Casava, Nigeria’s first 100% digital insurance company, has raised $4 million in pre-seed funding to give millions of Nigerians with affordable and accessible insurance products.
The insurtech startup is leveraging artificial intelligence and behavioural science to develop game-changing claims and benefits solutions, starting with income protection and health insurance.
The new funds will be used to assist client acquisition and expansion, as well as product and technology stack development.
The funding round, the largest pre-seed round for an African insurtech to date, was led by Target Global with participation from Entrée Capital, Oliver Jung, Tom Blomfield (Founder of Monzo) and Ed Robinson and Brandon Krieg (Founders of Stash).
African founders such as Uche Pedro (Founder of BellaNaija), Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha (Founders of Kuda), Shola Akinlade (Co-founder of Paystack), Olugbenga “GB” Agboola (Co-founder of Flutterwave), Honey Ogundeyi (Founder of Edukoya), Opeyemi Awoyemi (Co-founder of Jobberman) and others also participated in the round.
Casava is led by Bode Pedro, a veteran entrepreneur that has built many successful companies, including Veda Technology, one of Nigeria’s premiere computer hardware manufacturers. Segun Makinde, former VP at JPMorgan Chase and former Portfolio Manager for Nigeria at MEST Africa is the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
The startup began operations in April 2021 and now has over 66,000 customers and $16 million in insurance coverage.
Casava is Nigeria’s first registered microinsurance underwriter, developing insurance products that make it easier for Nigerians to protect themselves against life’s unpredictable catastrophes, such as job loss and health emergencies.
COVID-19 caused roughly 20% of Nigerian workers to lose their jobs, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Due to the lack of unemployment insurance in Nigeria, these workers are mostly on their own to make ends meet in between jobs.
Subscribers to Casava Income Protection can protect their income with an easy-to-use membership that starts at $1 per month and pays out monthly for six months if they lose their job, become sick, or become disabled.
Subscribers can now add Casava Health, which provides telemedicine access to over 1,000 doctors and 900 hospitals across Nigeria.
Casava’s insurance products can be purchased directly through the company’s website, mobile app, or WhatsApp.It will also collaborate with fintech and digital partners to integrate insurance into their services, leveraging over 500,000 financial service agents to reach customers across the country.
Casava will empower these agents to offer insurance and earn commissions from the customers from their customers on a recurring basis.
“Our mission is to provide affordable insurance for Nigerians and other Africans and we are happy to have raised these funds from an exciting group of investors, “ says Bode Pedro, Founder and CEO of Casava, “With less than 1% of the country insured, Nigeria (and Africa) is an untapped insurance market. We want to address the barriers that hinder adoption and add value to consumers across the country.”
Commenting on the funding, Dr. Ricardo Schäfer, a partner at Target Global said, “Bode and the team have recognised a great opportunity to address a longstanding problem for many Nigerians and Africans and we are excited to support their mission to make insurance more accessible. One of the first of their kind in the region, Casava has the potential to transform the lives and livelihood of millions of people.”
“The Casava team has developed a unique and disruptive product that we believe has the potential to transform Africa’s insurance market,” adds Avi Eyal, General Partner at Entrée Capital. “We are confident in the Casava team that they have what it takes to be leaders in this field.”