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South African Insurtech Startup – Naked – Raises US$11m in Series A Funding Round

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Naked, an insurtech startup based in South Africa, has raised US$11 million in its Series A funding round.

The startup confirms that the funds would be used to support its growth plans, and push for more success in rebuilding insurance for social good.

The round of investment was led by Naspers Foundry putting in US$8.3m. Other participants in the fundraising round are Yellowwoods and Hollard.

The investment made by Naspers Foundry is the largest investment made the technology investment company so far.

In the past, Naspers Foundry has made investments in SweepSouth, Aerobotics, Food Supply Network, The Student Hub, WhereIsMyTransport and Ctrl.

Alex Thomson, co-founder, Naked.

Naked, which was launched in 2018, was co-founded by Alex Thomson, Sumarie Greybe, and Ernest North. It is a fully digital insurance platform offering comprehensive and instant cover for cars, homes, contents, and standalone items.

The startup uses AI and automation to create a new type of insurance experience, pitching itself as a 21st century insurtech startup with cut-edge technology.

Naked provides its customers access to lower costs as well as convenience in their insurance experience.

Customers are able to get a final insurance quote in less than 90 seconds, and switch or pause their cover, all online, without speaking to a contact centre agent.

Speaking on the mode of operation, co-founder, Alex Thomson said:

“Our ambition is to build insurance that people love by offering an experience that is affordable, convenient and transparent. We have come a long way since our launch in 2018 towards meeting these goals, including enabling customers to buy cover online in seconds, allowing them to claim and manage cover on our award-winning app, and passing on huge savings through sustainably lower premiums.”

But this is just the start of our journey to reinvent insurance. We are excited to have an investor of Naspers Foundry’s calibre onboard 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 South Africa market and enter into international markets,” Thomson added.

Read also: Simpluz Technologias Develops AI-based Fact-checking Technology to Fight Fake News

South Africa chief executive officer (CEO) of Naspers, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, noted how South Africans are underinsured when it comes to short-term personal insurance.

“While this is often due to price, consumer distrust and complexity have led to a misunderstanding of insurance. Naked’s offering is convenient, transparent and passes the cost savings from its innovative technology on to customers. It improves financial inclusion, in line with Naspers Foundry’s objective of investing in technology businesses that have a positive impact on society.”

Naspers Foundry head Fabian Whate said expressed Naspers Foundry’s excitement at supporting Naked in its journey.

He said:

“This fits in with our focus of 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.”

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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