Since launching its first product in 2020, Kenyan-based insurtech Lamy Technologies intended to increase insurance penetration in Kenya and the rest of Africa. They started this journey by creating and distributing a comprehensive digital insurance platform and API that enabled companies from various sectors to create customized insurance solutions for their clients.
With its API platform gaining momentum in the insurance industry, the startup also plans to provide tech solutions that also digitize agents and brokers, helping them streamline their operations to reach a broad customer base and sell online. These plans also include the digitalization of traditional insurance companies as innovation continues to shape the industry.
Speaking to Techcrunch, Lami founder and CEO Jihan Abass announced plans to offer additional insurance product lines and also said the startup has entered the Egyptian and Nigerian markets. All this against the backdrop of a $3.7 million seed expansion raised in a round led by Harlem Capital – which invests in minority and women founders.
Other investors in the round include early-stage venture capital firm Newtown Partners, Peter Bruce-Clark, partner at New York-based venture capital research firm Social Impact Capital, Caribou Honig and Jay Weintraub of InsureTech Connect, a networking platform for insurance technology. innovators and senior members of Exotix Advisory, a corporate finance and M&A boutique focused on emerging markets. The latest funding adds to the $1.8 million in seed funding that insurtech raised last year.
Speaking about her growth strategies, Ms. Abass reaffirmed the firm’s plans to continually innovate as they explore new ways to boost insurance penetration across the continent, which currently stands at less than 3%.
“In terms of technology, we want to serve the entire insurance ecosystem. Thus, digital platforms want to not only sell insurance products, but also help existing players distribute products more effectively, allowing them to play a role in increasing insurance penetration rates. This includes agents and brokers – we are looking into how we can enable them to sell more policies,” she said, adding that Lami is using the funding to hire, accelerate its expansion plans and encourage partnerships with underwriters.
Explaining her investment in Lami, Harlem Capital CEO Gabby Caso said: “We believe the next wave of fintech will incorporate financial products and services such as insurance into the shopping experience. Lami’s approach to serving people through strategic e-commerce and finance partners is the best way to build user trust and provide seamless, affordable insurance for Africans across the continent.”
Lami develops products with its currently 25 underwriting partners who help leverage its API to facilitate the distribution of insurance products using a B2B2C approach.
The startup’s API allows organizations such as banks to offer digital insurance products to their customers. Lami has also integrated its API with over 15 organizations in various sectors including logistics, e-commerce, banking and fintech.
Among Lami’s partners is the buy-now-pay-later startup Lipa Later, which it supports through non-payment insurance for funded products. Insurtech is also working with Sendy to provide freight carriers in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) with access to transit insurance on a per trip basis and with Kwara to make insurance products available to over 60,000 SACCO (credit union) members. . Other clients include e-commerce platform Jumia, B2B retail and all-in-one distribution platform, MarketForce, and Stanbic Bank Insurance, which uses Lami technology to support bancassurance products.
Lami entered the market in January 2020 with consumer product Griffin Insurance, arguably the first digital car insurance platform. He then came up with a product-independent API platform that supports digital insurance products. That helped it grow its portfolio to $85,000 from 70,000 policies at the end of 2021 and quadruple insurance premiums to $800,000 last year — the company predicts it will rise to more than $2 million this year.
The expected growth will be fueled in large part by expanding partnerships and product lines, as well as aggressive expansion plans the company launched this year when it expanded into Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) following the acquisition of Bluewave. The acquisition helped Lamy leverage Bluewave’s clientele and technologies that provide access to microinsurance products through various channels, such as USSD and WhatsApp chatbots.
Abass expects more growth opportunities through additional partnerships with technology companies and as more insurance companies go digital.
“Insurers have realized that they can no longer rely on traditional distribution channels; they also need to diversify for their own financial well-being. And when it comes to digital platforms, I think they have also realized that this is an easy way to diversify their income streams,” Abass said.
“The landscape has really changed since we launched our first product two years ago. People are more open to digital distribution channels. We expect to see significant growth on the B2B2C side. This is where we see great opportunities as we expand into other markets.”
Credit: techcrunch.com /