Lami, a Kenyan insurtech company democratizing insurance products and services for low-income Kenyans, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding. The funding round was led by Accion Venture Lab

Founded by Jihan Abass in 2018, Lami is a digital insurance platform that enables partner businesses – including banks, tech companies, and other entities to easily and seamlessly offer digital insurance products to their users via its API

Lami can also be used by partner businesses to manage their own insurance needs. Through its API, users can get a quotation for motor, medical, or other tailored insurance products in seconds, then customize the benefits and adjust the premium to suit their needs. They get their policy documents instantly and claims are paid in record time.

In a conversation with TechCabal Abass said, “Similar to a payment API/gateway, we process insurance KYC, pricing of products, underwriting of products and claims processing in real time. Let me give you an example, Jumia wanted to launch an insurance marketplace but they didn’t want to go through the hassle of integrating with every single insurance company and they didn’t want to manage the process of issuing policies. Using our API because we have 20 insurance companies on our platform, they were able to launch this marketplace with a large number of products.” 

Julian Abbas Founder & CEO

The Insurance space in Africa

With a 3% penetration rate (except for South Africa), Africa’s insurance market is lagging behind. In Kenya where Lami is based less than 20% of the population has access to health insurance. 

The major cause of the low adoption is that most insurance providers on the continent fail to offer flexible, affordable and tailored insurance coverage that can provide a safety net for the African consumer. For example, under most health policies customers face restrictions on what facilities and treatments are covered, they struggle to understand coverage terms and face complicated and lengthy claims processes. This results in a longer processing cycle, poor customer satisfaction, and higher distribution costs. 

Lami’s services are enabled by its flexible insurance rating engine and direct integration with several parties and insurance companies. Lami co-designs innovative products with its underwriting partners to enable businesses to offer unique insurance products to their underlying customer base, with flexible options that meet their needs and cash flows, such as monthly medical policies for startup employees.

Lami’s CEO Jihan Abass said, “This funding will allow us to invest in hiring more people, improving our technology, and growing our presence across Africa as we can continue to address the persistent insurance gap. At Lami, our vision is to help improve the financial resilience of millions by making insurance products more accessible and affordable for underserved populations. By enabling our business partners to offer customized insurance solutions, we are helping them provide more value to their customers, while enabling large volumes of users to access insurance, often for the first time.”

The Lami team at work

Since its inception, the insurtech startup has sold more than 5,000 policies and has partnered with more than 25 active underwriters, including Britam, Pioneer, and Madison Insurance, distributing more than 30 products available including medical, motor, employee benefits, and device insurance. As an innovator in the digital insurance space, Lami aims to continue diversifying its business by looking for new partners and building on its core technology.

Michael Schlein, President and CEO, Accion Venture Lab, said, “Ninety-seven percent of Africans lack access to insurance – a financial safety net that can help them build resilience against economic shocks. Lami helps address this need for consumers across Africa through its innovative approach that leverages technology and partnerships to help any business develop and sell insurance.” 

Within the past month Malian insurtech OKO and Nigerian insurtech Curacel raised a combined amount of $1.6 million, Lami’s funding news is a reminder that there’s some activity in the African insurtech space. Also, with less than 5% of venture capital going to female-led startups in 2019, it’s positive news to see another female-led company being funded.

Daniel Adeyemi Author

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