South Africa’s insuretech startup Root raises $1.5m from Invenfin to expand into UK & Europe


Root Platform (Root), the Cape Town-based low-code, API-first, digital insurance technology platform provider, has raised $1.5 million from South Africa-based Invenfin, the venture and growth capital arm of Remgro Limited, to power modern insurance digital products.

Root, which was founded in 2016 in South Africa, offers a low-code platform that powers modern digital insurance products designed for direct, affinity and embedded distribution at scale. The company first raised an external round of funding from investors including Invenfin in 2021, and will now accelerate its plans to expand in the UK and Europe thanks to this further investment.

According to Louw Hopley, Co-Founder at Root, “We want to continue to expand in the UK while also making strides into the rest of Europe, and this growth capital from Invenfin enables us to do just that. The time is right for us, as lots of insurers are realising that innovative partner insurance channels such as embedded insurance are essential, and they want to invest in the robust, API-first technology they need to get to market quickly and confidently. We’re excited about what is to come over the next few years for our business.”

Root, launched through a partnership with MMI Holdings, has built a trusted partnership with Invenfin since they invested in the business two years ago, and are suitable partners in their growth strategy especially as the company scales up internationally. Root’s API enables third-party developers to easily access digital insurance licenses and insurance and banking-related products for a quick launch.

Root allows developers, start-ups and brands to develop insurance products especially to service low-income families,a sector which has seen much expansion over the last years with start-ups such as SureFOX, for cargo owners and transporters and Naked Insurance, a digital insurance platform promising customers a faster, fairer and more flexible insurance experience. Such platforms have been possible due to the advent of cloud computing and the API-economy, which allows third-party platforms to pull resources from other established platforms for mass adoption on a micro-level especially in health, banking and insurance.

For starters, Hopley previously started an iPhone app development company in New York and Silicon Valley and came back to South Africa to start Root. He as seen Root partner with Standard Bank of South Africa, one of the biggest banks on the continent and also partnered with Andela, a global network for remote technologists and financial services company Momentum Health Solutions.

In November 2021, Root announced it had raised $3 million in seed funding from its primary investors Invenfin, Base Capital, Savannah Fund, P1 Ventures, Luno, and FireID, a select group of high-impact angel investors took part to expand into Europe. It’s latest funding round cements its expansion and growth plans.

“Root is a great example of the type of company that Invenfin looks to invest in: a strong team building a world-beating product that’s winning in its South African home market and has clear potential globally. We believe in Root’s vision that the future of insurance is embedded, enabling companies to provide much more accessible, contextual and affordable insurance to consumers. We’re excited to back Root again following our first investment in 2021, as it accelerates its growth in the UK and beyond.” said Theo van den Berg, Investment Executive at Invenfin.