Kenyan insurtech company Lami raises $3.7M in seed extension led by Harlem Capital – TechCrunch

Kenyan insurtech starts with first product launch in 2020 Lamy Technology Set out to increase insurance penetration in Kenya and the rest of Africa. They started this path by building and distributing an end-to-end digital insurance platform and APIs that allow businesses in different industries to create tailored insurance solutions for their customers.

As its API platform progresses in the insurance space, the startup also plans to provide technology solutions to digitize agents and brokers to help them streamline operations — reaching a broad customer base and selling online. These plans also include digitizing traditional insurers as innovation continues to shape the industry.

Talking to Techcrunch, founder and CEO of Lami, Jihan Abbas, further announcing plans to offer more lines of insurance products, while also revealing that the startup has entered Egypt and Nigeria. All of this comes against the backdrop of a $3.7 million deferred funding round led by Harlem Capital, which invests in minority and female founders.

Other investors participating in the round include early stage VC firm Newtown Partners, Peter Bruce-Clark, partner at New York-based research VC firm Social Impact Capital, Caribou Honig of InsureTech Connect, and Jay Weintraub Exotix Advisory of InsureTech Network Platform Innovations Owner and Senior Member, a corporate finance and M&A boutique focused on emerging markets. The latest funding adds to the $1.8 million in seed funding InsurTech raised last year.

Talking about its growth strategy, Ms Abass affirmed the company’s plans to continue to innovate as they explore new ways to increase insurance penetration across the continent – currently below 3%.

“In terms of technology, we want to cater to the entire insurance ecosystem. So it’s not just digital platforms that want to sell insurance products, but also to help existing players make product distribution more efficient and give them a role in increasing the level of insurance penetration. This includes agents and brokers – we’re looking at how to enable them to sell more policies,” she said, adding that Lami is using the funding to recruit, fast-track its expansion plans and drive underwriter partnerships .

Explaining their investment in Lami, Gabby Cazeau, head of Harlem Capital, said: “We believe the next wave of fintech will embed financial products and services such as insurance into the customer’s buying experience. Lami is working through strategic partnerships in the e-commerce and financial sectors. The way partners serve people is the best way to build trust with users and deliver insurance to Africans across the continent in a seamless, accessible way.”

Lami co-designs products with its underwriting partners (currently 25) who help facilitate the distribution of insurance products through a B2B2C approach using its API.

Kenyan insurtech company Lami raises $3.7 million in seed extension led by Harlem Capital

Lami Technologies, which has expanded into Nigeria and Egypt, plans to offer additional lines of insurance products. Image Source: Lamy Technology

The startup’s API allows entities such as banks to offer digital insurance products to their customers. Lami also integrates its API with more than 15 entities in various fields including logistics, e-commerce, banking, and fintech.

Lami’s partners include buy now pay later startup Lipa Later, which backs payment defaults on financing products through insurance. Insurtech has also partnered with Sendy to enable freight carriers in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) to obtain transit insurance per trip, and with Kwara to provide insurance products to over 60,000 SACCO (credit union) members. Other clients include e-commerce platform Jumia, retail B2B and end-to-end distribution platform MarketForce, and Stanbic Bank Insurance – the latter of which uses Lami’s technology to power bancassurance products.

Lami entered the market in January 2020 with its consumer-facing product G​​riffin Insurance, arguably the first digital auto insurance platform. It then moved to providing a product-agnostic API platform to power digital insurance products. That helped it grow its portfolio from 70,000 policies at the end of 2021 to 85,000, and quadruple the premiums it underwritten last year to $800,000 — a figure the company expects to grow to more than $2 million this year.

Kenyan insurtech company Lami raises $3.7 million in seed extension led by Harlem Capital

Stanbic Bank uses Lami’s SaaS platform to power its bancassurance products. Image Source: Lamy Technology

The expected growth will be driven in large part by growing partnerships and product lines, as well as aggressive expansion plans that began this year when it entered Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the acquisition of Bluewave. The acquisition helps Lami leverage Bluewave’s customer base and technology, enabling them to access microinsurance products through multiple channels including USSD and WhatsApp chatbots.

Abass expects more growth opportunities for Abass as technology enables more partnerships for businesses and as more insurers go digital.

“Insurers have realized that they can no longer rely on traditional distribution channels; they also need to diversify their finances. Also, in terms of digital platforms, I think they also realize that it is a way to diversify their revenue streams. simple way,” Abass said.

“Things have really changed since we launched our first product two years ago. People are more open to digital distribution channels. We expect significant growth on the B2B2C side. As we expand into other markets, we see a lot of opportunity .”

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