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Pula secures $20M Series B to offer agricultural insurance in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

ByYasmeeta Oon

May 3, 2024
Pula secures $20M Series B to offer agricultural insurance in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Pula secures $20M Series B to offer agricultural insurance in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Founded in 2015, Pula is a Kenyan-based insurtech firm that has been pioneering efforts to increase access to agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers across emerging markets. Their approach has been critical in protecting farmers from losses due to pests, diseases, and extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.

Recently, Pula has secured a significant milestone with a $20 million Series B funding round led by global investment manager BlueOrchard, through its InsuResilience strategy. This strategy focuses on providing climate insurance to vulnerable populations in emerging markets. Other prominent participants in this funding round included the International Finance Corporation (IFC) through its $225 million venture capital platform, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hesabu Capital, and various existing investors.

The influx of fresh capital is set to bolster Pula’s infrastructure, allowing the company to forge new partnerships and expand into additional market segments, such as livestock insurance.

Since its inception, Pula has made significant strides in the insurtech industry:

  • Supported Farmers: Pula has assisted 15.4 million farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to access agricultural insurance.
  • Expanding Reach: The firm is actively working to expand its impact following the recent funding, targeting more smallholder farmers globally.

Pula’s model is unique; it does not sell insurance directly to farmers. Instead, it operates through a network of over 100 partners, including charitable organizations, banks, governments, and agricultural input companies. This strategy enables Pula to reach even the most remote farmers by integrating insurance into essential farm inputs or credit services.

Pula’s insurance offerings are highly customized to meet the specific demands of its clients and the needs of the beneficiary farmers:

  • Data-Driven Design: The products are crafted using Pula’s digital actuarial platform, which utilizes historical data to predict and plan for potential risks.
  • Local Partnerships: In Zambia, Pula has embedded insurance premiums within fertilizer and seed packages distributed across the nation.

To highlight the tangible benefits of Pula’s services, here are key performance metrics and impacts:

  • Investment and Yield Increases: Agricultural insurance has enabled farmers to increase their farm investments by 16%, improve yields by 56%, and boost household savings by up to 170%.
  • Financial Payouts: Pula and its partner insurers have disbursed nearly $40 million in claims to 900,000 farmers since the company’s foundation.
  • Customer Loyalty: An impressive 80% renewal rate among farmer groups and aggregators signifies high satisfaction and the effectiveness of Pula’s products compared to the industry average.

Building on the success of its crop insurance solutions, Pula is venturing into livestock insurance. This new product line began with a pilot program in Nigeria and is expected to launch in Kenya soon. Pula’s livestock insurance covers comprehensive risks including banditry, disease, and animal death.

With its expansion into Asia and Latin America in 2021, Pula continues to scale its operations and impact:

  • In Ethiopia: A partnership with the World Food Programme, German Development Bank KfW, and a local insurer has already reached 122,000 farmers.
  • Upcoming Payouts: Following an outbreak of wheat rust in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, Pula is poised to execute its largest insurance payout to date, estimated at $800,000.

Here are some bullet points that encapsulate Pula’s achievements:

  • Diverse Market Presence: Active in 22 countries with tailored insurance products.
  • Extensive Partner Network: Collaborations with over 100 global partners.
  • Significant Impact: Supported 15.4 million farmers with comprehensive insurance solutions.

To provide a clearer picture of Pula’s reach and effectiveness, below is a table detailing key metrics:

Farmers Supported15.4 million
Countries Operated In22
Total Payouts Since Inception$40 million
Farmers Benefited From Payouts900,000
Increase in Farm Investments16%
Increase in Yields56%
Increase in Household Savings170%
Renewal Rate80%

Pula’s story is one of innovation, impact, and growth. By connecting smallholder farmers with essential financial tools, Pula not only mitigates the risks they face but also enhances their productivity and sustainability in the face of global climate challenges.

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Featured Image courtesy of DALL-E by ChatGPT

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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