Turaco, a Kenyan tech-enabled affordable insurance startup with operations in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda has launched in Ghana after the acquisition of MicroEnsure Ghana for undisclosed sum.
The expansion increases Turaco’s operational markets to four–Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Ghana–and active policies by 25% and is part of the firm’s long-term vision to provide simple and accessible insurance to 1 billion people.
According to Ted Pantone, Co-founder & CEO of Turaco: “This deal marks a significant milestone for our growth and expansion strategy for Africa and a strategic move to drive innovation into a market that has one of the continent’s highest insurance coverage rates. We are excited about the opportunity of building on the 15 year legacy of MicroEnsure and leveraging our customer-centric tech solution to provide affordable and accessible cover.”
MicroEnsure will rebrand as Turaco Ghana and retain the expertise of the existing team and leadership to make the transition seamless for both its partners and customers. MIC Global, the current owner of MicroEnsure Ghana and one of the leading micro-reinsurance businesses in the world, combines insurance capacity, in-country insurance licenses, world class distribution, and scalable tech. it also creates embedded microinsurance solutions as white-label products for firms to enhance their brand, differentiate their product, drive up revenue, and attract and retain customers.
In Ghana, MicroEnsure, now Turaco Ghana, was the pioneer microinsurance intermediary in Ghana, providing insurance for low-income earners and the first to launch mobile insurance through Tigo in 2012 and Airtel in 2013, serving 3 million customers. In 2020, the company provided insurance protection to 4,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Ghana, with free comprehensive life and business protection in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund. In 2020, it launched a health protection plan for customers of Vodafone Ghana.
These deal will give Turaco easy access to the Ghanaian market for its medical, life, asset, and vehicle insurance solutions. With over 1,300,000 lives across Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda covered, Leveraging its technology, Turaco maintains that its claims process is the best and will remain within 3 days.
“I am delighted to partner with Turaco as they take over management and operations of MicroEnsure Ghana (now Turaco Ghana). We are confident that our micro insurance products and the unique Turaco model will drive continued success in providing millions of customers the insurance safety net they need,” said Harry Croydon, Co Founder & COO MIC Global.
The acquisition gives Turaco access to a very big market in West Africa.
According to 2021 census data, Ghana has one of Africa’s widest insurance coverage levels, with more than 60 per cent of its population holding either the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) or a private health insurance scheme. Yet millions of Ghanaians still lack access to healthcare, with more than 10 per cent experiencing catastrophic financial shocks due to yearly health expenditures. Those who do have insurance find it hard to use, with complex exclusions and slow turnaround times for claims payment.
Leona Abban, General Manager of Turaco Ghana, said: “As a pioneer of microinsurance in Africa, we focused on making an impact while providing affordable insurance to low-income customers. Over our 15 year history, our inclusive approach has benefited 3 million Ghanaians with the safety net of being insured. As we move into this next growth phase as Turaco Ghana, we look forward to leveraging our in-market experiences to improve our approach further and capture additional segments of the market that have historically been excluded.”
Omidyar Network, and Sanlam Emerging Markets are some of MicroEnsure’s backers. The company is headquartered in
the United Kingdom with offices in nine countries. TechMoran has not established whether Mic Global will exit other markets or not.
Launched in 2019, Turaco uses technology to increase access to affordable insurance with a seamless and customer-centric approach. Turaco’s B2B2C business model leverages partnerships with tech-enabled, mass-market companies such as telcos, banks, and fintechs, to provide easy distribution and insurance management. Turaco embeds its service as a white-labelled offering that is bundled with a partner’s core product or service, integrating with their existing payment processes to collect premiums.
There was a time Turaco partnered with Power Financial Wellness, a fintech startup to provide customers with affordable health insurance products. The insurance plans with flexible premium payments were aimed towards gig and salaried employees across the region. Power Financial was to simplify the process and empower workers across Africa by delivering a holistic financial wellness solution for firms and their workforce as technology continues to revolutionize the way people transact, borrow, save, and insure. Turaco was up to something here as most freelancers and the young skilled population prefer gig work from full-time employment and micro-insurance services are highly needed.
Recently, Turaco announced it had secured an underwriting license in Uganda to expand access to affordable and simple insurance for the mass market in Africa. In Uganda, more than 15% of the population faces catastrophic health expenses each year. Unfortunately, insurance adoption remains low, with a mere 2% of individuals in sub-Saharan Africa being insured, and less than 1% of Ugandans holding insurance coverage
Turaco Microinsurance aims to leverage its triumphant technology-driven insurance distribution model to bolster insurance penetration in Uganda. The firm also surpassed 1,000,000 lives insured with 350,000 of those signing up after a newly launched partnership with Airtel Money Uganda and Prudential Uganda.
The rapid customer uptake reinforced the demand for Turaco’s products and approach. From a simple 2-step USSD sign-up process to an average 15 hour turnaround time on claims processing and payment, the Airtel Hospital Sente product was designed to be simple and easy to use.
Last year, Turaco announced the close of a $10 million Series A equity round led by AfricInvest, via the Cathay Africinvest Innovation Fund, and existing investor, Novastar Ventures. The round also included participation from Enza Capital, Global Partnerships, Zephyr Acorn, Operator Stack, Asi Ventures Limited, and Push Ventures.
In 2019, the Nairobi-based micro-insurtech startup raised $1.2 million in seed funding to further scale its operations across Africa led by GAN Ventures, Mercy Corps Ventures and Musha Ventures alongside several angel investors. That round followed a $40,000 received in grant funding late 2018 from Villgro Kenya and between $50,000 to $60,000 venture building support facilitated by inclusive fintech accelerator, Catalyst Fund.