Leading Insuretch for Africa’s smallholder farmers closes the latest round from TLcom Capital and Women’s World Banking
Capital will be used to help derisk Farmers across Africa and Asia
Pula, a leading Agricultural technology that develops and deploys crops and livestock insurance, has raised $6 million in Series A funding from TLcom Capital and Women’s World Banking to scale up operations in the company’s existing 13 markets across Africa.
Currently, Pula has impacted over 4.3mn farmers on the continent and the new funding will also help propel its expansion into Asia to power resilience and profitability for Asian smallholder farmers.
Launched in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru, Pula designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products to help smallholder farmers endure climate risks, improve their farming practices and bolster their incomes over time.
For smallholder farmers in emerging markets, the traditional method of calculating insurance through farm visits is often unaffordable for farmers, meaning these farmers are often neglected from financial protection against climate risks.
Through its Area Yield Index Insurance product, Pula leverages machine learning, crop cuts experiments and data points relating to weather patterns and farmer losses to build products which cater for a variety of risks including drought, excessive rainfall, pests and diseases.
Speaking on the new fundraise, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Pula, Rose Goslinga, says “In our five years since launching, we’ve built strong traction for our products but the fact remains that across Africa and other emerging markets, there are still millions of smallholder farmers with risks to their livelihoods that have not been covered.”
“In the midst of a global pandemic, farmers need assurances now more than ever and with this in mind, it’s time to scale up. Having TLcom Capital and Women’s World Banking along on the journey with us opens up many more opportunities as we build across the continent and beyond.”
Pula is at the center of an ecosystem which provides insurance to smallholder farmers and has amassed 50 insurance partners, as well as six reinsurance partners. In December 2020, the startup was named as the “InsurTech of the Year” at the African Insurance Awards 2020 held in Lagos, Nigeria. As part of the new fundraise, TLcom’s Senior Partner Omobola Johnson will join Pula’s Board.
Maurizio Caio, Managing Partner and Founder at TLcom Capital state “The potential for the insurance market for smallholder farmers in Africa is huge and under the leadership of Rose and Thomas, Pula has rapidly established a strong presence throughout the continent and has a number of high-profile clients on their books. We are confident of Pula’s potential for growth in spite of the pandemic and look forward to partnering with them as they execute the next phase of their journey.”
Christina Juhasz, CIO at Women’s World Banking, also states “Given the legions of women engaged in smallholder farming and securing the food supply for communities around the globe, Women’s World Banking is delighted to partner with Pula Advisors in providing them financial safety nets against the risks of pests, disease and climate change.”
In 2018, Pula announced the close of its $1mn seed round from Rocher Participations with support from Accion Venture Lab, Omidyar Network and several angel investors.