Insurance infrastructure provider, Curacel, has raised $3 million in seed funding to roll out new technology solutions designed to power the next generation of insurance experiences in Africa.
The seed funding, which will also facilitate the expansion of Curacel into North Africa, included Tencent, AAF Management (invested in Sure, Flutterwave), Elefund (invested in Robinhood, Pie Insurance and Sure), Blue Point Capital Partners, Pioneer Fund, Olive Tree Capital and Y Combinator, as well as James Park (CEO of Fitbit), Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola (CEO of Flutterwave), Babs Ogundeyi (CEO of Kuda) and other strategic investors. Top executives from Covergenius, Zopper and Pie Insurance will also join Curacel’s advisory board as part of the round.
The combination of a fast growing population, a rising middle class and increasing access to financial services across the continent means more Africans have the opportunity to experience a wider range of products and services.
From buying cars to accessing accommodation, these experiences come with various risks and insurance companies play a huge role in making it easier to manage the risks and enjoy these experiences with confidence. However, with insurance penetration across the continent still under 3 percent, many Africans are having to take on these entirely by themselves.
At the same time, the paper-based approach and antiquated technology that powers many insurers’ processes is time-consuming, unduly expensive and prone to fraud and waste. African insurers lose more than $12 billion per year to fraudulent, wasteful and abusive claims, which makes them understandably cautious and risk-averse with the customer they choose to serve.
Curacel makes it easier for insurers to distribute their products, automate their claims processes, and drive revenue growth by giving them easy-to-use technology solutions that have been specifically designed to drive up insurance inclusion on the continent. With Grow, Curacel’s embedded insurance product, more than 100 banks, fintechs, logistics companies and other tech-enabled companies, including ALAT (Nigeria’s first digital bank), Providus, PalmPay, Float, etc and others are empowered to increase their recurring revenues by offering digital insurance products that are seamlessly embedded into their existing products and services, driving much-needed insurance penetration and customer loyalty.
Leading insurers like AXA Mansard, Liberty Health, Old Mutual and Jubilee Heath also leverage Curacel’s market leading technology to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their claims processes. The company’s AI-powered infrastructure means claims can be submitted and processed in real time, helping insurers to reduce their claims cycle by more than 70 percent and process up to 10x more claims.
Curacel has processed more than $100 million worth of claims, working with more than 20 insurers and more than 5,000 service providers in 8 countries across the continent. In 2022, Curacel grew its transaction volume by 600 percent and increased its revenue by 500 percent. Starting with Egypt and Morocco, the new funding will enable the company to roll out its services in North Africa and deepen its presence in other parts of the continent.
According to Henry Mascot, CEO and co-founder of Curacel, “We are bullish on the potential of the right technology in the right places to close the protection gap across Africa and emerging markets. It is an exciting time for us as we secure the capital to deliver the vision and onboard the people who have built these technologies at scale in more mature markets, and we are looking forward to delivering more technology solutions to drive up insurance inclusion.”
Omar Darwazah, Managing Director and General Partner at AAF Management, said “at less than 3%, the insurance penetration rate in Africa is one of the lowest in the world, presenting an incredible market opportunity for Henry and the team at Curacel to bridge that insurance gap. We are excited to participate in the company’s Seed round and join Curacel’s mission in building easy-to-use technology solutions for insurers to distribute their products on the continent.”
Serik Kaldykulov, General Partner at Elefund, said “Africa remains a relatively untapped market when it comes to insurance and technology presents the best opportunity to reach new users and deliver excellent services. Curacel has built a suite of solutions and an impressive track record of success that makes us very excited to be supporting them on their mission to use technology to drive up insurance inclusion in Africa.”