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Driving insurtech in Kenya and Africa: Female-led Lami Technologies raises $3.7M funding

Photo Credit: Lami Technologies

Kenyan insurtech Lami Technologies set out to enhance insurance penetration in Kenya and the rest of Africa from the launch of its first product in 2020, has now raised a $3.7M seed extension to expand its insurtech product across the continent. Harlem Capital, an early-stage venture firm that invests in minority and female founders, led the extension. This year, this New York-based VC also invested in female-founded web3 startup Glow Labs and another Kenyan startup Pariti.

Other investors in the round included early-stage venture capital firm Newtown Partners, Peter Bruce-Clark, a partner at New York’s research-driven venture capital firm Social Impact Capital, Caribou Honig and Jay Weintraub of InsureTech Connect, a networking platform for insurtech innovators, and senior members of Exotix Advisory, an emerging markets corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions boutique. The fresh cash adds to the insurtech’s $1.8M seed capital from last year.

The increased cash, according to Lami founder and CEO Jihan Abass, would be utilised for business development, product and technology development, and expansion into new nations like Egypt, Nigeria, and Uganda.

“Lami is pioneering innovation in the insurance sector, and we are glad to have secured the right partners to help drive insurance uptake across Africa. We are looking to make insurance easily accessible to everyone on the continent, and we will continually be unveiling more products that confirm this resolve,” she said.

“We believe the next wave of fintech will embed financial products and services like insurance into a customer’s purchase experience. Lami’s approach to serving people through strategic partners in ecommerce and finance is the best way to build trust with users and deliver insurance in a seamless, accessible way to Africans across the continent. Lami’s impressive growth to date shows that this resonates with customers and have a strong trajectory as they expand across the continent,” said Harlem Capital Principal Gabby Cazeau

“There are numerous societal vulnerabilities around the globe that will only be addressed by innovative, and technology-led solutions within this century. Lami’s products, many of which are accessible instantly, ushers Africa into a new and financially safer paradigm, a journey we’re passionate to be involved in,” added Peter Bruce-Clark.

Roy Perlot, Lami’s current CFO, has also been named a co-founder. Perlot has been with the company since 2020 and has helped it grow by bringing strategic leadership and deep experience from all around Africa.

Driving transformation in Africa’s insurtech

Lami technologies was founded in 2018 by Jihan Abbas to solve the issue of poor insurance uptake in Africa, which is a result of the industry’s sluggish rate of innovation, leaving the region to deal with sluggish and antiquated paper-based systems.

According to the African Insurance Organisation, Africa’s overall insurance penetration is 2.78 percent, which is significantly lower than the 7.23 percent global average. The expansion of the profitable insurance sector in Africa, however, might hasten inclusive prosperity throughout the continent, according to studies.

Lami aims to close the gap by using technologies that reduce the cost of insurance through the use of “bite-sized” premiums. The firm has also been developing an all-risk cover for buy now pay later (BNPL) transactions in conjunction with underwriters in several markets.

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