October 2018. Naspers Foundry has previously invested in SweepSouth, Aerobotics, Food Supply Network, The Student Hub, WhereIsMyTransport and Ctrl.
Naked will use the funding to support its growth plans and its success in rebuilding insurance for social good.
“Our ambition is to build insurance that people love by offering an experience that is affordable, convenient and transparent. We have come a long way since our launch in 2018 towards meeting these goals, including enabling customers to buy cover online in seconds, allowing them to claim and manage cover on our award-winning app, and passing on huge savings through sustainably lower premiums,” said Thomson.
“But this is just the start of our journey to reinvent insurance. We are excited to have an investor of Naspers Foundry’s calibre onboard to work with us as we expand our team, continue to invest in the technology that puts customers in control, meet the insurance needs of a growing portion of the South Africa market and enter into international markets.”
South Africans are generally underinsured when it comes to short-term personal insurance, according to Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, Naspers’ South Africa CEO.
“While this is often due to price, consumer distrust and complexity have led to a misunderstanding of insurance. Naked’s offering is convenient, transparent and passes the cost savings from its innovative technology on to customers. It improves financial inclusion, in line with Naspers Foundry’s objective of investing in technology businesses that have a positive impact on society,” she said.
With its end-to-end digital procedures, Naspers Foundry head Fabian Whate said the fund was excited to help Naked in its journey of pioneering a new generation of insurance, delivering clients convenience, control, and savings.
“This fits in with our focus of backing purpose-driven technology businesses. Investing in Naked is consistent with the portfolio we’ve built to date and Naspers Foundry’s healthy pipeline of potential future investments,” he said.