Naked, a South Africa-based startup digitally helping users to insure vehicles, content, homes and standalone items, has raised $11 million in a Series A funding round. 

Naspers, through Naspers Foundry, its early-stage fund dedicated to South-Africa startups, led the round with an $8.3 million check, its largest investment from the fund so far. Balancing the round are existing investors like Yellowwoods and Hollard.

Founded in 2018 by Alex Thomson, Sumarie Greybe and Ernest North, the startup says it uses artificial intelligence to create new insurance processes and experiences for its customers. 

The pandemic has changed the way South African millennials want to consume insurance products. A bunch of them want to access insurance via the internet as this can reduce the cost of the journey by 30%.

Naked is solving the problem by reducing the overall cost through its online platform that presents users with lower costs compared to the traditional insurance platforms, and more importantly, giving them more control over their insurance experience.

No cheating, what you use is what you pay for.

For instance, customers can decide to pause their car premiums whenever they’re not driving and switch it back on when they wish to. Transparent methods like this are very instrumental in creating a healthy case about insurance, especially to people who wouldn’t otherwise accommodate the idea of insuring their belongings. 

Naked app

“They can get a final insurance quote for their home, its contents, their standalone items or their car in less than 90 seconds, and switch or pause their cover, all online, without speaking to a contact centre agent,” the company said in a statement.

According to Alex Thomson, the ambition of the company is to build insurance that people love by offering an experience that is affordable, convenient and transparent and they’ve come a long way meeting that goal since they launched. 

“This is just the start of our journey to reinvent insurance. We are excited to have an investor of Naspers Foundry’s caliber on board to work with us as we expand our team, continue to invest in the technology that puts customers in control, meet the insurance needs of a growing portion of the SA market and enter into international markets.” Thomson added.

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Naspers, one of the largest tech investors in the world, is bullish about supporting the South African tech ecosystem and has dedicated a $96 million investment vehicle to work with. So far, it has invested in seven South Africa startups including Ctrl, WhereIsMyTransport, The Student Hub, Food Supply Network, Aerobotics, SweepSouth, and now, Naked.

Talking about their investment in Naked, head of Naspers Foundry Fabian Whate said they (Naspers) are excited to support Naked in their journey of pioneering a new generation of insurance, giving consumers access to convenience, control, and savings with its end-to-end digital processes. 

“This fits in with our focus on backing purpose-driven technology businesses. Investing in Naked is consistent with the portfolio we’ve built to date, and Naspers Foundry’s healthy pipeline of potential future investments,” Whate concluded.

Damilare Dosunmu | Author

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